Laminitis – the nightmare for horse owners! Laminitis is a disease of the hoof, that takes place increasingly. If the laminitis is incorrectly treated or not at all, this means the death of the horse in the worst case. It is important to be able to answer the question as an owner of affected by laminitis horse: “What is laminitis? And what happened why exactly on the hoof?”
Hoof in normal position: – Hoof rotation – Descent of hoof bone.
The disease of the hooves means the loss of horse and its efficiency and, in the worst case, its death!
Various theories and hypotheses on the approaches and treatment measures of laminitis are spread by the “specialist literature” and the new media. There is a jungle of information, that more confuses horse owners instead of helping them.
We unravel the many theories and hypotheses:
If we understand a reasons why laminitis is triggered and why by some animals occurs lowering or rotation of the coffin bone, then, in a logical consequence, only remains the goal to support the healing, so that the hooves get a natural form again.
Inflammation of lamina at the toe, primarily caused by a non-physiological hoof capsule, is reinforced by other pro-inflammatory factors.
The role of hoof situation by the emergence of laminitis is still underestimated. Furthermore, the hoof situations are predestined and in our opinion, even in most cases the main cause, that a severe laminitis may occur.
This hypothesis is supported by the fact, that the horses generally take bigger damage on the front hooves, and the hind hooves survive the inflammatory relapses unremarkable. Due to natural movements of a horse, the angulation and the lever on the hindquarters and given by nature load distribution between front and hind hooves the suspensory apparatus of the hind toe is intact and don’t have the same mechanical impacts such as in the front hooves.
In a held in short intervals in a functional and natural form hoof capsule can be intercepted or detected most other influences such as metabolic disorders, fetal membranes, infections or congestion, to take the necessary measures. Then it becomes possible to concentrate only on the elimination of the remaining amplifiers of inflammation.
We consider the hoof trimming as the mainstay of preventive measures to avoid laminitis. Then there are the other major components of the holistic horses and horse care such as posture, movement and feeding. The wild relatives give us the best basic knowledge of how these components must be constructed.
Forms of treatment
Even with the often time-consuming and cost-intensive rehabilitation of horses, it is advisable to choose a natural and therefore sustainable approach and refuse tagging with symptoms.
After recovering from an acute thrust, it is needed to support the blood circulation in the hoof, in order to achieve an increased metabolism. A high metabolism means better healing.
We reject the much publicized significance of the hoof boots for preventing a rotation of the coffin bone. The disadvantages of this method outweigh the dubious advantage of a questionable mitigating strain of deep flexor tendon on the coffin bone.
The muscles will shorten within a few hours to adapt to changing hoof conditions. The circulation of the hoof is reduced by the steep hoof angle especially in the toe and the body’s weight is even more shifted to the already inflamed toe wall. This measure promotes rotation of the coffin bone and prevent further injury to the suspensory apparatus.
Nature helps us to discover the truth. The natural behavior of horses is to relieve the toe and to show a founder stance. That you can see generally by every horse affected by laminitis. The horse itself knows ultimately best how the pain is alleviated and what position and movement gives a relief. An increased founder is aimed directly against the natural needs of the horse.
Another controversial issue is the use of painkillers. Some are in favor with the sign of animal welfare and speak for a strong medication, while others are fundamentally opposed to any medication, since they overload metabolism additionally.
The answer is provided by nature again: “Pain is a natural protection of the body from overload”. The horses move therefore only as much as needed to keep up pace with the herd. In our opinion, painkillers should be used with restraint, since it is important that the damaged hooves are not overloaded.
Nevertheless, we see it as an advantage to be able to offer the horses a painless cure as fast as possible. There are some natural alternatives for the pain relief.
There are several opinions regarding feeding the horses. They are often presented in form of restrictive diets in and countless feed additives for horses with laminitis. For the healing of damaged structure supplements are needed in sufficient quantity. Nature has the answer ready: Structured feeding hay, natural mineral feed and selected herbs are the feed to choice.
The hay should be available around the clock. Even a weight loss should not be done only by reduction of the feed alone. The feeding time can be extended through the use of hay nets or “Haytoys”. Also a part of the high-calorie sugar in hay can be washed out with water.