Help! My horse has Laminitis!

by Yvonne Welz ©2006

Your horse has severe pain in its front hooves, and is rocking back to unweight them. Or maybe it won't even stand up at all. You fear the worst - Laminitis. Or maybe your horse has just been diagnosed with laminitis. What can you do?

Note: Please consult with your veterinarian. Laminitis is a serious health problem. Your veterinarian should always be part of your horse's hoof care program, and should be working cooperatively with your hoofcare professional.

What caused this laminitis? Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Does poor hoof form cause laminitis, or does laminitis cause poor hoof form? Often laminitis develops because there is already a problem going on with the horse's hoof form - it is usually contracted or pathological, and often the heels are way too high (frogs not on the ground). However, even horses with healthy hoof form can go through a laminitic period if they are poisoned in some way. There are many triggers that can set off inflammation, including systemic upset, medical conditions, malnutrition, iron in water, pregnancy, etc., which you can read about on Gretchen Fathauer's web page:

More information about grass founder as a trigger, and activated charcoal as a remedy for acute laminitis:

Information about the barefoot treatment of acute laminitis:

This very expansive site is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to learn more about laminitis and founder:

Website from researcher Kathryn Watts, presents information on the current research and prevention of grass founder in horses.

Click here to read Dr. Robert Bowker's recommendations for a barefoot trim.

Click here for barefoot trimming instructions on Marjorie Smith's website, Barefoot for Soundness.

(An important book to read about Founder & Laminitis is Dr. Strasser's "Who’s Afraid of Founder" which is available from The Horse's Hoof store.)

©2006 by The Horse's Hoof. All rights reserved. No part of these publications may be reproduced by any means whatsoever without the written permission of the publisher and/or authors. The information contained within these articles is intended for educational purposes only, and not for diagnosing or medicinally prescribing in any way. Readers are cautioned to seek expert advice from a qualified health professional before pursuing any form of treatment on their animals. Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher.

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