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Laminitis Questions

Laminitis is a disease of the hoof which most commonly affects horses and cows. The most common signs of laminitis may include tenderness of the hoof which may develop into the inability to walk. Inflammation occurs and there is noticeable heat in hoof. Pain is very much a symptom of laminitis which may be treated by medication. To learn more about laminitis and available treatments, take a look below at the questions that have been answered by Experts.

Is there a way to comfort a miniature horse recovering from laminitis?

When dealing with laminitis, the disease may affect each individual horse differently making it very difficult to treat.

There are a few steps that can be taken by the owner to ensure some degree of comfort for the horse suffering with laminitis. When prepping the horses stall, many people put about 5 inches of sand in the stall. The sand provides a source of support for the hoof by giving under the pressure of the hoof. There is little resistance offered by the sand which may prove very therapeutic for the horse. Of course a miniature horse may require less sand as the horse is much lighter than the average horse.

When providing pain relief for the horse Bute may be a good option. When properly dosed, Bute may provide effective pain relief without causing harm to the horse's stomach. Many horse owners give hefty doses of Bute which may cause stomach ulcers. This type of dosing is generally not encouraged. When dosing Bute, one may consider using the lowest effective amount for long term use. If the horse owner is unsure of the safest dose for their horse, a veterinarian may be able to assist with proper dosage.

What would mimic tying up or laminitis?

There may be many conditions that may present such symptomatic behavior. Tying up or laminitis are usually the first two conditions that need to be investigated. If the horse doesn't appear to have tender feet, there may be a metabolic issue such as rhabdomyolysis (a condition very similar to tying up). Another possibility may be related to a dietary issue which may have caused a low sodium level and a high potassium level.

In certain areas of the United States there may be a possibility of a tick born disease which may present similar symptoms. However there is usually less concern if the horse is located in a region where winters kill out tick populations.

While there are many other possibilities, without blood work there is little reason to cover the unlimited causes. Once a veterinarian has drawn blood and completed a thorough examination of the horse, many of the possible causes may be ruled out.

Until a diagnosis can be made, the owner may provide an anti-inflammatory to ease any discomfort the horse may be experiencing.

Is laminitis in a horse curable?

While laminitis is a rather frustrating disease to treat, it may be possible to return an afflicted horse back to proper soundness. However the odds of this occurring tend to decline if the disease is left untreated for an extended amount of time. The sooner a horse receives treatment that involves anti-inflammatory therapy, diet change and stall confinement to reduce movement, the better chance the horse has of returning to full soundness. There are other treatments that may be required such as specialized trimming of the hooves and additional medications. Padding may be placed on the hooves if the horse hasn't responded to the therapy within a few days. The padding may add more comfort for the horse while recovering.

What hay should be fed to a laminitis prone horse?

Generally the most important thing a horse owner can do for a horse prone to laminitis is to avoid overfeed the animal. A body score between 2.5 -3 is generally the most beneficial. To determine this body score average would be to run the hands along the horse's side. One should be able to feel the ribs but not really see them. A weight tape may also help when trying to maintain a consistent weight. Typical hay rations would consist of long fibrous content hay of good quality. The horse should have high quality hay but with less amounts being fed. Good grass hay works well and some people choose to feed a grass/alfalfa mix. The trick is to avoid over feeding the horse.

While most horse owners strive to provide the best care for their horses, laminitis may occur. Treating a horse with laminitis may be very difficult and many horse health questions may arise. If a person has questions or concerns regarding laminitis, the person should ask an Expert for experienced horse health insight.
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