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Laminitis | Prevention & Management

May 2021

Prevention is always better than cure especially as laminitis can cause extreme pain, lameness, permanent damage to the hooves and can increase the risk of future episodes.

Laminitis monitoring and management

Management 

Management 2


Additional steps to help reduce the risk of laminitis:



Horse and person


Monitor your horse’s weight closely and react to any changes. Use a weigh tape and get hands-on by fat scoring (body condition scoring)

Alternative Grazing

Restrict grazing - Grass is a major contributor of calories in a horse’s diet. Grazing can be restricted by using electric fencing to strip graze, setting up an alternative grazing system for example a track system, or by using a grazing muzzle

No Rug Winter

Don’t keep an overweight horse unnecessarily rugged through winter as this time of year can be used as an advantage to help the horse lose weight. Instead of un-used calories being laid down as excess fat, the horse can use the calories to keep warm. Remember, weight gain more than doubles the risk of laminitis1.  

Hayball in stable

Using enrichment helps to reduce the rate of consumption, whilst making feeding interesting, for example consider using trickle feeders or hay balls.  This will also provide some additional movement for the horse.

Signs of Laminitis

Watch out for any subtle signs of laminitis – the earlier an attack is noticed, the greater the chance of aiding recovery. 


How to succeed when the grass is always greener: practical weight management for any horse

Tamzin Furtado from the University of Liverpool presents 'How to succeed when the grass is always greener: practical weight management for any horse.'


References

1) Wylie, C.E., et al 2013. Risk factors for equine laminitis: a case-control study conducted in veterinary-registered horses and ponies in Great Britain between 2009 and 2011. The Veterinary Journal, 198(1), pp.57-69.


Further Reading

Pollard, D., Wylie, C.E., Verheyen, K.L.P., Newton, J.R. (2019) Identification of modifiable factors associated with owner-reported equine laminitis in Britain using a web-based cohort study approach. BMC veterinary research, 15(1), p.59.

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