Horses require a minimum of 1.5% of their bodyweight in roughage per day for optimal health and wellbeing. For a laminitic prone horse/pony, low sugar roughage sources may include Teff hay, Rhodes grass hay, lucerne hay, beet pulp or soaked grass hay.
How much hay to feed a laminitic horse?
- How much hay do you feed a laminitic horse? Feed: Hay – feed approx. 1.5-2% bodyweight hay (depending on whether weight loss is needed (1.5%) or not (2%), so 7.5-10 kg for a 500 kg horse, 3.75-5 kg for a 250 kg pony), soaked for at least 1 hour then drained to reduce sugars (or analysed to show combined sugar/starch no more than 10%).
What do you feed a laminitic horse?
Hay is likely to form the bulk of the diet for an EMS/PPID/laminitic horse. Late cut, native species grass hay is likely to have lower sugar levels than early cut improved species (e.g. ryegrass) grass hay. High fibre haylage may also be suitable.
What is the best feed for laminitis?
Forage: High quality grass hay is the ideal forage for a horse prone to laminitis. Feed: A product specially formulated for metabolic issues or a ration balancer are the best bet to feed your laminitic horse.
Can you feed oats to a horse with laminitis?
Although horses with acute (active) laminitis should not be fed whole oats, there is increasing awareness that horses that have had a history of laminitis in the past can be safely fed whole oats. This is due to the fact that the starch in oats is highly digestible. horse should not receive more than 5 lbs.
Can you feed alfalfa to horses with laminitis?
Feeding and Management Feeds with a combined sugar and starch content of less than 10% should be fed to horses with laminitis. If horses are underweight and need to gain condition, consider adding alfalfa-based forages as they contain more calories per pound, but are low in sugars and starches.
Can you feed carrots to a horse with laminitis?
Carrots and apples are full of sugar so raises the blood-sugar levels and shouldn’t be fed to laminitics.
What can you do for a horse with laminitis?
In cases of laminitis associated with inflammation, the short term (3 days) use of ice to cool the feet may be beneficial.
- Foot support is a vital part of the treatment to help to limit movement of the pedal bone and to reduce the pain experienced by the horse.
- Box rest along with dietary changes are important factors.
Can a horse with laminitis eat grass?
High amounts of sugars in grasses can bring about laminitis in horses susceptible to the disease. Susceptible horses should have limited grazing or no grazing. If you do graze, do it between 3 a.m. and 10 a.m. Carefully select pasture plants.
Is copra safe for laminitic horses?
CoolStance copra is a safe feed for all horses including those suffering with, or at risk of laminitis. CoolStance copra contains less than 1% starch and less than 10% non-structural carbohydrate (NSC), meaning it will not cause acidosis related or endocrinopathic laminitis.
Can you feed alfalfa to a foundered horse?
Because alfalfa hay is more nutrient dense than typical grass hay, more care needs to be taken when feeding alfalfa. Alfalfa hay can cause horses to founder and develop laminitis due to the excess nutrients provided by the high quality hay if too much is fed.
How do you put weight on a horse with laminitis?
If the goal is to gain weight you should:
- Provide your horse with access to as much low sugar pasture or hay as it wants to eat.
- Feed a low sugar complete feed at the recommended rates for your horse’s bodyweight and current activity.
- If additional weight gain is needed add some oil to the diet.
How long is box rest for laminitis?
The standard advice is 30 days of box rest after the horse or pony is moving around the stable freely, but this may vary depending on the affected animal’s condition. Some horses that founder may have to be stabled for up to a year after the initial bout of laminitis.
Should I feed my horse beet pulp?
Beet pulp is an excellent ingredient for complete horse feeds, where no hay or a limited amount of hay or pasture is fed, such as feeds for older horses or horses with respiratory problems such as heaves.
Is beet pulp good for horses with laminitis?
Laminitis horses often cannot tolerate alfalfa so using a pure unmollased beet pulp is a good choice. Beet pulp can absorb 4 times its dry weight in water, which results in a high volume but low calorie meal and a good way to get extra water and supplements into the horse.
Can you feed beet pulp to a horse with laminitis?
A supplement containing protein, vitamins, and minerals will help the horse heal damaged tissues. For thin laminitic horses, consider providing calories from beet pulp (without molasses), alfalfa hay or cubes, soy hulls, or vegetable oil.
What is the best hay for a horse with laminitis?
Generally, a mixture of grass hay and alfalfa is the best hay combination for horses prone to laminitis.
The Latest on Feeding Laminitic Horses – The Horse
Fundamental concepts of feeding laminitic horses are well-established. These include: Avoid high-sugar and high-starch diets, as well as excessively lush green grass. Recent research, on the other hand, has provided us with even more insight into how to manage horses that are suffering with or are at risk of developing laminitis. The first and most important step is to identify horses and ponies that are at risk of acquiring this deadly hoof disease, monitor them, and alter the way we manage them on a daily basis to help prevent it from occurring.
Laminitis Risk Factors
It is an inflammatory illness of the laminae, which are leaflike structures that support the coffin bone and allow it to move freely within the foot. In severe situations, the laminae might collapse and detach from the coffin bone and the hoof wall, resulting in the bone rotating or sinking in the coffin. For the Laminitis Research Working Group of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), Michelle Coleman, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, of Texas A M University’s (TAMU) College of Veterinary MedicineBiomedical Sciences in College Station, served as research coordinator.
This group of instances was compared to 198 healthy horses and 153 horses that were Grade 3 to 5 lame in one forelimb and had no history of laminitis, respectively.
“We discovered that obesity was one of the most significant risk factors,” says Coleman, who works as an assistant professor of large animal internal medicine at Texas A&M University.
Those horses with a body condition score (BCS) of 7 or higher on the 1-9 Henneke scale or with generalized or regional adiposity (fat distribution all over or in specific areas) are at a higher risk of developing pasture- and endocrinopathy-associated laminitis, according to the findings of the study (PEAL).
- Horses with high body morphometrics, including the body condition score, generalized and localized adiposity, and decreased height (as in a pony) should be considered for equine Cushing’s disease. Other risk factors include: recent diet or stabling changes
- Exposure to lush pasture
- Endocrine disease, such as pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID, or equine Cushing’s disease)
- And glucocorticoid administration Although just 6 percent of the horses tested fit the requirements, Coleman emphasized that greater proof of this possibility was required.
According to Nicholas Frank, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, professor of large animal internal medicine at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Grafton, Massachusetts, “that study provides us with additional evidence that the hormonal situation of the horse is important to consider when assessing laminitis risk.” Veterinarians are already aware of the link between fat and insulin resistance, as well as the presence of EMS in many laminitic patients.
