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You are in... Forums > Horse Care > Feeding > Feeding the laminitic!

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**Haflinger21**

Joined:

Sep 08

Posts: 440

Feeding the laminitic!

Hi

I am contempating starting to give feed again to my haffie who had laminitis last summer.  He is masked through the day and was on soaked hay at night.  I have now started to let him have this dry over the last month and he has sustained his current weight.  He has a balancer due to him not getting much nutrietion from anything else BUT he has no energy when working as he has nothing really going in if that makes sense.

Years ago I used to ride a shetland cross who struggled with lammy.  He was then put on oats, nettles and rosehips and lived until he was 47!  After reading the your horse mag this month I was thinking of trying him on this to give him a boost but only on the days he is ridden so he should burn it off and not gain weigh.

What do you guys think of this? x

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abbieandfiona

Joined:

Mar 09

Posts: 5016

Re: Feeding the laminitic!

Worth a try i use redcell to boost fiona alongside a balancer she picks and eat her own nettles in field!

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wundahoss

Joined:

Dec 09

Posts: 134

wundahoss says:

Re: Feeding the laminitic!

Hi,

 

I'd advise you to first learn about the principles & factors that govern health & function of hooves. Arguably the best resource to start with for that is hoofrehab.com as it has HEAPS of well researched & experienced advice & info & links. With regard to learning specifically how diet relates to hooves, safergrass.org is a great resource. And for general diet & nutritional info, FeedXL.com is a fantastic service(who were - probably still are - offering freebies to UK & Sth African residents, so get onto them & make the most of it!). You can also get some of the latest research, that was presented at the Royal Veterinary College 'Laminitis Awareness' days, via Dodson & Horrell feed co if you email them & ask for the papers. Makes for some enlightening reading.

 

If your horse was on soaked hay by vet's orders, chances are the vet thought your horse has, or was likely to have insulin resistance problems, which make them extra sensitive to hi-carb feeds. It is a similar condition to type 2 diabetes in people & cannot be 'cured', just carefully managed to prevent the worst symptoms. Therefore I would be very cautious about reintroducing him to rich pasture, let alone 'junk foods' like grain.

 

I would guess that your shettie was either kept sound *despite* his diet(there are other factors to consider too), or he lived, but uncomfortably to a ripe old age. Whatever, I wouldn't base your practices on one dubious example of anecdotal evidence. Also grain is more problematic if fed in large &/or infrequent meals, so planning to feed him only on work days is potentially worse for him than feeding little & often every day. If your horse is maintaining his weight, then it's not likely calories that are lacking anyway. In fact, if he's still overweight, that may be the problem.

 

Perhaps he's lacking or imbalanced in his nutrition, despite the 'balancer'. Perhaps the balancer is grain based, so leading to further problems. Perhaps he's foundered(but not currently laminitic) so still very uncomfortable on his feet. Perhaps he's uncomfortable on his feet for other reasons. Perhaps it's other symptoms of IR that are making him listless. Or perhaps it's what you're asking of him & how you're riding him, or saddle fit problems or such that are the problem.

 

...So you can see there are a lot of considerations and possible problems to rule out or treat before considering that high energy food may be what's needed & appropriate for this horse. If you would like a critique or more specific opinion on the state of his feet, you can post some hoof pics here if you like.

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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**Haflinger21**

Joined:

Sep 08

Posts: 440

Re: Feeding the laminitic!

Believe me I have ruled out all furhter problems to the point of paranoia lol

He was on soaked hay as the stuff at the time was very very rich and he was overweight so was used to reduce calories for his diet. He is now bang on the correct weight and has mantained this for some time. The Vet has Okayed the introduction of dry hay.

He has had a full vet check and is not IR nor does he have founder or any ongoing pain or heart issues. He is currently on his 3rd saddle this year as of two weeks ago as he is still fairly young and has changed shape with coming back into work and losing weight etc. He has also had a physio check him over and the dentist every 6 months

The balancer he is given is not grain based and the whole reason he has been given untouched oats is to avoid other options of "junk food" such as conditioning mixes etc.

You are correct that we cannot be sure that it was this diet that kept my shettie going for so long, but he never had another bought of laminitis nor was he in pain.

He is shod by the vet farrier and is not in pain, both the vet and farrier have agreed to this diet after running it by them also and they did advise to feed him a small amount a day rather than just on working days too which I am now doing whilst obviously montioring his weight very closely.

Thanks for your help.

 

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rhapsody

Joined:

Apr 05

Posts: 2976

rhapsody says:

Re: Feeding the laminitic!

