Cool calories safe to feed to horse with laminitis?? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-25-2013, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Cool calories safe to feed to horse with laminitis??

Hey everyone, my mare Mayberry had a foal on July 16th of this summer.. This was her first pregnancy, the birth went very smoothly, and we got a beautiful and healthy filly! After about 3 hrs however she still had not passed her placenta and wasn't making any progress so we called up our vet told him what was going on, and he said not to worry maiden's sometimes take longer to pass the placenta and he would come out in the morning if she still hadn't passed it. (It was 12am when we called him so guessing he didn't want to come out at that hour...) I was very unhappy with his decision but just listened and tried to relax. In the morning she still hadn't passed it so the vet came out and removed it, examined it to make sure there were no missing pieces and then flushed her. We also put her on antibiotics just to be safe. Everything seemed fine.. a few days later however I went to bring Mayberry and Sky (her foal) in for the night and she wouldn't walk.. then she was doing the classic laminitis "sawhorse" stance. My heart sank and I panicked. I managed to get her to hobble to the barn and then called my vet. He came and flushed her again, told us to start her on banamine and continue with the antibiotics for 10 more days. She was on stall rest for about a week and then she started to look better so we started turning her out in a dirt paddock. Now a month and half later she is doing MUCH better. She is still off grass and grain, and is only getting hay and 2 lbs of beet pulp a day. She isn't getting bute anymore and doesn't look sore. Now it is a matter of being very careful with her diet. The problem now however is that since she is nursing a foal and just getting hay and beet pulp, she has lost a lot of weight... She is a super easy keeper but the demands of nursing are starting to take a toll. And Sky is only 5 1/2 weeks old.. so not even close to being able to be weaned. So my question is: Would the supplement Cool Calories be safe to feed her to try and get some weight on her?? It's just fat I believe so that's why i was curious about. I'm just really worried she's going to keep dropping weight until she's a skeleton... I'll post a pic of her now in a bit. But she's a little ribby and her spine is starting to show as well as her hip bones and tail head.. I'm just super worried :( any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-25-2013, 03:49 PM
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Alfalfa will greatly help her keeping weight on and getting the necessary protein for producing milk foto her baby.
Since the laminitis was induced by the retained placenta, I wouldn't worry too much about the diet( not saying that you should let her pig out on sweetfeed and grain, tho).
She needs nutrients to raise that foal, and beetpulp will not provide what she needs. Look into a mare& foal feed, which baby can share and later on keep eating. Maybe not Omolene, since it contains lots of grains, rather something like Nutrena Life Design Mare&Foal.
She will peak at milk production now, after baby is 3 months, it'll get less, but baby eats more solids also.
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-25-2013, 05:46 PM
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Congratulations on a healthy filly, that must be so exciting!

Has your mare ever foundered before?

If she has not this sounds like an acute attack of founder not a case of chronic laminitis. While an acute attack may develop into a chronic issue luckily that is not always the case. Knowing this I agree with what was said above and that because the cause was probably not diet related it should be ok to supplement her to keep her weight healthy while she is nursing.

I would also see about having a farrier who is experienced with founder evaluate her hoofs for you as well. With gradual but early treatment I have seen horses recover with no lasting damage and are able to recover all their soundness.

However, all that being said I would check with the vet reccomendation is and keep a watch over her. Which it allready sounds like you are doing a great job of.
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-25-2013, 06:14 PM
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hay hay and more hay will keep up her weight. you can add supplements , but make sure it is made for a nursing mare, due to the fact, what she eats, the foal eats.
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-25-2013, 07:58 PM
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Cool calories is just powdered vegetable oil. No real nutrition. You are better off giving her plenty of hay and add some alfalfa pellets and/or a ration balancer. Give it a couple weeks and if her weight still isn't picking up add flax or rice bran to her ration.
I don't know if horses can be like people getting gestational diabetes?? If they do they should snap back to normal pretty fast however in people there is a chance that the diabetes comes back later in life.

Mare and foal feed? Senior horse feed? both are usually pretty high fat.
Run it by your vet and/or farrier.
Whatever changes you make do it slowly.
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Last edited by SueNH; 08-25-2013 at 08:01 PM.
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-26-2013, 06:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for your advice! She has never foundered before nor had any problem with being on grass.. and she's never had metabolic issues related to laminitis. It was definitely an acute attack of founder from the retained placenta. I think earlier on when she was really bad and in that critical stage my vet wanted to be extra careful with her diet and keep her off grain just to be safe. (Although hers was not related to diet as one of you said, we just didn't want to take any chances) But now that she is doing well I think we will gradually start introducing her back to getting grain or alfalfa cubes, so we can get her weight back up. My vet was just stressing in the early stage that we shouldn't change her diet much because that could make things work. But I agree with you guys about her case being more related to the retained placenta as opposed to diet. Thanks again for the help!
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-26-2013, 08:25 AM
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She will lose a great deal of weight on the low level of feed you are feeding her now. She needs a lot more calories to produce milk. I would not put her on good grass or feed sweet feed. Alfalfa would be great.

If she has no history of laminitis, I would just watch her carefully and monitor the temperature of her feet early in the morning. Just put your hand on her front feet and compare how they feed compared to her back feet.

I would, however, put therapeutic shoes on her front feet to protect her from rotation. Founder caused by a retained placenta can be a very acute founder with a lot of rotation.

We have our own way of treating it, but it has worked very well for us. We put on a shoe that would normally fit and reverse it with the toe of the shoe under the horse's heal and absolutely nothing under the toe to cause the front wall to be pushed away from the white line. We just use the middle two nail holes and not the toe or heel nail holes.
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-26-2013, 02:10 PM
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In addition to the alfalfa I would also add a good quality fat supplement from made with flax seed meal, rice bran, soy oils. I like gleam and gain I get it from Smartpak and it has really made a difference for my hard keeper. I have also used Omega horse shine in the past with good results, you can get that at TSC, and a lot of feed stores carry it. Stay away from vegetable oils they can actually prevent the absorption of important nutrients.
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-27-2013, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! Really appreciate it! She has been wearing soft ride boots on her front feet. She doesn't really seem sore anymore and is walking well. And is not on bute anymore. So we will start to gradually change her diet so she can gain some weight and get everything she needs to keep producing milk. Also I read an article about feeding laminitic horses and it mentioned ration balancers as a good option because they are high protein and low starch and sugar. I'm looking at Seminole equalizer. Here's the link:

Seminole Equalizer - Ration Balancer for horses

Any thoughts?
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-27-2013, 12:29 PM
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Looks pretty good! I wouldn't feed it together with the suggested oats, tho, just to be safe.
I also second the Omega Horseshine. If nothing else, it will speed the growth of healthy hooves.
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