- When glucose enters the circulation after a meal, the pancreas normally generates the hormone insulin, which allows cells to store and utilise glucose as an energy source and for metabolic functions in the body.
- As a result, the pancreas generates increasing amounts of insulin in an attempt to keep blood glucose concentrations within normal ranges.
- In the context of insulin dysregulation, insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia are both considered to be pathological.
- Diabetes is a component of EMS, which is analogous to the human metabolic syndrome in terms of insulin dysregulation.
- It is recommended by Frank that horse owners have their veterinarians undertake wellness examinations on their horses that fall into any of these high-risk groups at least once a year and/or whenever management changes.
- According to Frank, these tests often cost between $100 and $300.
In Frank’s opinion, “many horses who encounter high insulin concentrations may be extremely well-managed, and we can truly handle these difficulties.” This is encouraging news since it means that we can make a positive difference in the horse’s status via appropriate management.
Diet to the Rescue
According to Coleman, diet and exercise are the most effective ways for horse owners to manage their horses’ weight in order to prevent laminitis. It’s possible that exercise will not be possible in the laminitic horse, which means that a proper diet will be essential, says the author. She advises horse owners to feed their at-risk or laminitic horses in accordance with the animals’ energy requirements and to avoid overfeeding their equine friends. Prevent nonstructural carbohydrates (NSCs) from dominating your diet by avoiding foods high in glucose, fructose, sucrose, lactose, and starch, among other things.
ECVCN, MRCVS, an equine nutritionist specialist who manages the equine research program for the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition, in Leicestershire, United Kingdom, while many people recommend soaking hay and dumping the sugary water before feeding, the amount of water-soluble carbohydrate (WSC, which is composed of sugars and fructan) content that is reduced depends on the amount of sugar and fructan in Soaking can result in nutrient and even dry matter loss, which is important for horses who are prone to laminitis or who are participating in a weight-loss program.
- It has also been shown to enhance the bacterial load in hay.
- In addition, Frank recommends that owners provide a balanced vitamin/mineral supplement to those forage diets that are deficient in nutrients.
- These horses include those who are still able to exercise and those who are not.
- When it comes to fat sources, “vegetable oil is preferable to maize oil,” according to Frank.
- Even though more research is needed to determine the effects of omega-3 fatty acids, researchers at Colorado State University examined the effects of supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids from both a marine source and a flax source in a 2013 study.
- Another study out of the M.H.
Because of all of these complexities, Frank recommends that owners of at-risk horses seek advice from a veterinarian or nutritionist about their horses’ diets.
Another risk factor for getting laminitis in horses is a sudden shift in the amount of grass they eat. The researchers discovered that enabling a previously pasture-restricted horse to have free-choice grass, or relocating the horse to a new or larger paddock, increased the chance of a new laminitis case by 40.5 times over the course of a year in a study of Danish horses with and without laminitis. Horses in high-quality fields, such as those with thick, well-managed, and fast-growing grass, were 19 times more likely to suffer laminitis than horses on poor-quality fields, according to the study.
According to the researchers, “it is not obvious if this is related to disruptions in gut microbiota or insulin dynamics, or a mix of the two or some other variables.” Coleman, like many other horse experts, warns horse owners about their horses’ grass intake.
Tips for Preventing Laminitis
While it comes to avoiding laminitis, Harris advises that owners use extra caution when switching forage kinds (fresh or stored). As she points out, “it might take many weeks to complete the transition.” Farmers should avoid allowing breeds susceptible to laminitis free access to pasture, especially on high-quality pasture; in certain cases, these animals should not even be allowed to graze at all, says Harris. Owners should replace pasture with hay that has less than 10 percent WSC on a dry matter basis, or use an appropriate forage replacer to manage calorie and WSC consumption while enabling horses to keep their natural browsing (forage ingestion) behavior under such conditions.
- Frank notes that stalling a horse is rarely recommended since the isolation generates stress, which might cause insulin concentrations to rise.
- It is recommended to use a grazing muzzle if a grass-free paddock isn’t accessible, according to Coleman.
- During a three-hour outing, they discovered that WSC intake reduced considerably in muzzled horses compared to unmuzzled ponies.
- Diet is important, but it’s not the only thing.
- A 2016 research by De Laat et al.
- When one of the doors to the feeder closed, they had to travel around a fence to the other side of the feeder in order to keep feeding.
- The ponies’ body condition and cresty neck scores were improved as a result of this low-intensity exercise, as was their body fat.
- Finally, Harris recommends that impacted and at-risk horses’ body condition scores be monitored on a regular basis.
“Being overconditioned (heavier) increases the risk of laminitis, but this does not imply that animals who are thin or moderately condition (cannot) or will not have laminitis are immune to it.”
Frank and Coleman are both interested in learning more about the involvement of the digestive system in the development of laminitis. “Are there changes in the microbial population inside the intestinal tract that have a role in the development of laminitis and perhaps the worsening of hyperinsulinemia?” says the researcher. ” Frank continues, noting that preliminary results from ongoing study have revealed some microbiological variations between horses with EMS and those that do not have the condition.
“The ramifications of poor care are really severe in laminitis-prone horses,” adds the veterinarian.
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Feeding Tips for Horses with Laminitis
Laceration, or laminitis in its simplest form, is an inflammation of soft tissue in the hoof that causes damage to or death of laminar cells, resulting in a loss in structural integrity of the foot. It is impossible to predict the level of damage in each individual case, with the worst damage culminating in founder, which is the sinking of the coffin’s bone. When it comes to the overall management and feeding of horses suffering from laminitis, special attention must be paid because factors such as body weight, starch intake, mineral and energy balance as well as metabolic function can all have a significant impact on the delicate environment created by the damaged tissue of the hoof.
Listed below are some nutritional suggestions to assist you in your feeding endeavors.
- Weight control and regular exercise are beneficial to any horse’s physical and mental well-being, but they are especially beneficial to the laminitic horse. Affecting an already unstable condition, more weight and stagnation add unnecessary stress to the mix. Once the acute phase has gone, frequent turnout and exercise are necessary to maintain adequate blood flow to the foot, which is necessary for the delivery of nutrients to the injured tissue. Physical activity is also beneficial in the management of weight. Grazing muzzles should be used on horses that are prone to laminitis or who are already being treated for it in order to prevent them from grazing on lush pastures. It is recommended that horses be restricted to accessing pastures later in the day when plant sugar (fructans) levels in grass are lower, or that they be confined on dry land if grazing muzzles are not available. Horses prone to laminitis should eat high-quality grass hay as their primary source of nutrition. When it comes to feeding your laminitic horse, a food that has been carefully developed for metabolic disorders or aration balance is your best choice. Micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals are critical for tissue regeneration, therefore make sure that the feed is balanced in terms of these nutrients as well as the required amino acids before feeding the animal. Avoid feeding your horses diets that contain high quantities of starch each meal since these horses are more susceptible to changes in blood sugar and insulin levels. Supplements: Horses suffering from laminitis may benefit from the addition of magnesium and chromium supplements, as both of these minerals improve insulin sensitivity. Water: Although it is sometimes ignored as a nutrient, water is one of your horse’s most effective partners in the fight against laminitis. It is essential for general health as well as the circulation of nutrient-rich blood to drink fresh, clean tepid water on a regular basis.
