Spring and the Laminitis-prone horse

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Spring and the Laminitis-prone horse

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    03-24-2011, 11:22 PM
Spring and the Laminitis-prone horse

My horse had a major laminitis attack 4 years ago (no rotation of the coffin bone though, so I don't consider him "foundered"), and judging by his hooves when I got him in the fall, he had some smaller attacks Spring of 2010.

This is my first spring with him, so I am insanely nervous and am trying to get some advice on what to do. When I got him (september), he was fatter than albert. He was an absolute pig. Supposedly, his previous owners only let him out on grass a few 5-15 minutes a day, and had him on Safe Choice feeds. He was also getting zero excersize.

Currently, he is in good condition, maybe a bit lighter than he could be, but definitely at a healthy weight. He gets about 10-15 lbs of hay per day, and I just switched him from Patriot grain to a balancer.. and he gets flax seed for coat condition. The green grass is starting to come up a tiny bit where he is now. I am about to move him to my house, and there is quite a bit more green (though not a whole lot because we have a calf lol). He will be getting moderate excersize. I am getting him into dressage training so he will be ridden 3-5 times per week, maybe more.

I'd like to hear your thoughts about what safe turnout would be. I have some smaller lots that I could put him in that have just a bit of grass if any.

They can get laminitis attacks just from the richness of the grass, they don't have to be overweight, right?

Thanks! I've been reading around but can't seem to decide the safest way to go about things.
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    03-24-2011, 11:29 PM
We just had a horse foundered (could hardly walk) and we put her back on cimetidine to prevent ulcers from the anti-inflammatory meds and the anti histamine properties in the cimetidine did absolute wonders for this horse!

I would just get a grazing muzzle but if he starts to act lamenitic put him on the cimetidine.
    03-24-2011, 11:47 PM
Super Moderator
Lacey is also prone to attacks of laminitis (she sounds very similar to your guy, no rotation of the coffin bone but has had "episodes"). What I do with her is I make sure she stays a stable weight, not chubby, not skinny (she's a little chubby right now but we're working on it...) and I keep her in daily light exercise. On M/T/TH I lunge her (all gaits) or ride her for at least 20 minutes and on W/F/ST/Su she spends at least 30 minutes each day walking around giving lessons.
Basically, I try to get her moving enough that she processes the sugars she's ingesting. Hopefully someone who can explain better will come along, but the sugars in grass are the "bad guys". And overload of those sugars is what causes a lamanitic attack, so I keep Lacey in more rigorous exercise so that those sugars cannot build up and are instead processed since her body needs them. So far, I haven't had any trouble.
But if you're worried, I would definitely invest in a grazing muzzle. I have one that I keep on hand, I haven't had to use it yet, but I don't want a day to come where I need one but I don't have one, you know?
I'm also feeding her a ration balancer on the recommendation of this forum to help her process things even better!

I have found this website to be super helpful in educating me about laminitis and all that, perhaps you've found it already...:
Kathy Watts | Articles

Good luck! I think laminitis is a super scary thing, but with the right kind of management, I've found that it's really not nearly as scary as I first thought. And "the right management" isn't even that hard!
    03-24-2011, 11:59 PM
Yes, I have seen that site before but am reading through it now, finding some very useful stuff. Thanks!

I didn't even think about a grazing muzzle! I would feel better about that then making him stay in a small lot.

I'll just have to watch him to see if he is such an air fern with good excersize.
    03-25-2011, 01:21 AM
Green Broke
Keep your pasture mowed, and/or get him a grazing muzzle. Exercise him as much as possible to help keep that sugar going through him. You might also consider putting him on a supplement like Quiessence to help him better metabolize what sugars he does eat. Keeping him on a good trimming schedule is important too.

Good luck!
    03-25-2011, 01:26 AM
If you are going to allow pasture time, limiting when he grazes is most important. Sugars will be lowest first thing in the morning until mid morning than they start to build as the day goes on. They will be highest at dark. Even with a muzzle you will not regulate when he eats just how much. If he's nibbling on super high sugar grasses late in the afternoon, you're setting him up to founder again. Don't feed sorry for dry lotting him for his own good.

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