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Laminitis

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Laminitis (also know as founder) is a very severe lameness condition that happens when the laminae – the tissue that surrounds the coffin bone within the hoof – becomes severely inflamed. Due to this inflammation the coffin bone can become detached from the hoof wall and start to rotate downward, resulting in a tremendous amount of pain for the horse as well as serious lameness results.


Laminitis can be caused by:

* use of corticosteroid medication

* obesity

* bedding with black walnut shavings

* severe colic

* poor or infrequent trimming and shoeing

* retained placenta in mares

* excessive exercise on hard surfaces

* grazing on lush pasture without slow introduction

* trailering long distances

* other hoof diseases

* high fever

* metabolic disease


One of the most common causes of laminitis is obesity and exposure to lush pasture without a slow introduction. You should be able to see the vague outline of your horse’s ribs. There should be no pockets of fat on the neck, shoulder, or rump. If there are, you are feeding your horse too much.

When introducing your horse to pasture (especially in spring) it is vital to introduce your horse to it slowly over the period of a few weeks. This will allow his body to get used to the richness and will decrease the chances of him foundering or colicking.

A preventative approach to laminitis is your best defense. Make sure you are working with a knowledgeable vet and farrier who can help you with preventative measures. Be knowledgeable yourself about good horse care practices that will not put your horse at risk for laminitis.

(free photo from Canva - https://www.canva.com/ )

~ Saddle Up

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