Feed for horse with laminitis
My horse/pony is susceptible for laminitis. What is the feeding policy?
Laminitis or founder is an infection of the hoof corium. The infection causes a painful inflammation between the horseshoe and the hoof bone. Causes of this condition can be all type of processes that strongly decrease the flow of blood and/or oxygen to the hoof, for example, toxic substances that circulate in the blood or over-exertion.
Toxic substances could originate from an excess of rich grasslands, a high content or fructan or starch. A horse’s metabolism is not built to process a great deal of grains. Too much starch ultimately enters the small intestines undigested. The undigested starch enters a large intestines and the micro bacteria in the large intestines start splitting up in order to try to deal with the digestion of food. When a bacteria splits, it emits toxic substances and these could cause disturbances in the fermentation process, which can lead to infections and even cause laminitis.
While most horse owners know that molasses and grain contain a great deal of sugar and starch, they perhaps are not aware that the diet of their horses could also contain an excess of other substances. These might be found in bran, oats, barley or corn, because these foods contain a great deal of non-textured carbohydrates (= starch, sugar and fructan).
The rations have to be adjusted immediately. Don't give your horse any kinds concentrates, only good quality roughage and water. Follow-up treatment after an acute phase. Make sure your horse receives a diet with sufficient roughage and little concentrates. Lucerne-mix is a high-quality roughage with very low contents of water-soluble carbohydrates (sugars and fructan) in comparison to hay and grass.
Furthermore, it is important to prevent overweight. Don’t give your horse any unnecessary sources of energy. One low-energy and low-protein concentrate is enough for most horses. Hartog Balance and Concept are the most appropriate products for this ration in order to prevent laminitis because they contain very little starch and sugars.
Another important point for preventing laminitis is to avoid over-grazing in meadows. The short grass stubble contains a relatively high content of fructan. This happens because a horse meadows are not sufficiently fertilised. Grass grows insufficiently and fructan accumulates. That is why it is better not to allow horse meadows to become too arid.
All horses and ponies are different. If you need any personal advice please contact us about feeding of Hartog products. It is also possible to calculate the feed ration for your horse or pony with Hartog Feeding advice.