Bedding for Laminitisand How It Can Help
Horses and ponies prone to laminitis will almost certainly need to spend long periods inside to restrict their grazing. Those suffering a laminitic attack will definitely need box rest, and in both cases the quality of the bedding you provide will be critical to your horse’s or pony’s health, wellbeing and recovery.
What is Laminitis?
The British Horse Society says Laminitis is an extremely painful condition affecting 1 in 10 horses/ponies every year and can cause permanent damage to the hooves.
Laminitis can affect any horse, pony, donkey, or their hybrids at any time of the year, not just in spring – there is no ‘safe season’.
Laminitis affects tissue called sensitive laminae which are found in the horse’s hoof. The sensitive laminae act like Velcro to form a strong bond to hold the pedal bone in place within the hoof.
How can bedding for laminitis help?
Laminitic horses and ponies need a bedding that provides the very best of:
- SUPPORT especially under the hoof, under the frog and the pedal bone
- STABILITY to keep the bedding evenly and deeply spread on the stable floor
- RESILIENCE to support and cushion weight both standing and lying down
- HYGIENE to protect against infection and the damage that ammonia can do to hooves.
Bedmax has been developed to provide all these benefits, plus it is dust extracted and naturally hygienic, both of which are critical to the health of horses on box rest.
That’s why Bedmax is the first-choice bedding for so many leading equine vets and clinics, professionals, farriers and owners all over the UK.
Key bedding factors that affect hoof care
- Support under the hoof
A good bedding must provide good, firm support under the hoof, and especially under the frog. This is particularly important for horses with hoof problems or on box rest – and especially for horses and ponies prone to or suffering from laminitis. Bedmax shavings provide excellent support under the hoof.
- Stability underfoot
Bedding that moves too easily leaves an uneven, patchy covering on the stable floor, which undermines the support under your horse’s hooves. Bedmax shavings provide level, consistent support between maintenance/mucking out and topping up.
- Size matters
The size of the particles in your bedding is critical to hoof maintenance. Every bag of Bedmax shavings contains a mixture of large, medium, and small flakes that provide the ideal combination for optimum stability, absorbency, support, resilience, and durability.
- Moisture content in the bedding
We want our horses to be warm and dry in the stable, but very dry bedding will suck moisture out of the hoof, causing cracking that can lead to infection. Bedmax shavings are dried at sterilising temperatures to a precisely controlled low moisture content that keeps the bed dry but doesn’t dry out the hoof.
Yes – but where? Small particle bedding is highly absorbent but absorbs urine at the surface, which maximises hoof contact with ammonia. Bedmax offers a combination of surface draining and lower-level absorbency that gives you the best of both worlds.
- No lumps and bumps
Bedding with small particles is more likely to form highly compacted, uneven areas in the bed. Bedmax shavings are dust extracted and don’t compact, remaining loose, aerated and supportive throughout the life of the bed.
Why we use pine?
Bedmax is made mainly from scots pine rather than the more common spruce or larch, to give you the benefit of its uniquely powerful antibacterial properties.
Pine has always been associated with hygiene, and research has proven that it does indeed eradicate a wide range of harmful bacteria – including the E. Coli and E. Faecium bacteria likely to flourish in bedding.
We believe that the pine in Bedmax helps to combat bacteria and fungi that can cause infection in hooves, and the absence of ammonia in a Bedmax stable seems to indicate that it may also reduce or suppress the bacteria that convert urine into ammonia.
For more articles regarding Horse Health In The Stable check out our series of blogs.