Help with horse with laminitis- underweight, hard keeper - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 05-06-2013, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Help with horse with laminitis- underweight, hard keeper

Well, I'm in a bit of a difficult situation..I have an 11 year old gelding which I had rescued about a month ago..He is still a bit thin, and is a known hard keeper. The problem is he is recovering from a case of laminitis..He is on free choice grass hay only and I'm told he will have to be like that forever, but I was wondering if anyone here had any suggestions; what is safe to feed a prone-to-laminitis hard keeper once he is fully healed, as the grass just isnt enough for him as far as weight goes?
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post #2 of 31 Old 05-06-2013, 01:58 PM
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Beet pulp with no added molasses will help him bulk up and is a safe option. If you get it from Tractor Supply it still has some molasses on it, so I do a pre soak rinse, soak them, and then rinse them again to get as much of the molasses off as possible.
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post #3 of 31 Old 05-06-2013, 02:54 PM
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Soaked alfalfa pellets, or alfalfa hay( lower in sugars than grass hay and very good for adding weight), then add a good vit/min supplement or a ration balancer, to make sure he has everything he needs, then you can add more calories with oil.
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post #4 of 31 Old 05-06-2013, 04:08 PM
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Has he had a work up from a vet to see if you can determine what caused the laminitis in the first place? Laminitis in a skinny horse could signal an underlying medical issue (or it could just be carboydrate overload from lush spring pasture!)
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post #5 of 31 Old 05-06-2013, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Our vet believes it was caused from alfalfa..thinking the protein was just too much for him at this point, and our farrier says it was caused by senior feed thinking the horse is diabetic.The person I had got the horse from had not fed him for 2 weeks then suddenly gave him a somewhat large bucket of grain in one feeding (no hay at all)..So I'm thinking it was an incident waiting to happen and either the alfalfa or senior feed set it off..
Edit: When I got him I started him slowly on grass with small amounts throughout the day, going up to free choice, with 1 and a half flakes alfalfa in the afternoon and had begun senior feed after 10 days with a handful per day, he was at 3lbs per day when the laminitis occured.

Last edited by Numaany; 05-06-2013 at 05:04 PM.
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post #6 of 31 Old 05-06-2013, 05:18 PM
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Well, the protein most likely not.
What was the time frame between the large bucket after two weeks of nothing and when signs of laminitis occurred? What body condition was he when he had the bucket of grain?
What senior feed did he eat?
What was done for the laminitis? What was he tested for, IR, EMS, Cushing's?
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post #7 of 31 Old 05-06-2013, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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It was about 3 weeks, and his body condition was a 1. A month later he is now currently about 2.5. He was eating Purina senior (recommended by the vet). For the laminitis I was told to give bute once a day and standing in cold water and mud..He has not been tested for anything as the vet did not feel it was necessary.
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post #8 of 31 Old 05-06-2013, 08:04 PM
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Oh geeeezzz....
Well, let's see.....can you get him Triple Crown senior instead of the Purina?
Google " hind gut acidosis". Im thinking starved...grain overload....hind gut acidosis and subsequent laminitis. Either way, not caused by alfalfa.
UC Davis feeds free choice alfalfa and NO GRAIN whatsoever to starved horses and it is proven safe.
How is he with his feet now? Is he still on bute? Lame? What is being done for the feet? He will have a hard time gaining weight when in constant pain.....
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post #9 of 31 Old 05-06-2013, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Yes actually the Triple Crown is what I fed another rescue I had years ago and it worked very well with no ill effects.. I just did purina per vet orders this time. I looked up hind gut acidosis and it is very possible that led to this..I have a different vet coming out tomorrow and will definitely bring that up, thanks!
This evening the horse was walking some and was not as tender-footed. He had his feet more underneath himself than the past couple days. He is eating, although his appetite is still not as strong as it should be..so I would assume he's still in a bit of pain. So far the only thing anyone has me doing for the pain is bute and soak his feet in cold water, the farrier did not put shoes or anything on him..
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post #10 of 31 Old 05-07-2013, 12:11 AM
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Styrofoam pads( gardening knee mat or such), on the back half of the foot, fastened with duct tape, should help him be a little more comfy. Once the pad flattens, just tape a new one under.
Check out AntiFlam, easier on the stomach than bute, wean him off the bute asap
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