Help Your Horse or Pony Beat Laminitis

Apr 30, 2019 | Equine Health in the Stable

If you’re one of the hundreds or even thousands of owners in the UK whose horse or pony suffers from laminitis, you’ll be acutely aware of the dangers of Spring grass. ALL horse and pony owners need to be aware that Spring is a peak time for this horribly painful and crippling condition. It can strike horses and ponies at any time of their lives, even if they’ve never experienced an attack before, and Laminitis is on the increase in the UK.

More and more horses and ponies are experiencing it – and not just now in the Spring, when sugars in new grass are at their highest. It can strike at any time of year and it can be caused by a number of factors.

LAMINITIS – Potential Causes

  • Too much sugar-rich new grass
  • Frosted grass
  • Too much feed, particularly concentrates
  • Obesity
  • Lack of exercise
  • Genetic disposition

The last factor is the only one that owners cannot control. If your horse is one of the estimated 10 – 12% of the equine population that has an inherited genetic vulnerability to laminitis – or a metabolic condtion like Cushings that increases vulnerability –  you will be ultra-aware of the triggers and  manage your horse or pony accordingly.

All the others are areas of management for which owners are responsible. You regulate grazing in Spring; you manage your horse’s diet; you ensure they are exercised properly.

How can Bedmax help you beat laminitis?

Your choice of bedding can’t help you prevent an attack of laminitis. That’s down to your management of diet and exercise, above.
But how fast you respond to the early signs of an attack, and what you do to help your horse or pony recover, are vital to their wellbeing and their future.

There are three essential ways you can help your horse or pony, reduce their suffering and minimise long term damage if laminitis strikes:

  1. Call your vet the moment you suspect laminitis. This is absolutely critical. Don’t hesitate. If it’s laminitis your vet will know, and almost certainly administer an anti-inflammatory to reduce pain and heat. If it isn’t laminitis, much better to be safe than sorry.
  2. Bring your horse in off the grass immediately, no matter how reluctant they are to walk. Hosing hooves with cold water can help reduce inflammation while you wait for the vet to arrive…
  3. Box rest for a considerable period will be one of your vet’s essential and immediate treatments. And your vet will almost certainly recommend a deep bed of supportive shavings. Take the expert advice. It can reduce the pain and suffering, and help speed recovery to full fitness.

Many vets, and the Laminitis Trust, actually specify Bedmax as the best shavings for laminitic horses, for two important reasons:

Firstly for hooves. Bedmax shavngs are cut larger, so every bag contains an equal mix of large, medium and small. This makes them particularly supportive and resilient. A horse or pony with laminitis needs all the support and comfort that Bedmax shavings offer, especially under the front hooves, where the pedal bone has been rotated downwards.

Secondly for overall health in the stable. If your horse or pony is restricted to box rest for some weeks, it is even more important that you use a bedding that helps keep the stable environment as healthy as possible.

Creating a healthy stable has always been our goal since we started researching Bedmax over 20 years ago. Even for horses that only spend their nights in their stables, that’s still around 12 hours in every 24 in a small enclosed space full of health threats: airborne dust and spores, harmful bacteria, ammonia…

When your horse or pony is in their stable 24/7 how much more important is it that you give them a bedding purpose-made to help you safeguard equine health – low dust, naturally hygienic, supportive, comfortable…

So keep a very close eye on your horses and ponies enjoying the grass (and the sunshine), and act fast if you see any warning signs. And even if laminitis doesn’t strike, bring them in at night to a healthy bed of Bedmax.