Following these nutrition and treatment instructions, as well as collaborating with your veterinarian and farrier, should equip you with the resources you need to effectively manage laminitis in your horse’s hoofs. Your horse with laminitis can have a happy and balanced life if you provide him with extra care and assistance from the trustworthy specialists in your life.
Feeding a Horse with Laminitis — Pryde’s EasiFeed
Incorrect feeding may be extremely time-consuming and confusing, and if not done correctly can result in your horse suffering from severe laminitis symptoms for the rest of his or her lifetime. Dietary sugar should be avoided by laminitic horses (we could get all scientific here and call sugars non-structural carbohydrates, water soluble carbohydrates, starches, ether-soluble carbohydrates, or non-fibre carbohydrates, but let’s just keep it easy and call them’sugar’). Sugars in feeds produce a spike in a horse’s blood insulin levels after feeding, which is currently believed to be the cause of the vast majority of instances of laminitis, and definitely the vast majority of cases of grass or pasture laminitis.
That being said, feeding a laminitic horse does not have to be a tough endeavor. Here are some tips to follow in order to make things a whole lot easier:
Base the diet on low sugar pasture or hay
The diet of any horse should be based on forage, and the diet of a laminitic horse should be no different. They do, however, require forages that are low in sugar. There are a few different approaches you may use to provide your horse with low sugar forages. These are the ones:
- The best time for your horse to graze is in the very early hours of the morning until around 11 a.m. since this is when pasture sugar levels are at their lowest. To decrease your horse’s intake of pasture if you are unable to regulate the hours of the day during which he may be permitted to graze, you may want to consider using a grazing muzzle. Make sure to feed hays that are naturally low in sugar. There are several types of mature or stemmy tropical grass hays, as well as mature or stemmy lucerne hay (which includes lucerne hay that has been damaged by the weather). If you are unable to obtain these types of hay, soak the hay you do have available in warm water for 30 minutes before draining the water completely and cleaning the hay
- Keep away from hays that are known to have high quantities of sugar, such as ryegrass hay, oat hay, wheaten hay, and barley hay. Lucerne haylage or silage that has been grown particularly for horses can also be used as a low-sugar fodder alternative.
Feed according to your horses need to gain, hold or lose weight
Make an assessment of your horse’s physical condition (fatness) and set a clear goal for the horse, such as whether you want the horse to grow, maintain, or reduce weight.
If you want to acquire weight, you should do the following:
- As much low-sugar grass or hay as your horse desires is what you should provide. Fill the feed bucket with a complete feed that is low in sugar and fed at the rates indicated for your horse’s bodyweight and present activity. Complete meals will offer your horse with the calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals that he or she will require throughout the day. OR Make your own low sugar balanced diet by combining high calorie unfortified feeds such as soybean husks or sugarbeet pulp with low dosage rate vitamin and mineral supplements, and adding protein from soybean, lupins, or faba beans. If you need to acquire more weight, you could include some oil in your diet. As necessary, start with a quarter cup per day and progressively increase the quantity if necessary.
To keep your horse’s weight stable, you should do the following:
- Ensure that the horse receives up to 2.5 percent of its bodyweight in low-sugar fodder every day (12.5 kg for a 500 kg horse)
- If your pasture or hay quality is poor, supplement the diet with a low-dose rate vitamin and mineral supplement, as well as supplemental protein from soybeans, lupins, or faba beans. Keep an eye on your horse at all times. If your horse’s body weight does not remain stable on this diet, increase the amount of low-sugar forage you are giving it and review your horse’s nutritional needs. You can supplement the existing diet with unfortified feeds high in calories and low in sugar such as soybean hulls or sugarbeet pulp if the animal is still not maintaining its body weight. OR To begin, feed your horse at the prescribed rate with a low-sugar, complete feed.
In the event that your horse requires weight loss, you must proceed with caution, as pushing a laminitic horse into quick weight loss might prevent the horse from repairing its injured hoof tissue and may result in additional issues such as hyperlipiaemia. You should do the following to gently urge your horse to reduce weight:
- You can feed up to 2 percent of your horse’s body weight (10 kg/day for a 500 kg horse) each day in low-quality, low-sugar fodder, such as mature or stemmy tropical grass hays and/or weather-damaged lucerne. Maintain a healthy diet by include a low-dose rate vitamin and mineral supplement as well as high-quality protein derived from full-fat soybean. Maintain constant track of your horse’s body weight and make adjustments to the food in response to the rate of weight reduction. You should cut the amount of low-sugar forage you feed your horse to 1.5 percent of its current bodyweight (7.5 kg/day for a 500-kg horse) if it is not losing weight. However, if this reduction does not result in the weight loss desired, you should consider reducing the amount of hay provided to 1.5 percent of the horse’s optimal bodyweight.
To keep these horses from becoming bored, make their fodder difficult to eat so that it takes them longer to consume it. One method of accomplishing this is to place their hay in two or three hay nets, which makes it difficult to get the hay out. If you do feed hay from hay nets, you may need to dampen it down a little to keep the dust to a reasonable level. Additionally, you should feed them their daily hay allowance in two or three meals each day. If the horse is physically able to exercise, a mild exercise plan performed every day will aid in weight loss and the reduction of the horse’s chance of developing another episode of laminitis.
Never feed a grain or grain by-product based feed
It is imperative that you exercise extreme caution when selecting a proper feed for your horse if he requires additional feed in addition to the low sugar forage you are already providing him. There are some elements in feed that should never be fed to a laminitic horse, including but not limited to the following:
- Oats, corn, wheat, rice, or barley are examples of cereal grains. Millrun, millmix, bran (rice or wheat), and pollard are all types of millrun. Steam flaked, micronized, or extruded grains are all acceptable.
So be sure to thoroughly read all labels and ingredient lists before purchasing a feed, and keep these tips in mind. It is a case of buyer beware. Numerous grain by-products, such as millrun, bran, and pollard, are used in animal diets that promote themselves as being “grain-free.” This is incredibly deceptive, and these diets are just as dangerous to your laminitic horse as a grain-based feed would be. Other feeds claim to be ‘Low GI,’ however, once again, if they include any of the chemicals indicated above, they should be avoided by horses suffering from laminitis or other gastrointestinal problems.
