During the late summer months and early autumn the risk of our equines developing laminitis is at the forefront of equine owner's minds. This is because the incidences of this condition automatically becomes higher as the weather of the season typically brings a combination of both sunshine and regular rain producing incredibly lush pasture for our horses and ponies to devour! Laminitis itself is a detrimental condition causing our equines discomfort, lameness and in some cases extreme pain. The condition results in the sensitive laminae of the foot weakening and becoming inflamed and in some causes this laminae tissue can actually tear which results in the rotation or drop of the pedal bone. Laminitis can occur for many reasons including the use of steroids, stress, hormone imbalances, mechanical trauma or toxaemia but it is often thought to be caused by obesity and the ingestion of grass which is highly rich in sugar and starch. When this ingestion of lush pasture is combined with a lack of exercise it can prove a recipe for disaster for our equines as they simply do not burn off and use the sugary starches providing to them; sadly leading to equine laminitis. So what can equine owners do to avoid autumn laminitis? 1.) Avoid excessive turnout when your pasture is particularly lush or considering taking a small flock of sheep from a local farmer in order to help munch your grass down! Remember the harmful fructan levels in the grass are at their highest after a cool night and sunshine in the morning! 2.) Try soaking your hay. This considerably reduces the starch and sugar content of the essential forage. 3.) Reduce your concentrate feed where suitable and provide a vitamin and mineral supplement such as Horse & Pony Multivitamin Supplement from Scientific Nutritional Products to ensure your equines are receiving all the nutrients they require but without excessive additional calories. 4.) Keep up the good work! Research has shown that horses that undertake regular exercise are at much less risk of suffering laminitis 5.) Whether your horse is shod or barefoot always maintain high quality hoof care with the help of your farrier or trimmer to create a strong, robust hoof capsule with a foot that is in balance. Scientific Nutritional Products also offer Robust Hoof Supplement which is recommended by Farriers to encourage good healthy foot growth. Robust Hoof contains an advanced formulation with essential Biotin, Methionine, Calcium, Lysine, Bioplex Minerals and MSM. Most importantly if you suspect your equine may be developing or suffering from laminitis always contact your veterinarian for treatment and advice. For more information about the range of equine or canine supplements available from Scientific Nutritional Products visit the website www.horsesupplementsdirect.co.uk or contact a member of our team on Tel: 01377 254 900.
Avoiding Autumn Laminitis
Posted by Tom Gatenby on 04 October, 2013
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