Can we have a laminitis prevention tips/support threat?(18 Posts)
So I upset our ponies yesterday by fencing off their paddock to restrict their grazing and I don't think they believe me that it was for their own good!
I have had them just over a year and last year my horse got laminitis in the early autumn so prevention strategies need to be upped this year. My plan is to restrict the grazing, probably let them have add lib hay and try to ride at least 3 times a week as I understand fitness is really helpful.
My daughter's pony hasn't had laminitis but she's not exactly skinny so she should be OK on the same regime
If anyone else has any different tips for coping that would be great or if you just want to share stories of grumpy horses!
I have 3 natives and will be following this thread.
Atm the 2 sec a's are in a tiny paddock with hay twice a day. The Highland filly is in with my sisters 2 cobs and they have ad link hayledge. But once this reel is finished we will be moving them to summer grazing. We will strip graze and use muzzles as necessary. Certainly have 3 that will be.going out with gimp masks on.
My.little mare was diagnosed with cushings over winter so need to be doubly careful with her and sisters cob had really bad.lami as a 3 year old.
Have successfully managed a laminitic prone pony (before I was owner) for a number of years my top tips include:
Condition score the ponies once a week (if not sure ask vet to start and then use the charts available from feed suppliers)
Use a weight tape once a week to track even the smallest of changes.
Use condition scoring and weight tape to decide diet and not allow yourself to be drawn into thinking that they must be hungry as the diet is restricted. Remember the sort of grazing that horses naturally evolved to live on.
Soak hay for 24 hours before feeding. Ideally replace water at least twice. this washes the sugars out of the hay.
Muzzles and strip grazing are certainly the way to go, When strip grazing make the strips long and thin so there is a longer distance to walk between mouthfuls. Don't worry it looks like there is little grass...they have eaten it!! Its easy to over estimate how much grass they are going to need.
Avoid grazing if grass is frosty as will be higher in sugars.
Exercise as often as possible. Even if its just lunging for 20 mins a day to get heart rate up and metabolism going.
Mine are on reverse turnout. In during the day with 24 hour soaked hay and out at night on a bare paddock. Weight is good at the moment but will monitor.
the only thing with soaking the hay that long - is that I understood it not only soaked the sugar out - but also all the nutrients? and if it is the main source of forage this would be a concern?
also is it that sugar is higher in the day in grass, so bring in during the day and turn out at night?
Our welshie got seriously annoyed last year with her starvation paddock - she also could not believe it was for her own good, but she remained the same weight all through spring and summer.
Mine have a balancer to redress the nutrients lost in the soaked hay. Yes the sugars in the grass are less at night apparently. They are on about an acre of very bald grass.
He is muzzled 24/7. I poo pick every day,so I can tell by the amount of poos how much he is eating (so I know he isn't starving, despite his sad face). I put the other horses on the field first to start eating it down before he goes in there.
My farrier is great and always comments on how he is looking weight-wise, I guess its much easier when you don't see them every day to get a proper picture.
A good article on laminitis in horse and hound today.
If you can buy some decent last year's hay (not dusty or musty) you won't have to bother soaking as it will have fewer nutrients anyway, but it will do a good job of filling them up (and it will be cheaper!). You can also pull some nettles and let them dry in the sun so they can pick at them.
Give a feed of chaff and fibrebeet before turnout at night, they won't gorge on the grass so much.
Be careful of carrots etc. You could be upping their sugar rations without realising. Best advice I had was from a farrier who said 'treat them like a diabetic'.
Think ahead. Don't let them get fatter in the winter 'because it's cold' and then expect to be able to get the weight off when the grass is coming through. You should aim to come into the spring a little on the lean side.
Watch out for the autumn flush of grass and also for frosty/sunny days as the sugar content will rocket. This is because the sun makes the grass want to grow but it can't because it's too cold so it stores the sugar.
Actually, think I should have said Speedibeet. I believe it's not as fattening.
Good tips everyone.
We still have last year's hay so don't need to worry about the soaking. Not sure if it will last all summer though.
I give them chaff mainly as a carrier for their supplement as restricting the grazing also restricts the nutrients they are getting.
If you use a muzzle do you also restrict the grazing or does it work alone?
Scrap restricted grazing and set up a track around the perimeter of your paddock with ad lib hay.
It means more movement naturally and once the grass is gone it's gone.
I have two lami prone and both have done extremely well with this method so far.
I don't believe in starvation....causes other issues in my eyes as horses are built to constantly graze on something.
Straw is low cal and if you soak hay even better.
No horse I ever own again will ever have lush grass...it's the cause of more problems than people realize.
Our connie mare went a bit lame (ok in straight line but lame on turn) 2 weeks ago and we got the farrier to look at her. He couldn't spot anything so called the vet and he was worried about Lami although she wasn't showing any real signs. However she is obese even though we only feed her hay and her shared paddock is quite small.
He treated her as possibly going to get Lami and she's had a week of box rest with bute and we're religiously weighing her hay and giving it to her in 3 nets a day - all soaked overnight (even though it's last years).
She is now out on restricted grazing (about size of 2 stables) for an hour each evening and she has lost weight although still heavy.
We're going to give her more grazing from tomorrow - although well eaten down - as we do want her moving around. We've also started gently riding her - just walking her around the field each evening.
She's got no feelable digital pulse, nor heat not any problems with her foot/sole.
We seem to be on top of it but just being very careful.
Some really good tips here. I second grazing muzzles but not every type fits every horse - I had to try a few before found one that wouldn't rub mine (dinky muzzles are good and do from teeny ponies up to shires) . She also only had it on in the day and then at night was on to paddock with restricted grazing. Partly to give a break to prevent rubs and partly I don't like leaving things on overnight.
The grass has to be reasonably long to get through the muzzle but it reduces intake by 75%. Is also nice if you have other horses that don't need to be restricted as they can all go out together.
Mrsduffs suggestion is something I would do if had own place, often called paradise paddocks and there's some great ideas online for them.
Also toys or v small holed nets if have horse that likes to play or happy to tease out hay. I have a couple of trickle nets, Blooming expensive but only thing that has defeated my wily gelding (previously was triple bagging small holed haynets). Interestingly after a several months of using those he will now eat sensibly from a normal hay net without acting like a hoover.
In an ideal world, I'd set up a track system, but DPony is on a livery yard and it's out of the question
She's out from 8am-4pm and muzzled and she comes in at night to a soaked net and her "football" with half a scoop of fibre pellets. Since being muzzled (3 weeks), she's definitely lost her crest and dropped weight (I forgot to weight tape her at the start, but she's looking more defined)
She's never had laminitis (touch wood), but she could live on fresh air and she's a complete pig, so I treat her like a laminitic
Exercise is the thing that's missing from most of these animals' lives. Twenty minutes in a sand ring is just nothing - lots of these animals probably only take a hundred steps a day.
One of mine had it once. It was because I let him get too fat, you can bet I won't make that mistake again.
I used a muzzle when he was slimming, but I've found if I start his diet early enough I can let him out overnight without the muzzle. Our grass is quite poor stuff anyway.
I feed timothy haylage, it's really low in sugar and doesn't need soaking. Everything else he eats is low sugar/no sugar/low calorie - but he can have the occasional sugar-free Polo mint as a treat
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.