I have a 20 yr old horse who foundered a year ago. He's rideable in hoof boots but his bare feet are still tender, even in the crushed stone (screenings) that he's been walking over multiple times a day barefoot for the last year. Some days are worse than others. I've had him on Quiessence for awhile but it doesn't really seem to do anything. Has anybody tried Formula 4 Feet? How about Remission? Any other laminitis supplements?
Rather than laminitis supplements which aren't PROVEN to do anything, you need to focus on why your horse developed laminitis in the first place. At 20 years old, it's possible that your horse has insulin resistance and/or Cushings disease. Both of these conditions increase the risk of laminitis.
You need to talk to your vet about both of these conditions and see if he recommends testing for them or simply changing your horse's diet to help minimize the risk of further bouts of laminitis. And besides laminitis be aware that these two conditions cause changes in multiple body systems which make your horse more susceptible to disease if appropriate steps aren't taken to control the conditions.
Thanks Ryle. It was caused by feeding green hay just cut from the field and being out on lush pasture at the same time. I'm working on changing his diet. He's very allergic to alfalfa so that rules out senior feeds...it seems every single one has alfalfa meal in it. I'm looking at low starch formulas and it seems so far the only one he can have is Triple Crown Low Starch. He currently only gets like one and a half handfulls of Buckeye Race 'N Win AM and PM...just enough to get his supplements in him. I just recently noticed he's losing a little weight along his topline. His hay isn't the best quality and due to his founder I can't feed him more of this high sugar feed to help replace the nutrients he's not getting from his hay. That's another reason I'm working on finding a more digestible low sugar feed he can have. Thanks for the reply though and I probably will call a vet out to test for Cushings because I know allergy horses are prone to getting it, and he's allergic to 30 some different things.
The reason that changes in hay and lush pasture cause laminitis is generally tied into insulin resistance and/or Cushings. It's not just that the pasture or hay has high non-structural carbs or sugars....it's that something is going on in that particular body to cause a bad reaction to increases in those.
Allergic horses aren't "prone to getting Cushings". In fact I've not seen any reliable information tying allergies to Cushings in any way. Where did you find that info?
Agree with Ryle, that 'laminitis supps' are largely useless. But balanced nutrition is important, so a *good* complete supp is probably a good idea. I'm far from a nutritional expert, so would advise a service/program such as FeedXL.com or such(which I subscribe to & find fantastic), to work out what exactly you need to supp & also to have an equine nutritionist's brains to pick. Another great source of info specifically about feeding lami-prone beasties is safergrass.org
Agree also that you need to work out the cause of the prob. I disagree that it *necessarily* indicates IR or such if the horse developed lami from rich grass. The common pastures which have been developed for fattening cattle & the likes are often problematic for horses, not built to cope with such a rich diet.
If your horse did actually *founder*, rather than just have a laminitis attack, this means that the lami was likely an ongoing problem for some time prior to the recognition of it. Founder is the mechanical changes in the hoof that *begin* with inflammation & weakening of the laminae. Also if he is foundered, there are likely other problems with his hoofcare & management that are contributing to his troubles. Some hoof pix would give us an idea of these problems, if you wish to post some for critique.
Almost forgot to add... regarding tenderness, this may well be due to thin soles/founder. It may also be due to heel pain, which is common, esp in foundered horses. As well as correcting his diet & keeping him *well* trimmed, it's important to make management changes that ensure he gets a lot of exercise, but ensuring he's comfortable enough to use his feet properly to do it. It's also important to treat/rule out infection(thrush or such) causing or contributing to the discomfort.
Ryle...I know it's not the allergies per se that make him prone to cushings but rather the steroids such as dex that are used to help control it. He's been on allergy shots for 4 years now and they've helped tremendously so he hasn't needed dex very often the past 2 years but before that he was getting it every day. We've managed to control the food related allergies but there are still plenty of environmental allergies that obviously I have no control over :) Since he has had laminitis I really don't use dex unless absolutely necessary since I know it aggravates laminitis. The vet is scheduled to come out on the 4th to do a Cushing's/Insulin Resistance test. I kind of figured it might be that before but as I'm sure you know money is tight right now.
loosie... He had laminitis, not founder, but I just call it that cause I know alot of people think it's the same thing. I'm sure that it has been ongoing because he's had intermittent unexplained mild lameness for about 2 years. The xrays kept coming up clean so I just assumed it was joint related and started him on joint supplements which didn't help. That's when I looked more into it maybe being laminitis, called the vet and he confirmed. His shoes were pulled when they started giving him corns a year ago and since then I've been using a Natural Trimmer every 4 weeks who backed the toes up and gave him a huge Mustang roll so he could break over easier. He was immediately moving better than he was in shoes, and I think the tenderness has EVERYTHING to do with the thin soles and laminitis. The right foot is more tender and that's the foot that had the worse laminitis and it's the foot that isn't getting the concave shape it's supposed to get when barefoot, telling me there's an issue with the coffin bone and its connective tissue. Thanks for the response and the websites, I'll have to check them out. Hopefully I can get to the root of the problem and fix it cause I'm sure he has many good riding years left in him.
For "feed", you might consider a hay pellet. Most feed stores can order blended pellets that do not contain alfalfa, like Timothy/Bermuda.
Or, you might consider replacing all or most of his hay with a product like TC's Safe Starch.
Triple Crown Nutrition - Safe Starch
Horsetech.com can build you a supplement around that, to fill in any gaps without over-doing it.
could I just put in a question? I've been reading here above and in another thread that magnesium is good for preventing laminitis and/or to help with insuline resistance? Could someone tell me more about that? Maybe with some source to scientific experimentations?
Thank you in advance!
With regard to specific research done on lami/founder, I remember reading a study done on Epsom Salts, and also some kind of slow release mag. pellets, which apparently aren't digested until they get to the hind gut, where they can act on the excess sugars & lactic acid... or some such. There was something about, in IR horses this can help, but if the horse is laminitic for some other reason it is useless. The equine nutritionist I consult said that it wouldn't benefit my horses, of whome I was thinking of using it as a preventative measure. I remember reading another article or 2 on it, then must have forgotten it. But as a hoof care practitioner, I should know more about it. 'FounderGuard' is one of the brands of the stuff.
Magnesium is definitely *one of* the essential nutrients needed for healthy hooves(among many other functions), as is biotin, for eg. It is also one generally deficient in horse's diets. Therefore yes, it may well be helpful to supplement it anyway. BUT it is only one of many, and nutrients also need to be well balanced with eachother, so I think it's important to know what the horse is getting to start with(do at least a basic feed/pasture analysis), and I like to feed a *good* complete supp, rather than individual elements. Also easier & cheaper.
Thanks luvs2ride...I've actually been emailing Triple Crown regarding that particular feed and I've decided to pick some up tomorrow to try it. So far it looks good, no alfalfa, low sugar and starch, and lots of beet pulp. Pretty much just what I was looking for! I will look on all these nutrition sites people are mentioning, I have been looking at complete supplements the last few days so I'm sure I'll start him on that too.
As far as magnesium helping laminitis I've had my guy on Quiessence, which is a magnesium and chromium supplement for laminitis, for 5 months now and it doesn't seem to be helping. I give him the recommended dose but obviously there's something else going on. I did notice pretty much all laminitis supplements out there use magnesium and usually chromium so there must be some kind of connection...it just didn't work for him.
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