I nursed my old pony for 6 years through Cushings and chronic laminitis.  I feed him laminitis clicnic approved feeds only (there is a symbol on the feed bag if they've approved it) and he got speedibeet, dengie hi-fi lite, allen and page sugar and cereal intolerance diet.  I used the hi-fi lite as a hay replacer as he developed coughing and allergies to the hay and I fed it in a large muck bucket soaked twice per day.  He remained nutritionally healthy for years and he also got formula 4 feet as a supplement and had vitex 4 equids for the Cushings.  He eventually had to be pts due to colic but right up to the end he was not a "typical" Cushings horse i.e. no hairy coat etc.  I would recommend that you log onto www.laminitisclinic.org where you will find a multitude of up to date advice about all aspects of laminitis and Cushings all carefully researched and developed by Dr Robert Eustace.  They've even got a help line which is a useful resource and sometimes you even get to speak to the man himself.

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3MoodyMaresMum

Joined:

Jun 09

Posts: 827

Feeding the laminitic!

I've been living with trial and error with my lami mare for the last 9 months and having to take into consideration laminitis, cushings, liver problems and metabolic syndrome the diet that she is now on which gives her the fibre she needs and all the nutrients 'safely' and most importantly good for my pocket!

She has 4 hours out on limited grazing, otherwise hay soaked for 12 hours and then fed ad lib. To be sure she is getting what she needs I am using Fast Fibre, a round scoop a day split into 3 feeds - she looks fabulous and is doing well.  I tried most the diets, Safe & Sound, HiFi Lite etc etc but this one is really working.

Talk to Allen & Page, they have been so helpful I can't tell you, even when I kept moving the goal posts as her problems changed.

There is no greater gift than to share time with a creature of such beauty - The Horse.

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Tommytank

Joined:

Jan 10

Posts: 2003

Tommytank says:

Re: Feeding the laminitic!

**Haflinger21** said:

Believe me I have ruled out all furhter problems to the point of paranoia lol

He was on soaked hay as the stuff at the time was very very rich and he was overweight so was used to reduce calories for his diet. He is now bang on the correct weight and has mantained this for some time. The Vet has Okayed the introduction of dry hay.

He has had a full vet check and is not IR nor does he have founder or any ongoing pain or heart issues. He is currently on his 3rd saddle this year as of two weeks ago as he is still fairly young and has changed shape with coming back into work and losing weight etc. He has also had a physio check him over and the dentist every 6 months

The balancer he is given is not grain based and the whole reason he has been given untouched oats is to avoid other options of "junk food" such as conditioning mixes etc.

You are correct that we cannot be sure that it was this diet that kept my shettie going for so long, but he never had another bought of laminitis nor was he in pain.

He is shod by the vet farrier and is not in pain, both the vet and farrier have agreed to this diet after running it by them also and they did advise to feed him a small amount a day rather than just on working days too which I am now doing whilst obviously montioring his weight very closely.

Thanks for your help.

 


I know how hard it is to keep weight off a haflinger - Tommy went up to 530kg in the spring and I did everything in my power to get it off him - he was square he was so fat.  I know you work really hard at it and have educated yourself properly.  I feed bailys low cal balancer but i think i remember you posting that you thought it contributed to laminitis.  Touch wood Tommy has so far been fine even at his fattest my farrier seems to think exercise is the key (not to weight control but to laminitis control).  I'm so paranoid about it I ride for 3 hours a day.  Swear a haflinger could get fat on a postage stamp of grass.  But on the low cal balancer (i've been feeding it for 10 days now) Tommy is full of beans, more beans than required some days.  He also gets sluggish and has no vroom sometimes and was getting that way before i started back up on the balancer.  Hope you find something to feed him for the energy cos they are hard riding when they are listless.  What weight have you managed to get your boy down to?  Tommys at 470 that is the lowest I've ever managed to get him to. Idealy 450 would be better?
 

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**Haflinger21**

Joined:

Sep 08

Posts: 440

Re: Feeding the laminitic!

Thanks for the replies I hadn't seen them all.

Tommy Tank it was someone else who put that about the balancer.  I think we both enquired but heard no more unfortunately.  He seems fine it though and that was all he was ever fed before his lammy.  He is currently at 455-460 and I am now maintaining this as I think he would look too thin with any more off.  He is muzzled through the day and I am hoping to be able to get him out without his muzzle on towards the end of Oct begning of Nov when winter hits.

He has been struggling with his schooling but he is only young and relatively unbalanced at 5 due to having a year out.  I have caved in and I am sending him away for two weeks to be schooled properly :( with a lovely haffie dressage rider I know.  I am hoping with some more encoragement he may seem a bit more energetic.

There is a second breed show this year in November! Unfortunately its down at the same place so probably too far.  I am not taking Nobility this time but I am going down for a good nosey and catch up x

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mankyann

Joined:

Apr 09

Posts: 845

mankyann says:

Re: Feeding the laminitic!

My mini has never had laminitis but i give him a little spinkle of D&H safe and sound. it has a few small pellets in mixed with non coated chaff, lots of vits and minerals and some form of minty stuff that smells lovely! Its safe for laminitics :)

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