Feeds for laminitic horses should have a sugar and starch content of less than 12 percent in order to be effective.
Make sure the diet is balanced!
It is critical to ensure that the nutrition you feed your laminitic horse is well-balanced in order for him to recover.
Meeting the protein, amino acid, vitamin, and mineral requirements of laminitic horses will aid in their recovery from prior episodes of laminitis, as well as their ability to resist other diseases and infections, and will assist to maintain their general health.
Pryde’s Products that can help.
Dr Nerida Richards Equilize Horse Nutrition Pty Ltd Dr Nerida Richards Equilize Horse Nutrition Pty Ltd
Laminitis In Horses Feeding Advice, Best Feed For Laminitic Horses
Written by Tracey Hammond and published on the 22nd of May, 2020. There’s no need to be sophisticated when it comes to feeding horses suffering from laminitis. “What is a safe feed for horses with laminitis?” is a question that many people have. The first step is to consider why we feed, and the answer will differ depending on what sort of laminitis-prone horse we are dealing with. Similarly, an overweight horse will have different nutritional requirements than a lean horse, and an older horse or pony with PPID may also be suffering from other age-related health issues, such as poordentition, which necessitate the use of a specific type or structure of feed.
When combined, the sugar and starch given by a feed should be less than 10% of the total sugar and starch content.
If you want to learn more about feed producers, you can simply contact them and ask for the information they have available.
In addition to being low in sugar and starch, the ration must provide an adequate quantity of energy for the individual, as well as a well-balanced diet in terms of vitamins, minerals, and high-quality protein, among other things.
Feeding the good do-er or overweight horse
Especially if a horse is overweight and prone to laminitis, it might be easy to believe that they don’t require bucket feeding at all. While horses do not require a feed to give energy or calories, a diet consisting just of grass or forage does not provide all of their nutritional requirements. If grazing or forage intake must be curtailed in order to aid weight reduction and reduce the danger of laminitis, deficiencies are exacerbated. In order to prevent laminitis in horses, it is necessary to feed them in a balanced manner and in accordance with their unique requirements.
Horses that are fed mostly hay are more likely to be deficient in vitamin E, as well as in high-quality protein, if the hay is soaked and restricted in its availability.
A fortified feed, such as Healthy Hooves Molasses Free, or the addition of a vitamin and mineral supplement or balancer to a low-calorie fibre diet, such as Hi-Fi Molasses Free, can help achieve this goal for your horse.
Using a fortified feed
When offered in the suggested quantity, fortified feeds such as Healthy Hooves Molasses Free are intended to provide a well-balanced ration to animals. Healthy Hooves Molasses Free should be fed at a rate of 500g per 100kg of bodyweight, which is about 1 Stubbs scoop for 100kg of bodyweight. For a 600kg horse, this would equate to 3kg of weight every day. Because of the high feeding rate, this quantity should be included in the total daily forage ration for those who are on diet rations. Example: A 600kg horse should be given 10kg of hay in 24 hours if the hay has 90% dry matter, which is the case in most cases.
Even if less fortified feed is provided than the suggested amount, it is still important to top up with a balancer or supplement to ensure enough nutrition.
Using a feed balancer
A feed balancer is an extremely concentrated feed that is used to balance the feed. In addition to providing vitamins and minerals, a balancer also supplies high-quality protein, such as lysine, which is a necessary amino acid for human health. The use of a feed balancer is especially suggested for individuals who have limited access to grass and soaked fodder, as they may be deficient in high-quality protein as a result of this restriction. Feeders that are picky about their food will benefit from pelleted balancers, which are often quite appealing.
The reason for this is because Performance+ Balancer has a greater specification of nutrients, particularly lysine, which may be missing in the diets of horses on extremely limited rations.
Using a vitamin and mineral supplement
A multivitamin and mineral supplement with a broad spectrum of nutrients is the best low-calorie eating choice. Individuals who have access to grass, or who, if they are confined, are offered supplemental foods or supplements that include more lysine, will benefit the most from taking a vitamin and mineral supplement. Dengie’s Leisure and Performance VitsMinsare a powder that must be mixed with a small quantity of low-calorie fiber feed such as Hi-Fi Lite or Hi-Fi Molasses Free in order to function as a carrier for the vitamins.
Feeding the poor do-er
While the poor doer’s vitamin and mineral requirements are the same as those of the excellent doer, they will require some additional energy or calories in order to maintain their weight. The first step is to ensure that there isn’t an underlying issue causing your poor do-er to lose weight, such as bad dentition or PPID that isn’t under control, by consulting with your veterinarian. If everything is in order, the next thing to evaluate is whether your poor do-er is getting enough ad-lib forage and is consuming a sufficient amount of food.
Consume mostly feeds that are low in sugar and starch, but that also contain digestible amounts of fiber as well as additional oil for supplementary energy.
In addition, several items in the portfolio, such as Alfa-A Molasses Free, Healthy Tummy, Alfa-Beet, and Alfalfa Pellets, are appropriate for diabetics.
For individualized advise customized to your laminitis-prone individual, please click here to complete our Feeding Advice Form, or phone the Feedline at 01621 841188 for assistance.
Feeding horses with laminitis — what should you do?
