Laminitis and horse feed

18 September 2019 News

Laminitis and horse feed

Laminitis is known and feared to be one of the most severe and complex diseases that a horse can face. This disorder usually affects forelimbs, more rarely even the posterior ones and can lead to heavy consequences till the choice of slaughter the animal. Therefore it is useful to recognize the symptoms, to urgently call professionals veterinarians to diagnose the disease quickly, eliminating the severe pain and avoiding unpleasant consequences.

Specifically, this disease involves a modification of the animal’s foot, due to the third phalanx downward rotation. The visible symptoms, even to the less experienced, are pain manifested thought the horse typical attitude of the front limbs forward, trouble in doing even few steps and the so-called “warm feet”. In these cases, it is better to contact immediately a veterinarian, even just for a slight suspicion.

Trying to prevent laminitis, it is good to pay attention to its many causes all with a common result: a blood flow reduction to the foot. This can be connected to many circumstances such as excessive sugar ingestion, horse obesity, in some cases postpartum and severe limp that forces the horse to overload the opposite limb for long time.

Since there are so many causes and the disease is complex, how is it possible to prevent laminitis?

First, rely on constant veterinarian checks, then even those who deal with the horse on a daily basis can actively prevent laminitis with proper nutrition.

One of most frequent causes of laminitis is related to unbalanced and poor quality horse feed. An unbalanced diet can play an active role in laminitis when the dose of carbohydrates and sugars is too high. It is well known sugar should be avoided for the horse health, while an excessive low quality carbohydrates intake, are difficult to digested, ferment in the digestive tract producing toxins that can cause inflammation and also laminitis.

A carbohydrate oven-intake can be caused by an overdose of cereals and even when cereals have a higher carbohydrate content. Therefore you should analyze the label to know the recommended doses and evaluate the features ​​of the horse feed used, relying on manufacturers ensuring consistency in feed formulations and their nutrients. The poor quality of the cereals is linked to the quality of the raw ingredients that must be free of aflatoxins and processed with methods, such as thermo-flaking, maintaining the properties of the raw ingredients and making them easy digestible. Thermo-flaking has also another advantage: through the cereals starch gelatinization process (ie the loss of the starch crystal structure) and the subsequent crushing,  carbohydrate molecules earn a less complex structures, becoming digestible for horses, reducing the starch content that in excessive doses plays an important role in the laminitis development.

But be careful: cereals are an important part in horse’s diet, they should not be eliminated but carefully chosen, considering the amount of starch they contain and feeding them in the right dose.

All Guidolin feed have thermo-flaked cereals, controlled at all stages to guarantee the absence of toxins, high digestibility and excellent and constant over time nutritional values. It is possible to choose between different formulas to combine with hay according to the nutritional needs of the horse. If you prefer a complete and handy product, Wafer Fioc, combines Guidolin flaked cereals with high quality hay, for a complete meal suitable for the prevention of laminitis though horse feed.