An Overview of Equine Laminitis
Considered one of the most critical and crippling health disorders of the equids. Severe cases of laminitis can impair the overall usefulness of a horse or worse, it could result to euthanasia to relieve the animal’s suffering. It is expensive to treat a laminitic horse whether it will be a successful one or not, and it is important to expend energy to care for a horse with such condition.
Laminitis is an inflammatory disease of the laminae, or the tissues that bond the hoof wall to the hoof’s pedal bone. It is an extremely painful condition that can affect any horse, regardless of sex, age or time of the year. Although this condition generally affects fat ponies, laminitis can result from different metabolic and physical factors in equids. If laminitis is not treated immediately, the pedal bone will drop or rotate downwards. The common signs of a laminitic horse include an increased temperature on the foot area. Horses may be seen to tremble or become anxious. When you measure your horse’s pulse, you may feel a pounding pulse. Horses that are in great pain will try to decrease the weight load on the diseased foot by standing with an awkward stance. Often, to accomplish this, they will position their hind legs underneath they body and have their forelegs forward. They tend to lie down as much as they can and if the pain is extremely severe, they will remain in that position.
Causes of laminitis
There are many identified causes of equine laminitis and the most common of which is the sudden ingestion of excessive carbohydrates like sugars and starches. This is when the horse eats too much of the grain and cannot digest all the carbohydrates properly. Overweight and obese horses without proper exercise are also prone to this inflammatory condition. Laminitis can still develop even on an unaffected limb because of the excessive weight bearing on the severe lameness of the other limb.
How to Manage Laminitis?
If you suspect that your horse is suffering from laminitis, it is important to respond to the situation quickly. Early signs of the said condition can progress to serious stages very quickly. You need to contact your veterinarian as soon as you suspect the disease. Place your horse in a comfortable area with a deep bed to allow cushioning of the feet. It is not recommended to take your horse for a walk as this can induce further damage. Your vet will perform an assessment and will determine if there is a need to provide immediate treatment. Laminitis can be very painful and so usually, vets try to focus more on pain relief. It will take a long time for a horse to recover from laminitis. Therefore, it is important to be patient about it and to be diligent in giving post-treatment care. Even after treatment, horses can still be prone to future episodes of laminitis; therefore it is imperative to continue observing preventive measures. In extremely severe cases, euthanasia may be the only option left.Anti-inflammatory drugs are usually prescribed to laminitic horses. Prolonged usage of such medications can cause ulcers in horses. Prevent ulcers from developing while treating your laminitic horse. Choose equine omeprazole together with sucralfate for teh best results.