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Help with horse with laminitis- underweight, hard keeper

This is a discussion on Help with horse with laminitis- underweight, hard keeper within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Teff for senior horse with no teeth
  • Feeding rice bran to underweight laminitic horse

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    05-07-2013, 12:24 AM
I had a pony that was prone to laminitis and dropped weight when he got older. Have you checked his teeth? Keep him on low sugar, low protein feed. Alfalfa is generally too rich for laminitis prone horses. We fed teff and timothy pellets with senior feed(with no molasses) and he gained the weight back without incident. Also, think about putting him on a daily laminitis preventative medicine. I mostly gave it to the pony when he got into rich foods, had extra work, or seemed a little off to me.
I didn't read everything, so sorry of there are repeated ideas!
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    05-07-2013, 12:24 AM
Alright I'll go ahead and do that and also look around for AntiFlam, though the name sure does not sound familiar.. Thank you so much for your help :) I really appreciate it
    05-07-2013, 01:01 AM
You're welcome
Big Dee's Tack & DogHouse Pet Supplies carries AntiFlam, saw the people version on Amazon.
    05-07-2013, 01:11 AM
Green Broke
I would probably take him of alfalfa completely, and switch him over to bermuda (that's what we feed) and a low starch feed. Triple Crown makes a decent low starch feed. It doesn't have alfalfa or molasses in it.
Also, does he have founder rings on his hoofs sometimes you can use those to kind of pinpoint when the issue started and deduce possible causes.
    05-07-2013, 07:49 PM
Green Broke
I'm not a vet (disclaimer) but I'd guess that a diet moderately low in starch/sugars would be OK for this horse. Giving a big bucket of grain to a starving horse is a recipe for problems, whether the horse is actually predisposed to laminitis or not.

My understanding is that high protein causing laminitis is a myth- things that are high in protein (i.e. Alfalfa) are often also high in calories, and obesity is a major risk factor in laminitis, so feeding alfalfa to an overweight horse CAN cause laminitis, but it's because of the calories, not because of the protein. In general, alfalfa is lower in sugar than most grass hays, so it should be safe to feed to an underweight horse, even one who has had a bout of laminitis.

You'd probably also be fine feeding him a moderately low NSC hard feed (<20%). Triple Crown Senior was already suggested, and is a good one for both low NSC and putting on weight. You probably already know, but be sure to make feed changes very slowly- perhaps even more slowly than you normally would, since he's already in a bit of a delicate state right now.

If you find he's not eating enough to keep putting weight on, you could add a high fat supplement like flaxseed (40% fat), rice bran (20% fat), or flaxseed/canola oil (100% fat, but some horses don't like the texture)
loosie and deserthorsewoman like this.
    05-07-2013, 07:57 PM
Green Broke
If he needs a pain med with anti inflammatory , keep him on the Bute until the VEt says stop. Ask the VEt about the Anti Flam.
Hope he heals quickly for you, and is not in a lot of pain. You can buy wraps that you freeze , any online tack place should have them.
    05-09-2013, 01:39 PM
Thank you everyone!
Update: A different vet looked at him and says there is no laminitis, but he is VERY bruised (multiple stone bruises) on the soles, and was bleeding in some spots :( . He was mostly on gravel before I got him, but recent improper farrier care definitely did not help. So I was recommended a new farrier and the horse will be given bar shoes on Monday, and his feet are being soaked with warm water, epsom salt, and DMSO until then.
    05-09-2013, 01:53 PM
Did they say why DMSO? Never heard of it being used to soak feet....honestly.......
    05-09-2013, 02:13 PM
He did not say why..but I have heard of using a mix of DMSO and iodine for thrush and white line disease. It seemed to help more with the pain, though, than just epsom salt alone.
    05-09-2013, 02:31 PM
Grass hays like timothy are low in sugars because of when it is cut. When we have cool nights and fairly warm/hot days and the growth begins that is when the sugars rise in the plant. Mornings are the highest time of sugars. So in my area it's late May/June and again in late Aug Sept for grasses. Hay is cut after the plants have reached maximum height which means the sugars are at their lowest. The thinness could be the result of pain and most animals go off their feed when pain is bad. If the horse does have laminitis then you have to keep him off pasture. I've never heard of Senior feed causing laminitis. Molasses are processed and processed. By the time it's used as a feed binder about all that's left is the taste and stickiness. What will help your horse gain weight is to stuff a small mesh hay net and let him pull it from there as this improves digestion. If you feed pellets as well put them in the biggest container you can, even an old bathtub to slow him down. He will nibble instead of sending a mouthful down which means better digestion. What appears to be bruising may be comeing from within the hoof.

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