- Laminitis is a frequent and painful ailment that expresses itself in one or more of a horse’s hooves. It is caused by a bacterial infection. The fact that it is a complex disorder means that it can be difficult to determine the underlying cause
- Nonetheless, it is typically the result of a metabolic disturbance. Horses suffering from underlying conditions such as Cushing’s illness or Equine Metabolic Syndrome are at increased risk of developing laminitis. Laminitis is also commonly found in native ponies, particularly those who are overweight. In many cases, the condition of laminitis may be traced back to the current equestrian lifestyle, which includes snug stalls, rugs, and lovely full haynets.” “We should be feeding as organically as possible, which includes providing a high fibre, high forage diet that contains no starchy grains, such as those found in concentrates,” explains Kate Hore, chief nutritionist of the National Animal Feeding Association. If a horse has been diagnosed with laminitis, it’s critical to treat each instance on an individual basis to ensure the best outcome. In general, however, they should be fed in little amounts and on a regular basis. Their food should be high in fiber, as well as important vitamins and minerals, but the amounts of sugar and carbohydrate should be maintained to a minimum. Grass turnout may need to be restricted or avoided completely depending on the particular horse or pony, their weight, and their overall health. According to Katie Grimwood, an equine nutritionist at Baileys Horse Feeds, “Ensure you maintain a decent vitamin, mineral, and quality protein intake to support muscle, hoof health, coat condition, and internal nutritional reserves, as well as healthy fiber levels to promote digestive function.” Soaking hay will aid in lowering the sugar level and calorie consumption, and clean mature hay is superior to fresh green hay in terms of nutritional value. A good grade oat or barley straw can also be fed as part of a horse’s forage intake because it has few calories and a high concentration of fiber. We wish to source low water soluble carbohydrate hay for an overweight pony doing little activity, or use soaked hay to minimize sugars and limit access to new grazing, in order to keep the pony from becoming overweight.” We would consider alfalfa chaffs and ad lib fodder, together with extra oil, to supply all of the energy required by an insulin resistant eventer,” adds Kate. The fundamental feeding philosophy for a laminitis-prone animal is the same as it is for any other horse, which is ‘feed to work done.’ Many laminitics are well-known for being hard workers who like their meals. Ponies on restricted turnout have been shown to be able to adjust their biting pace as well as the amount of food they consume in each bite, allowing them to eat as much in three hours as they would normally consume in 12 hours. “Consider ways in which you may maximize the amount of time spent turning out while yet maintaining control over access to grazing.” It’s ideal to avoid a little boxed off area since this encourages them to stand and feed, which is contrary to what we want them to do, which is move naturally. Track systems, if possible, can be quite beneficial
- Alternatively, consider utilizing a grazing muzzle or strip grazing to control intake while promoting natural mobility,” Kate says. Pelleted forage balancers are an excellent source of nutrition for horses at risk of laminitis because they give essential vitamins, minerals, and high-quality protein that are adequate for the horse’s level of labor while limiting calorie, starch, and sugar intakes in the horse’s diet. It is important to remember that horses should never be malnourished because this might result in severe metabolic issues. “High calorie fibre sources, such as unmolassed alfalfa chaffs with added oil or soaked beet products, can be fed in conjunction with the balancer for horses who require more calories for weight gain. “There are also high-oil supplements available,” Katie explains. The rest of the article is below. You might also be interested in the following: Image from the library. Read the opinions of a variety of specialists on the best way to feed a horse suffering from stomach ulcers. If your horse is prone to laminitis, it’s critical to score their physical condition on a regular basis so that you can keep track of their weight. If you’re not sure how to go about it, get help from your veterinarian or a nutritionist, and maintain a log so you can track your progress. Taking photographs might be beneficial as well. “One of the most important lessons is to strive towards preventing laminitis from occurring rather than dealing with it once it has occurred. If your horse is prone to laminitis, you should be on high alert, and you should avoid allowing him to grow overweight. Maintain continual awareness of what and how much you’re feeding him, as well as his level of activity. Inquire as to if he is required to be tough. “Be mindful of your surroundings at all times of the year,” says Lizzie Drury, senior nutritionist at Saracen Horse Feeds. Would you want to read HorseHound’s independent journalism without being interrupted by commercials? Today is the day to joinHorseHound Plus, and you will be able to read all articles on HorseandHound.co.uk. absolutely void of advertisements
5 Tips to Feeding Horses with Laminitis
Horses with laminitis typically adopt the “Saw Horse” stance. It is critical for horses suffering with laminitis to get a well-balanced diet that meets all of their nutritional needs. Fulfilling these dietary requirements not only aids in the recovery of laminitis, but it can also assist to avoid the development of future episodes. The present diet of your horse may also be a contributing factor to its laminitic problems. The following are five suggestions for feeding horses suffering from laminitis.
1.Manage the Body Condition of your Horse
Obesity is one of the most significant contributing reasons to the present increase in the number of horses suffering from laminitis in the United States. The truth is that 70-80 percent of these laminitic instances are caused by poor management, such as overfeeding of inactive horses. Making the appropriate adjustments to maintain the proper body condition score can aid in the prevention and recovery of laminitis. Horse owners may aid in the reduction and maintenance of body weight by doing the following:
- Providing frequent exercise
- Feeding a forage balancer that is low in starch
- Providing hay on a first come, first served basis
- Keeping an eye on grazing
- Removing extra calories from the diet, such as complex feeds or oats
- If necessary, grazing muzzles should be used.
Horses who are overweight are more susceptible to bouts of laminitis. Laminitic hard keepers, on the other hand, may require more calories in order to maintain their bodily condition. If a Hard Keeper is diagnosed with laminitis, the following treatments can be administered:
- Beet pulp, vegetable oil, oats, copra, or a mix of the ingredients listed above
2.Avoid Grain Overload
One of the most common causes of laminitis in horses is the accumulation of undigested starch (carbohydrates) in the caecum. This is frequently caused by an excess of feed or by grazing on a pasture that has established grasses with a high concentration of sugar. It is possible for the small intestine tract to be exposed with more carbs than it is capable of digesting. This causes the carbs to reach the hindgut, where the hindgut microorganisms then proceed to ferment the carbohydrates that have entered the hindgut.
This results in a cascade of chemicals entering the bloodstream, which affects the fragile blood vessels within the hoof capsule and ultimately kills the horse.
Insufficient chewing of the meal results in insufficient mixing of the digestive-assist saliva with the feed, resulting in poor digestion.
3.Limit Fructan Digestion from Forage
Pasture grasses that have recovered from frost or drought-induced stress are the most likely to generate excessive amounts of fructans, sometimes known as “grass sugar.” Similarly, cool-season grass that blooms in the spring and fall will contain significant quantities of fructan in its composition.
Fructan is a complex sugar found in pasture grasses that is incapable of being digested and absorbed by the horse’s small intestine. The microorganisms in the hindgut break down fructans and convert them to lactic acid. The amounts of fructan in the pastures fluctuate during the day based on:
- Sunlight exposure, temperature, moisture levels, and grass kind are all factors to consider.
It has been shown that ingestion of large quantities of high fructan grasses can affect the hindgut environment and cause a significant reduction in the population of helpful bacteria. This results in the production of endotoxins, which are frequently responsible for a laminitic episode or colic. Because photosynthesis from sunshine is required for fructan production, pasture fructan levels are highest in the afternoons and evenings and lowest in the mornings when sunlight is available. Easier keepers and horses with laminitis are less likely to acquire grass laminitis if they are only permitted pasture access in the mornings and afternoons and not throughout the night.
4. Horses with Laminitis Need to Chew
Horses suffering from severe laminitis are prone to developing aching teeth. The laminae of the teeth get inflamed in the same way that the laminae of the hooves do. As a result, dental discomfort frequently makes it difficult to properly chew food. Whole grains that have not been chewed are less likely to be digested before reaching the bacteria of the hindgut. It is recommended that you avoid feeding any concentrated meals to a horse that has acute laminitis. Allow for free choice feeding of up to the regular amount of hay or divide it into as many feedings as feasible.
