Subclinical laminitis now what? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 92 Old 05-20-2019, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Subclinical laminitis now what?

So vet was out for rabies vaccinations coggins testing. Had a lameness exam done on my gelding he is off on fronts. I wasn't picking up on it. Him not liking having feet shod had a reason.

Also has thin soles not surprising Farrier totally missed this.

He has subclinical laminitis probably has for a while. Now what? How do I prevent full blown laminitis attack?

He's on dry lot and no riding for now.
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post #2 of 92 Old 05-20-2019, 04:00 PM
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Start standard laminitis protocol. Dry lot - no fresh green grass, hose feet or soak to take heat out. Move to a low starch feed. When he is over this bout always graze in the very early mornings and with a grazing muzzle. Lost of exercise when he is feeling up to it.

Evaluate what you are currently feeding and make adjustments. Grass hay is good - some alfalfa can be fed. Some of his maintenance will be trial and error until you find out what works best for him. low starch feed and hay are best

Good luck. We have a mare that was severely foundered and had been foundering for years and previous owner never realized it (she was a pasture puff) until the day she foundered severely in all 4's. We brought her home and manager her with a grazing muzzle and limited time on pasture - and she has done very well for us.
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post #3 of 92 Old 05-20-2019, 06:43 PM
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It's best to have your hay tested-- some grass hay can be very high in sugars.

Here's a good place to start: Katy Watts |

Some horses do ok with some grass, others do not. My easy-keeper Paso Fino does fine on pasture, but he gets a ration balancer rather than grain and it's old native pasture; not modern jet fuel dairy/feeder cow pasture, like many seed mixes are. One of my old Quarter Horses was founder prone, and he did fine on full turnout on 29 acres of native pasture, but a few hours on another pasture would have him starting to get sore.

Most traditional horse grains are out. Oats, corn, sweet feed, etc. are usually non-indicated for laminitic horses. Low-starch feeds are important. If you MUST feed grain, find something low-starch, but most horses don't NEED grain if they have adequate, nutritious hay and a suitable vitamin supplement.

Your type of forage is important. Most of our hay is off those native pastures and we try to cut it when it's not stressed to keep the NSC content down for the good of all of the horses eating it. If you purchase your hay, it's best to have it tested so you know what you're getting.

Alfalfa gets a bad rap, but some alfalfa is better and lower in NSC's than some grass hays. I'm glad you got some answers. This horse's feet and movement show the signs, and now you know and can get him treated and managed.
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post #4 of 92 Old 05-20-2019, 07:22 PM
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Some of the hoof gurus compare the phrase subclinical laminitis to the phrase, a little bit pregnant. If your horse has inflammatjon in the lamina, then he has lamin (lamina) itis (inflammation). Laminitis has multiple causes, including mechanical. You mentioned two things, one being thin soled, the other suggesting deferred farrier work. What comes to my mind is long toes and underrun heels. This condition will thin the sole. If the heels are out of function they may be painful, causing toe first landing. If toe first landing, combined with leverage from long toes, the lamina will tear.

Just suggesting a possible source of trouble.
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post #5 of 92 Old 05-20-2019, 08:57 PM
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First, most of the advice is relating to your horse being insulin resistant and having issues with feed. Since I've read your other threads, I'm assuming this is the horse you're treating for Lyme disease.

It is of course possible that the laminitis is related to the hoof trimming and/or diet. However, it seems quite likely the laminitis might be related to the treatment for Lyme.
The latter is an important consideration, because laminitis is a rare but possible side effect of Lyme disease and treatment. "When the antibiotics are first started, the spirochetes die off in bulk," says Bushmich. "The toxins released by all those dying bacteria can cause laminitis. It only happens in less than 1 percent of horses treated, but you still must watch out for it. Feel those hooves for heat several times daily for the first few days of treatment, and if he shows any pain or lameness there, begin treatment for laminitis immediately."
If this laminitis is related to inflammation from the Lyme treatment, it could be important to treat with anti-inflammatories such as Bute for a week or two to prevent further hoof damage. I'd definitely ask your vet about this!!

