Living conditionsTreatment and prevention

Prevention of laminitis

Horses at risk

Prevention begins with determining whether your horse belongs to a risk group. In that case, all the following information deserves extra attention.

Risk groups: ‚

  • Welsh, Exmoor, Shetland and New Forest ponies, cobs, Appaloosas and Icelandic horses ‚
  • Older horses, as they might have been exposed to risk factors longer than younger horses and often have had laminitis before ‚
  • Certain bloodlines within other breeds ‚
  • Large draught horses‚
  • Obese horses, with EMS/insulin dysregulation or PPID
  • Horses suffering from another disease, an acute infection or chronic inflammation somewhere else in the body‚
  • Mares that recently had a foal.

Preventive measures

Regardless whether your horse belongs to a risk group, the following are useful preventive measures: ‚

  • Create living conditions for your horse that are as natural as possible. ‚Preferably in a Paddock Paradise or better.
  • Feed your horse a diet low in non-structural carbohydrates
  •  Keep an eye on the weight and fat distribution of your horse.
    • A cresty neck score higher than three, combined with a body condition score higher than six results in a 75% chance of laminitis. ‚
  • Supplement magnesium if your insulin resistant horse responds well to it. ‚
  • Provide sufficient, good quality exercise. ‚
  • Keep your horse barefoot. ‚
  • Avoid toxins. ‚
  • Prevent traumatic laminitis by avoiding overloading. ‚
  • Do not breed with horses from risk groups that have suffered from laminitis more than once or for ‘inexplicable’ reasons.

Risk of reoccurrence

Look after horses that have had laminitis before extra carefully. They are at greater risk of having it again because of the following possible reasons:

  • The damaged or recovering lamellae are more susceptible to the laminitis causing factors.
  • They will experience pain in the hoof quicker due to tissue and nerve damage. Pain causes increased blood sugar levels and vasoconstriction.
  • A compacted sole provides less protection so the horse will experience more pain.
  • Not all primary or facilitative causes have completely been eliminated.