5. Provide Nutritional Support for Horses with Laminitis
Nutrient supplementation, which provides the nutrients necessary for robust and dense development of the hoof wall and sole, may assist in shortening the time required for laminitis recovery. A quality hoof supplement, for example, may help to enhance the cohesive relationship between the hoof wall and the coffin bone if fed over a long period of time. This stronger connection may be beneficial in the treatment of acute instances of laminitis.
When used correctly, proper hoof supplements can aid in the healing of damage caused by the laminitis/founder cycle. Several hundred thousand horses are fed diets that are inadequate in the nutrients required to maintain and repair hoof health after suffering from laminitis or founder. The necessary elements in certain hays are lacking, particularly those that have been kept while still wet, cultivated on nutrient-poor soils, cut at a late stage of maturity, or those have been stored for a lengthy period of time.
Supplement for Horses with Laminitis
Laminitis-suffering horses require nutritional supplements that contain substances that assist the liver, such as lecithin, and nutrients that help the thyroid function properly, such as tyrosine and iodine. Amino acids are essential in the re-construction of a hoof that has been injured by laminitis or founder. Laminitis Supplements that are recommended: Life Data® Lamina Formula is a proprietary formula developed by Life Data®. Cell membranes and walls are constructed with the help of essential fatty acids and phospholipids.
Calcium, copper, and zinc are minerals that are vital for hoof strength and durability.
Supplements for LaminitisIf your horse gets a case of laminitis, you should call your veterinarian and farrier as soon as possible.
It is critical that horse owners address every episode of laminitis as if it were a life-threatening emergency. You can contact us if you have any queries about the diet and supplementing of horses suffering from laminitis.
Feeding Horses With Laminitis
For horses suffering from laminitis, it is advisable to provide them a diet that is high in fiber and fat and low in sugar. Find out what to feed your horse and how to keep it from becoming sick. Formulating a balanced diet for horses suffering from laminitis is the foundation of effective laminitis treatment. The following is a guide to assist you in managing and preventing laminitis through proper eating.
1. Hay – The base of a laminitis diet
Based on forage feeds that are low in sugars and fructans, the diet should be created (collectively called Water Soluble Carbohydrates or WSC). This may be accomplished by feeding mature Lucerne hay, which has a lower fructan content and a greater protein content than other hays on the market. Keep away from hays that contain a lot of fructan, such as ryegrass, oaten, wheaten, or barley hays. Additionally, hay can be soaked in twice its volume of water for 60 minutes to help lower the amount of sugar in it.
Remove the hay from the water and allow it to dry naturally before feeding it.
Silage made specifically for horses, as well as Lucerne haylage, may be fed to horses because they are both low in sugars.
2. Pasture – Tips for feeding grasses to laminitic horses
Pasture fructan levels are lowest in the morning so horses can be allowed to graze until about 1am. In the spring and autumn, only 90 minutes of pasture access should be allowed. In one study, it was estimated that ponies consumed 40 percent of their daily (dry matter) intake during three hours of pasture turnout 1. In addition to “starvation” paddocks, strip grazing, and grazing muzzles, other methods of limiting pasture intake are available. Shaded pastures have lower sugar levels compared to pastures subject to full sun.
Grazing in direct sunlight during the day and as much as possible during the spring and autumn months, especially after a dry summer, should be avoided (i.e.
Two types of grasses in particular carry a danger of producing laminitis in horses known as C3 and C4 type plants.
Any changes to the normal conditions for these grasses can cause a dramatic change in carbohydrate storage levels.
Numerous studies have also shown that drought-stressed forage is high in NSC 2. Avoid ryegrass, phalaris and phescue dominant lush pastures which are considered high risk pastures, as well as rapidly growing clover in spring.
3. Supplements for laminitic horses
If the quality of your pasture or hay is low, a supplement with a healthy mix of protein, vitamins, and minerals, such as FERAMO ® with CHROMIUM, can be administered to your animals. Adding more protein to the horse’s diet in the form of soybeans, canola meal, cracked lupins, or faba beans is also possible. It is also a relatively safe source of energy for performance and show horses. Beet pulp with added oil can be used to assist attain show condition without the use of cereals or grains if given properly.
If your horse requires supplemental feeding, choose a feed with sugar and starch levels that are less than 12 percent of the total feed weight.
If you have a laminitic horse, you should never feed him cereal grain-based feed.
- Oats, corn, wheat, rice, or barley are examples of cereal grains. Millrun, millmix, bran (rice or wheat), and pollard are all types of millrun. Steam flaked, micronized, or extruded grains are all acceptable.
- A review of the literature on dietary treatment of obesity and insulin resistance: reducing the risk for laminitis. Gear, R.J. and Harris, P, (2009) Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract. 25, 51-65
- K.A. Watts and C.C. Pollitt (2010) Equine Laminitis, Managing Pasture to Reduce the Risk
- K.A Watts and C.C. Pollitt (2010) Equine Laminitis, Managing Pasture to Reduce the Risk Publication No. 10/063 by the Rirdc.
Feeding Horses with Acute Laminitis
The 27th of June 2014 is the 28th of January 2019. This disease is characterized by a severe and painful inflammation of the laminae, which are interlayered tissues that link the soft and solid components within the hoof of a horse. Laminitis may be caused by a variety of reasons, with overfeeding of nonstructural carbohydrates (NSC) being one of the most commonly encountered. Equine metabolic syndrome and Cushing’s illness are both associated with an increased chance of developing laminitis in horses.
- Other nutritional trigger variables, such as hay and concentrate consumption, should be evaluated, and diet modifications should be implemented as needed.
- During the acute phases of the disease, alfalfa hay (lucerne) can be included in the diet.
- If weight loss is necessary, it is recommended to first stabilize the horse’s medical condition before beginning a weight-loss program that includes significant calorie restriction.
- The amino acids, minerals, and vitamins required can be supplied by feeding a suitable ration balancer at a rate ranging from 0.5 to 1 kilogram (1 to 2 lb) per day, depending on the animal’s weight.
- In the instance of coffin bone rotation, increased hoof development enables for more fast trimming and reshaping of the hoof to be accomplished.
- Bio-Bloom PS (Bio-Bloom HF in Australia) provides additional support for hoof quality and growth.
Manufacturers employ a variety of natural forms in their products. Studies have indicated that employing a water-soluble form of natural-source vitamin E, such as Nano-E, is the most efficient method of improving vitamin E status.
Nutrition for Laminitis-Prone Horses
26.06.2014 – 28.1.2019 26.06.2014 This disease is characterized by a severe and painful inflammation of the laminae, which are interlayered tissues that link the soft and solid components within the hoof of the horse. Overfeeding of nonstructural carbohydrates (NSC) is one of the most prevalent causes of laminitis, and it is also one of the most preventable. The chance of acquiring laminitis in horses suffering from the Equine Metabolic Syndrome or Cushing’s illness is enhanced. It is recommended that horses with these disorders be withdrawn from pasture if they develop laminitis.
