Monday 20th June 2022
During the summer, lush grass can result in laminitis, a painful hoof condition affecting horses and ponies. Honeychop have a range of Free From horse feeds designed to help prevent laminitis.
Honeychop's Free From Feeds are made from a low starch oat straw base, and are free from molasses, soya, alfalfa, artificial additives and added sugar.
Chopped Oat Straw is made from pure Oat Straw and contains no oil, making it perfect as a feed for laminitic horses and good doers.
All three feeds are on special offer this month!
Read below for more info on laminitis and how to prevent it.
WHAT IS LAMINITIS?
Laminitis is an inflammation of the laminae tissues of the hoof. Although it is thought of as disease which mainly affects overweight equines, all horses and ponies can be affected regardless of age, sex or weight.
When laminitis occurs, it can result in painful tearing of the laminae from the hoof wall. Laminitis can cause lameness or even be fatal in extreme cases.
WHAT CAUSES LAMINITIS?
Laminitis is usually caused by an intake of too much sugar in a horse or pony’s diet. This can be a result of eating lush grass, poor pasture, highly molassed feed or cereal grains. However, other health conditions can trigger laminitis, such as hoof trauma, illness, stress and obesity.
TIPS FOR PREVENTING LAMINITIS
The best way to prevent laminitis is to feed a low sugar, low starch, high fibre diet, with calorie intake controlled where necessary.
- A hay replacer such as Honeychop Chopped Oat Straw can help to lower carb intake, but ensure that your horse consumes enough water to avoid other digestive problems.
- Manage grazing – a grazing muzzle can prevent overconsumption. Consider strip grazing, or mixed grazing with sheep. The best grazing times are early morning and late at night when the fructans (sugars) are at their lowest.
- Avoid feeding grains and cereals, especially starchy cereals such as bran.
- If you are feeding hay, soak it for a few hours, to increase water intake and leach out some of the protein, carb and sugar. However soaked hay does need to be rinsed well and fed immediately.
- Feed little and often, always making sure your equine has access to fresh water. Using a hay net can slow down feeding and help to spread out the horse’s calorie intake throughout the day.
- Support your horse’s health with a good quality, low calorie hoof supplement. Take a look at our range of supplements HERE.
- Keep your horse or pony’s feet healthy with regular professional hoof care – such as regular trimming and correct foot balance. Laminitis-prone horses may benefit from specialist shoeing.
- Monitor your horse following medical conditions such as colic or retained placenta as these can put them at high risk causes of laminitis. Testing for conditions such as insulin resistance is also helpful.
- Avoid damaging the horse’s hooves with excessive work on hard surfaces.
- Avoid stressing out your horse. When stressed, equines release corticosteroids from their adrenal gland. Alterations in blood flow to the feet may then promote laminitis.
NB: Any changes to your horse or pony’s diet need to be gradual. NEVER starve a laminitic this can cause hyperlipaemia and be fatal.
If you would like more information on laminitis and how to prevent and treat it, check out Honeychop’s complete guide HERE.