Laminitis in Horses

Laminitis in horses has become a very common condition these days and is mostly due to the pappy and abundant pastures on which most of the horses and ponies are grazed. Horses are mainly classified as foragers or grazers. Their digestive systems are so compatible to cope up with the continuous supply of some amount of roughage in form of lush pastures. Laminitis is often seen in domestic horses and not in wild horses. Wild horses have to travel very long distance in search of enough food to keep themselves alive. Most wild grasses are generally low in nutrients. Whereas domestic horses get more than enough amount of nutrients grasses and they don’t even have to travel long distance to get food. As a consequence the domestic horses increase the chance of suffering from laminitis as they consume more sugar than their body can handle. The stored sugar leads to a laminitis horse. Also many of the stable horses are given huge amount of grains in one feeding and then are left for hours without food which disrupts their digestive system and contributes to laminitis.

Laminitis is basically a disease which affects the feet of hoofed animals and is generally seen in horses and other cattle. It is an extremely painful condition which cripples the animal. Inflammation of the sensitive structures in the hoof of the animal are called lamellae. The coffin bone is held firm within the hoof capsule by the means of lamellae. One can predict the connection by looking at the white line of a healthy hoof. The narrower is the white line stronger is the connection. Whereas stretch in the white line indicates a compromised connection. If laminitis is left untreated, it can often lead to founder where the bone gets detached from the hoof capsule. In severe cases it can even penetrate into the sole. The early stages of laminitis in a horse is called acute and when it has been present for a long time it is called chronic laminitis. The lamina supports the weight of the whole animal

by supporting the pedal bone in the hoof. In severe laminitis cases, the pedal bone often sinks and rotates due to the inability of the lamina which cannot support it anymore. When the pedal sinks too far it, it can penetrate into the foot from the sole. It is often incurable but in some cases it can be cured with an expense of lot of money, time and patience. Any pony can be affected by this disease and mainly their front feet gets affected.