- Low-NSC hay should be fed at a rate of 1.5 to 2 percent of the horse’s body weight at all times.
- Fiber may be obtained from chaff, beet pulp, and soy hulls, to name a few.
- Since a result, it is not appropriate to give only small amounts of poor-quality grass hay at this time, as the horse need a well-balanced diet that includes all of the necessary elements.
- The use of higher quantities of biotin (15 to 30 mg per day), zinc, and methionine to encourage optimum hoof growth and quality has been attempted by some horse owners, despite the lack of precise research on the practice.
- Kentucky Equine Research provides Bio-Bloom PS (also known as Bio-Bloom HF in Australia) for horses that require a greater quantity of hoof-related nutrients.
- A greater than normal dose of vitamin E is suggested since oxidative stress is a factor in the development of laminitis.
- It has been demonstrated in studies that taking a water-soluble form of natural-source vitamin E, such as Nano-E, is the most efficient method of improving vitamin E status.
- Nutrition, notably carbohydrate excess or pasture-induced laminitis
- And other conditions. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DM) is a metabolic or endocrine condition characterized by abnormalities in glucose metabolism that culminate in insulin resistance, obesity, and/or PPID. Other causes, such as injuries that place excessive tension on the supporting limbs, may also be involved.
How can you help reduce the risks associated with laminitis development?
- Prevalence of PPID (Cushing’s disease) and/or EMS
- Availability of high-quality pasture
- Breeds such as Shetlands, Welsh Ponies, and Arabians (to mention a few) are considered to be rare.
Manage pasture non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) intake
- Allowing them less turnout time or employing a grazing muzzle on rich pastures throughout the spring and fall will help to reduce grazing. Graze horses from pastures during the hours of mid-morning and early evening
- Avoid grazing grass after a frost or pasture that has been inadequately maintained or stressed.
Feed a low-calorie grass-type hay
- Feed grass hay that is low in calories and low in NSC (10-12 percent NSC)
- Alternatively, soak grass hay for 30-60 minutes to lower the amount of NSC it contains
Feed smaller, more frequent meals
- It is possible to develop laminitis as a result of an excessive intake of high starch and sugar grains, either in a single meal or by giving big grain meals.
Provide a low-calorie ration balancer
- A ration balancer, such as GRO’N WINTM, is recommended. orSenior Balancersupplies important amino acids, vitamins, and minerals in a safe, low-starch, low-sugar, low-calorie recipe to supplement your forage. This choice is for horses and ponies who are simple to maintain or are obese and do not require additional calories.
Restrict NSC feed intake
- Try to stay away from grain or sweet feed that is heavy in starch and/or sugar. If additional calories are required, either a fat supplement or a fiber-based feed containing 20-25 percent NSC should be used. For horses with a history of laminitis, diets with 14 percent NSC or less should be used.
Prevent consumption of grain or sweet feed that is heavy in starch and/or sugar. Supplementing with fat or feeding a fiber-based meal with 20-25 percent NSC can provide additional calories if necessary. For horses with a history of laminitis, diets with 14 percent NSC or less are recommended. ; Feeds with a low NSC, a high fat content, or a high fiber content:
- SAFE N EASYTM is a trademark of SAFE N EASYTM. Only 12.5 percent NSC and 20 percent fiber were used in the pelleting process. SAFE N EASYTM Textured: just 16.5 percent NSC and 20 percent fiber
- SAFE N EASYTM Textured: only 16.5 percent NSC and 20 percent fiber
- SAFE N EASYTM Performance: only 13 percent NSC, with a high content of fiber and fat
- Only 13 percent NSC
- SAFE ‘N EASYTM Senior has just 14 percent NSC and is high in fiber and fat
- It is also low in sodium. SAFE ‘N EASYTM Complete has only 12.5 percent NSC and is high in fiber
- It is also gluten-free. EQ8TM Gut Health contains 23 percent NSC and 8 percent fat
- It is a natural prebiotic. EQ8TM Senior has 21.5 percent NSC and 10 percent fat
- CADENCE TMUltra contains 23 percent NSC and 14 percent fat and fiber
- And EQ8TM Junior contains 21.5 percent NSC and 10 percent fat.
If you have any queries about our variety of horse feeds and supplements for laminitis-prone horses, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Feeding the Laminitic Horse
Laminitis may be a time-consuming and unpleasant condition for your horse, as well as a devastating one for you. A healthy diet may make it a whole lot less difficult. Insulin dysregulation is responsible for the vast majority of laminitis cases. Consequently, forage with low non-structural carbohydrate (NSC; starch + sugars) content is essential for the survival of the species. A high-quality protein diet is essential for assisting in the rehabilitation of the hoof, in particular. In addition, satisfying vitamin and mineral needs is essential for maintaining overall health and immune system function.
The following are some tips to follow in order to make things simpler; the first is to get the fundamentals straight. After that, we fine-tune for weight variations. Finally, there are some suggestions for coping with boredom and the difficulties that might arise as a result, such as hoof repair.
Getting the basics right
- Forage with a low NSC should account for the majority of the diet. Never feed grains, grain byproducts, or molasses to your animals. Make certain that the diet is well-balanced in terms of vitamins and minerals.
Base the diet on low NSC pasture or hay
Forage should be the primary component of any horse’s diet, and the laminitic horse is no exception. They do, however, require forages with low NSC. There are several options for providing your horse with access to low NSCforages. These are the ones:
- Spend the first two hours of the day grazing in the VERY early morning hours, from two hours before dawn to two hours after sunrise. This is the time of year when pasture NSC levels are at their lowest. To decrease your horse’s intake of pasture if you are unable to regulate the hours of the day during which he may be permitted to graze, you may want to consider using a grazing muzzle. Feed hays that have a low NSC content on a regular basis. Subtropical grass hays with mature or stemmy stems, such as Rhodes grass, and lucerne hay with mature, stemmy or weather damaged stems are examples of such hays. As an alternative, soak the hay that you do have available in warm water for 30 minutes to 2 hours or in cold water for 2-10 hours*, draining and feeding the hay thereafter. Do not allow your horse to get access to the soaking water. If you live in a warm region, avoid soaking for more than 2 hours. Keep away from hays that are known to have high amounts of NSC, such as ryegrass and other grass hays
- And barley hay
- It is also possible to get lucerne haylage or silage that has been made particularly for horses that has a low NSC value (only make sure there is no molasses added)
Never feed a grain or grain by‐product based feed
If your horse need additional feed in addition to the low NSC forage you are already providing, you must exercise extreme caution while choosing an appropriate diet. You should never give a laminitic horse a feed that contains any of the components listed below:
- Oats, corn, wheat, rice, triticale, rye, barley, and other cereal grains are examples of cereal grains. Wheatfeed, millrun, millmix, broll, bran (rice or wheat), pollard, middlings, or any other variant of these components are all acceptable. Steam flaked, micronised, or extruded grains are all acceptable.