Also (not meant to be offensive, at all) I would not call the laminitis subclinical because you haven't noticed it, since in the video posted it was evident the horse was lame. A horse visibly lame to the experienced eye with shoes on would not be considered subclinical, but definitely as a serious laminitis case. I'd keep in mind that the pain that is causing the horse to limp is due to damage being caused to the laminae of the hooves. This damage will affect the hooves more since he already has thin soles and a poor hoof form.

If the laminitis is due to inflammation from the Lyme, the damage could be just starting over the past few days or week, and that damage can get worse if the coffin bone has loosened in the hoof and is now sinking toward the ground. Not trying to be overly negative but you should understand that this can be extremely serious. A horse that is appearing slightly lame at the moment may be heading toward severe pain and lameness in the next week to two weeks if the condition progresses.

Sometimes that is unstoppable no matter what you do, depending on how the body responds. That's why I'd try to stop the inflammation as soon as possible. Make sure the horse does not run or stress those very fragile laminae right now.

Definitely stop any grain just in case and since you won't be able to test your hay soon enough, you can soak his ration for an hour before feeding it. Don't soak for more than an hour or the hay will lose the nutrition and he'll become malnourished. Wetting does not remove the sugars, the hay needs to be submerged and then drained after an hour. Many people use large tupperware tubs or buckets. Make sure your dry lot is not large enough for your horse to run around but only walk.

Edit: Sole pressure on soft ground can be extremely important to keep the coffin bone from sinking. If the horse is still peripherally loaded with shoes and long hoof walls, I'd get the shoes off and a trim ASAP. It could save the hooves from having as much damage, and also you will be able to assess better the pain level that the horse has. If the horse is very sore on soft ground or bedding with no shoes on, that is his actual pain level from the laminitis.
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post #6 of 92 Old 05-20-2019, 10:04 PM
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In addition to what others have said (and agree with getting his feet up to par) subclinical I would treat preventatively vs aggressively. I wouldn't hose or give meds etc. I would adjust his diet if needed, figure out and address any possible triggers (poor shoeing), adjust his work accordingly. I might ice (better then hosing) after a workout or if concerned, it won't hurt, but you're not "treating" this as much as you are addressing it. The big thing with laminitis is how different the treatment/management is depending on what is going on. I don't remember have you posted a shoeing critique for this guy?
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post #7 of 92 Old 05-20-2019, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Vet thinks it's related to the lyme treatment. Hay is native grass hay which is low sugar. He doesn't eat or like any kind of feed grain or pellets. Feet had no heat digital pulse was only a little elevated. He was put on bute for a week.

He's not metabolic no ir.

No rotation no sinking on xrays. vet said subclinical laminitis horse was not that lame sore today.

Still has shoes on farrier has yet to call back.

Last edited by rambo99; 05-20-2019 at 10:12 PM.
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post #8 of 92 Old 05-20-2019, 10:20 PM
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I wouldn't think it would be related to the treatment?? But could definitely be related to a tickborne disease. If that's the case then yes, I would treat more aggressively (bute then ice- though if this is the horse with gut issues be careful with the bute). I wouldn't treat it as chronic if you suspect and can fix the cause.
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post #9 of 92 Old 05-20-2019, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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It's from the Lyme disease and the bugs dieing off. Gut issues are not an issue right now. He needs a good trim and vet thinks he should be fine.

@Yogiwick did a hoof critique on a different post. Pictures are deleted though.
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post #10 of 92 Old 05-21-2019, 12:19 PM
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Can you post the xrays too? I’m curious about the Lyme/laminitis connection given what @gottatrot linked to. When one of my 3 mates treated for Lyme, we did see a clear “ripple” appear in her feet as the hoof grew out post-treatment. No one ever suggested a connection between Lyme and laminitis to me then, even when we saw that change, but it makes me wonder. I’d love to see what’s going on in your horses feet now, as I am constantly trying to stay on top of what people learn and experience with Lyme.
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