The herb Jiao Gu Lan has a long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Because of the herb’s ability as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, it has beneficial effects for horses suffering from Laminitis. It also has a powerful ability to increase blood flow in the hoof due to its ability to modulate nitric oxide.
Many horse owners, even equine professionals, will ignore these symptoms unless the horse is actually lame. However, they can all indicate serious pathology in the hooves and be a sign of things to come.
The digital pulse is the pulse flowing through the artery to the hoof and is a useful tool in determining if a horse has inflammation in the hoof capsule. It is also useful in determining if a horse could be suffering from Laminitis.
Diet is key when it comes to addressing laminitis and founder in horses. The number one priority is to ensure that the diet is low in simple sugars and starch.
When testing forage, Ethanol Soluble Carbohydrates (ESC) is the measure of simple sugars. It's the ESC and starch that need to be considered when assessing forage for the laminitic prone horse. Anything with a combined ESC and starch content below 10% is considered safe. Unfortunately, many feeds, pasture and even hay, can be much higher than this.
It is very tempting to want to give your laminitic horse pain relief medication such as the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory phenylbutazone (bute). However, these medications must be used with caution and preferably only in the first 3-5 days.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest risk factors for laminitis and founder in horses is domestication. In the wild, horses will often cover very long distances looking for food and water and their digestive systems have evolved to be very efficient in obtaining energy and nutrients from sparse low-calorie fodder.
Not all the signs of Laminitis are obvious! Your horse doesn’t have to be standing ‘Camped under’ in the classic Founder Stance or have ‘Aladdin’ slipper feet! Some of the signs can be subtle and easily confused with other common problems.
It can be confusing for people to actually visualise what is happening inside the hooves of their laminitic horse, so we’ve drawn some pictures for you! But first, before we go into what’s ‘abnormal’ we need to have an understanding of what’s ‘normal’
4 STEPS TO PREVENTION - Once Laminitis occurs, depending on the severity, it can be a death sentence for many horses. If they are lucky and dont have a catastrophic hoof failure, then rehabilitation is possible, however prevention is far preferable. Rehab takes dedication and a lot of time and expense, and for some horses, a full recovery may never be possible.
Your fat horse has been locked in the ‘jenny craig’ paddock now for weeks and he’s starting to get fed up, he might be missing his mates, walking the fence or just standing around looking a bit depressed.