Before purchasing a feed, be sure to thoroughly read all of the labels and ingredient lists. And it’s a case of buyer beware. There are several feeds on the market that contain grain ‘byproducts’ such as wheatfeed/millrun, bran, or pollard that advertise themselves as being “grain free.” This is incredibly deceptive, and these diets are just as dangerous to your laminitic horse as a grain-based feed would be. Other feeds claim to be ‘Low GI,’ however, once again, if they include any of the chemicals indicated above, they should be avoided by horses suffering from laminitis or other gastrointestinal problems.
FeedXL will assist you in selecting acceptable feeds that do not include these substances by identifying any diets that are unsuitable for laminitic horses in the feed database.
Make sure the diet is balanced!
It is critical to ensure that the nutrition you feed your laminitic horse is well-balanced in order for him to recover. Making sure your laminitic horse gets the protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals he needs will aid in his recovery from prior episodes of laminitis, will help him resist other diseases and infections, and will maintain him in good general health with a strong immune system! FeedXL will assist you in putting up a low NSC diet that also covers your nutritional needs for protein, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins.
Fine Tuning the diet
Make an assessment of your horse’s physical condition (fatness) and set a clear goal for the horse, such as whether you want the horse to grow, maintain, or reduce weight. To learn more about why body condition scores are important, see our blog post entitled “Why Body Condition Score.”
To gain weight
If you want to acquire weight, you should do the following:
- Provide your horse with access to as much low NSC grass or hay as he desires (within limits
- For example, if he is constantly eating more than 3 percent of his bodyweight, you may need to restrict the amount of hay available)
- Add some alfalfa/lucerne hay to the diet, feeding up to 4kg/day for a 500 kg horse (8.8 lb/day for a 1100 lb horse), and monitor the horse’s weight. Fillet your horse at the prescribed rates for his bodyweight and current activity level while feeding a full diet with a low NSC (only use the complete feeds that are not highlighted red in FeedXL). Equines will benefit from complete meals since they give them with the calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals they require.
ORMix your own low NCS balanced diet by using high-calorie unfortified foods such as soybean or lupin hulls, sugarbeet pulp, and copra meal into your formula. Then, using a low dosage rate vitamin and mineral supplement, supplement with your own vitamins and minerals, as well as protein from soybeans or lupins. If you need to acquire more weight, you could include some oil in your diet. As necessary, start with a quarter cup per day and progressively increase the quantity if necessary. As a result of its high omega-3 concentration, flaxseed (linseed) oil is an excellent alternative for laminitics.
To maintain weight
To keep your horse’s weight stable, you should do the following:
- Quantity of low NSC forage allowed each day: up to 2.5 percent of the horse’s bodyweight (12.5 kg for a 500 kg horse), plus a modest amount of alfalfa/lucerne hay If your pasture or hay quality is poor, supplement the diet with a low dosage rate vitamin and mineral supplement or balancer pellet, as well as supplemental protein from soybeans or lupins. Keep an eye on your horse at all times. If he is not maintaining his body weight on this diet, increase the amount of alfalfa/lucerne you are feeding him and reevaluate your horse’s situation. The addition of high-calorie unfortified foods such as soybean or lupin hulls, sugarbeet pulp, and copra meal to the current diet may be necessary if he is still not keeping condition.
ORSwitch to a complete feed with a low NSC and feed it at the appropriate rate for your horse.
To lose weight
In the event that your horse requires weight reduction, you must proceed with caution, since pushing a laminitic horse into quick weight loss might prevent them from mending their injured hoof tissue and may result in additional complications such as hyperlipaemia. You should do the following to gently urge your horse to reduce weight:
- Reduce the amount of forage you feed your horse to up to 2 percent of his body weight (10 kg/day for a 500 kg horse) every day if it is of poor quality and low NSC, such as mature or stemmy subtropical grass hays and/or weather damaged alfalfa/lucerne hay. A low-dose rate vitamin and mineral supplement, as well as high-quality protein derived from full-fat soybean, can help to maintain a healthy diet. If you use the ‘Find a Supplement to Fix This Diet’ tool on FeedXL, it can assist you in locating an appropriate supplement. Maintain constant track of your horse’s body weight and make adjustments to the food in response to the rate of weight reduction. If your horse is not losing weight, cut the amount of low-sugar forage being given to 1.5 percent of the horse’s current bodyweight (7.5 kg/day for a 500 kg horse
- 16.5 lb/day for a 1100 lb horse) to encourage weight loss. You can try reducing the quantity of fodder provided to 1.5 percent of the horse’s sideal bodyweight if this does not produce the weight loss results you desire
- However, this will be more difficult.
To keep these horses from becoming bored, make their fodder difficult to eat so that it takes them longer to consume it. One method for accomplishing this is to employ slow feeder hay nets. Alternatively, forage feeding devices such as the Savvy Feeder can be used. If you do feed hay from hay nets, you may need to dampen it down a little to keep the dust to a reasonable level. Additionally, you should feed them their daily hay allowance in two or three meals each day. When the horse is totally sound and able to exercise, a modest exercise plan performed every day will not only help them lose weight, but it will also lower their chance of contracting another episode of laminitis in the future.
Assisting hoof repair
Feeding your horse a food with a low NSC content can assist to avoid additional damage to his hooves. Providing your horse with high-quality protein that contains adequate amounts of the essential amino acids lysine and methionine (soybean is the highest-quality protein source), as well as ensuring that your horse receives adequate amounts of essential vitamins and minerals, will provide your horse with the building blocks it needs to repair damaged hoof tissue. For horses with hooves that are slow to respond to a well-balanced, low-NSC diet, you may find that supplementing the diet with biotin can be beneficial for them.
For more thorough information on managing and feeding the laminitic, please see our FREE booklet, ‘A Vet’s Guide to Feeding the Laminitic’, which can be downloaded by clicking here.
Meet The Author: Dr Nerida Richards
Equine nutritionist Dr. Nerida Richards is on staff at FeedXL as a resident expert. With a bachelor’s degree in rural science, a doctoral degree in equine nutrition, and over two decades of full-time, on-the-ground expertise in feeding all sorts of horses, Nerida is well-qualified to assist FeedXL members with any feeding issues they may have. To discover more about Nerida and to’meet’ the rest of the FeedXL team, please visit our About Us page by clicking on the button below.
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