Laminitis is the inflammation of the laminae in your horse’s hoof. These soft tissues hold the hoof wall onto your horse’s foot. When they become damaged, your horse experiences extreme pain and discomfort. Most assume this crippling disease only attacks in the spring, but your horse is at risk in the fall too!
Not only does a hormonal imbalance increase your horse’s risk of laminitis, but environmental factors also come into play. Rich grass can increase certain horses’ chance of laminitis. The regrowth of pasture causes a spike in non-structural carbohydrates. These starches and sugars are hard for insulin-resistant horses to digest properly.
Avoid Fall Laminitis
- Avoid grazing during cool mornings and after lots of rain, as regrowth usually happens during this time.
- Your horse’s pasture should be healthy and not overgrazed.
- Monitor the ACTH and insulin levels of your horse with a blood test.
- Use a grazing muzzle to limit grass intake during this season.
- Consider a dry lot.
- Keep an eye on your horse’s weight with a tape.
- Work with a nutritionist to create a solid diet.
- Learn how to check your horse’s digital pulse, and track it daily.
Don’t let laminitis strike your horse this autumn!