What is Laminitis?

What is Laminitis?

According to UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Center for Equine Health, Laminitis is damage and inflammation of the tissue between the hoof and the underlying coffin bone. This tissue, the laminae (also called lamellae), is folded layers of tissue, contacting the surface of the bone on one side and the inside of the hoof wall on the other, connecting the two. Depending on how severely these attachments are weakened, the outcome can range from mild foot soreness to separation of the coffin bone and hoof (founder). The front hooves, which bear the majority of the horse’s weight, are most commonly affected, but it can also occur in the hind hooves.

What causes laminitis?

Laminitis can be caused by a poor diet such as, excessive grain intake or a high amount of sugar in feed. It could also be caused by compensatory weight bearing due to injury of the opposite limb, ingestion of toxic plants (such as black walnut shavings), and excessive work on hard surfaces (road founder). 

What can I do to manage and relieve symptoms?

Work on improving the horse's diet. This includes hay with low non-structural carbohydrate content and a low-calorie ration balancer. Often times this should make a large impact but in more severe cases horses may be placed on stall rest with deep bedding and sling support. Natural supplements can be used to support horse health. The horse should have regular farrier care to provide mechanical support and encourage normal hoof growth. As always, keep your Veterinarian involved in the horses progress. 

Will a mineral supplement help?

Horses are not able to receive the optimal amount of minerals and vitamins from foraging alone. Without them, it can take much longer for a horse to recover from hard work and/or injuries. Therefore, an important part of your equine's health is an effective mineral and vitamin supplement. This is why our product Equine Leg Magic is so important to all breeds and disciplines of horses. ELM is a natural mineral supplement that supports healthy horses as well as those that are on the mend.

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