By Rob Domarkas
In this article I would like to share with you some really important information about horse laminitis. After the unprecedented levels of rainfall throughout 2012 in United Kingdom, experts are worried than ever before about autumn laminitis.
Autumn is the season of the year when this health problem becomes particularly common amongst horses therefore taking preventative measures is really important if you want your horse to remain healthy and strong.
Laminitis is an inflammation of your horse’s laminae of the hoof. Early detection of this condition is vital, because if left untreated the inflammation can leave permanent damage to laminae tissue which eventually can lead to permanent damage to the supporting structure of your horse’s foot.
If own a horse and if you have been riding horses for some time then it is going to be pretty easy to spot symptoms of laminitis. The first thing that occurs when your horse starts to suffer from laminitis is that his energy levels rapidly decrease. Laminitis is very painful and because laminitis will cause extreme pain to your horse’s feet, your horse will intuitively start to move less.
Laminitis usually affects the front feet, therefore when suffering from laminitis horses usually rock back on hind legs in an attempt to remove the pressure and pain from front feet. In addition to this if you notice that your horse is sweating, rapidly breathing, or has warm and swollen front feet then the chances are pretty high that your horse is suffering from laminitis.
So what causes laminitis in the first place?
There are a lot of things that cause laminitis. One of the primary causes of inflammation is overeating and obesity. Extra weights puts a lot of strain on your horse’s joints therefore the simplest thing that you can do to reduce the chances of your horse getting laminitis is to simply make sure that his weight is in check.
In addition to this laminitis is also caused as a result of overeating on foods rich in carbohydrate or rapidly fermentable fibre such as. cereals, coarse mixes, rapidly growing or fertilised grass.
Third cause of laminitis is cold weather. A few horses show laminitis during cold weather. Fitting warm leg wraps during cold snaps prevents the problem in most cases.
Finally you also need to think about how you can reduce stress, because stress can also cause laminitis. Worming, vaccination, traveling or separation from a “friend” can trigger an attack of laminitis. If your horse is stressful you should consider giving him horse calmers.