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kiwi79 10-19-2013 01:43 AM

Would anyone ever be interested in buying a mini that has had laminitis?
My question is pretty straight forward - I have one mini mare and a gelding and I had decided to sell my mini over summer and get a second horse so that my gelding can have a constant paddock companion and I could find a home with other minis for my mare. She is kept in a dry lot during the day with evening grazing with a grazing muzzle on so she could spend some time with my gelding. However we have had a really mild winter and I have struggled to keep the dry lot completely grass-less and now my mini has laminitis :cry:
After initially being lame on one hind leg she is now sound and I have almost gotten all of the white line disease under control. I am also much stricter on her diet with no grazing at all, hay only and daily gentle exercise to try and get her weight down.
She is having x-rays done next week to determine whether there has been any rotation within her feet and I am praying that it didnt get that far. Depending on the results I would still like to look at re-homing her to somewhere with other minis, ideally that live on a track system with no grass. But I have no idea whether anyone would be interested in her, she would make a lovely show pony or brood mare, has anyone else in the mini world purchased one with a history of laminitis? I have owned her for 3 years and she has been fine up till now. I would not want any money for her provided her new home was perfect (which I would visit first to make sure).
If there was no interest in her then I would of course keep her here and manage the situation myself but I would love for her to have a mini buddy and dont have the space or time for 4 horses.
Many thanks for any thoughts on this.

LittlemanRob 10-20-2013 10:15 AM

Selling her for money would be tough but someone might take her because they want to help her or have a her as a buddy for another mini.

My wifes mom took on a shetland with lots of issues and she'll stay there until she dies. I've taken on many animals over the years with various problems myself, including my current filly.

kiwi79 10-20-2013 08:38 PM

Thanks Rob, yes I probably shouldn't have put the word 'buy' in the title because I'm not interested in getting any money. Also to correct myself - if the home was not going to suit her but they offered money she would not be going anywhere.
I have seen one or two properties around that have ideal set ups for minis, they have a number of them in a herd living on a grass-less track system and that is the sort of home I want her to go to where she has constant companionship and no grass. Maybe I should do some door-knocking before I do anything else.
I am working on getting a track system set up here but our pasture is really steep in some places which makes it next to impossible to set up a simple one around the perimeter of our paddocks. It is also really hard to keep it grass-less here with only 2 horses so she couldnt be on it full time, probably only at night with a grazing muzzle on and on a dry lot during the day.

Endiku 10-20-2013 10:29 PM

It depends on the level of rotation.

I bought my miniature mare as a four year old knowing that she'd had a bout of laminitis as a 6 month old (someone was feeding her sweet feed and grass >.>) but xrays showed that it only minimally affected her bones, so I went ahead and bought her. She has thus far been sound and I keep her on a VERY strict diet (grass hay, ration balancer, NO grass EVER). She has even been worked fairly heavily as a cart pony without any signs of discomfort in her legs. I'd buy another one if I had proof that the damage was minimal or had been reversed.

kiwi79 10-21-2013 03:31 AM

Thanks Ediku
X-rays are scheduled for the end of the week and I'm really hoping the damage is minimal.
Do you have just the one mini or more and what do you do exercise wise on a regular basis? I have been walking her twice a day with short bursts of trotting but as the ground is quite hard right now I don't want to push her too much until the x-rays are back.

Endiku 10-21-2013 10:03 PM

Just one. Right now she's pretty much just being a lazy turd in a dry lot because I don't have much time to work with her, but last winter and spring I had her lunging (30' radius circle) w-t and a little canter for 15-20 minutes or so per day on days that she wasn't being driven, and I drove her w-t for 30-45 minutes on the days that I did drive. She got Sundays off though.

Viranh 10-21-2013 11:30 PM

I would definitely consider taking on a second pony with laminitis because then he/she could be a good companion to my current one. Having another horse that can go out and graze and doesn't vacuum up food hasn't worked so well. My mean pony steals their food and gets upset when they go out in the pasture without her. I would be careful not to take another that currently needed frequent x-rays and corrective shoeing, however. If there's too much damage for careful management of diet and a good barefoot trim to handle, then I would pass.

kiwi79 10-22-2013 01:15 AM

Thanks for your replies. Once I have the xrays back and know what I'm dealing with I will get some advice from the vet on how much exercise she should be doing and whether lunging would be ok. I want to ask my neighbour if I can use their arena so the footing will be much softer for her and takes away the temptation of grass.
Its nice to know that there are people that would consider a mini with laminitic issues (providing she hasnt foundered of course) and that would be useful as buddies for other horses with the same problem.
I feel so awful watching her standing at the tape watching her mate grazing. I was hoping that he would help get the grass even shorter when he goes in with her but he refuses to attempt to eat grass that is pretty much non-existent. I think my next option is to spray the grass off completely in her area which my partner isn't too happy about but will help me control her diet even more.

Endiku 10-22-2013 11:57 AM

Definitely make sure her hooves are ok/not sore at all and that your vet gives the OK before lunging. Softer footing is a good idea; I usually lunged my girl in soft dirt or sand and always made sure she warmed up and cooled down sufficiently. I never had a problem with her being sore afterwards, or I would have eased off considerably.

It is sad that they can't have grass isn't it? I've taken to giving my mare a handful of alfalfa pellets as her 'treat' instead of grass every now and then, but its not the same thing. I'm not sure that she even remembers what grass tastes like.

kiwi79 10-29-2013 02:34 AM

Very happy to report that her x-rays have come back with no rotation or changes to the bones. I am so relieved and am seeing this as a real wake-up call to improve her diet, exercise and living environment. At this stage while I am still waiting to get the vet check done on my possible third horse I am working on getting my track system set up so she can eventually spend at least nights out on the track with the other horses.
Someone made a good point to me that if I was to picture her as a full size horse would I think she was over-weight which I definitely would. Am so used to seeing ponies/minis being fat as normal that I really wasn't seeing the extra weight she is carrying.

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