Get a jump on laminitis

By Connie Orcutt • Published: August 1st, 2014
Category: Animal Airwaves

Laminitis, a crippling hoof disease, is one of the most common reasons horses are euthanized. But amazingly, this excruciating syndrome is often preventable by controlling your horse’s diet.

Of special concern are dietary starches and simple sugars. Both of these carbohydrates are broken down quickly in the digestive tract to form the chemical culprits that can lead to laminitis. The other problem is simple overfeeding in concert with too little exercise, resulting in a chubby, unfit horse.

Avoid carbohydrate overload by limiting your horse’s access to grain and lush new grass. Both are chock full of simple sugars and starches. Feed mature pasture hay at 2 percent of your horse’s ideal body weight per day and keep extra calories under control. Finally, make sure your equine friend is exercised to get a jump on laminitis.