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7 Unusual Facts About Laminitis

Laminitis is the most dreaded of all horse conditions - it produces intense pain with often long lasting and tragic results. While we do know a lot about the causes of laminitis and ways to help the horse with laminitis, we also have some amazing little tidbits of information that might just help your horse avoid laminitis all together.

Black walnut trees contain toxins that cause laminitis. A horse standing on black walnut shavings absorbs the toxins rapidly through the hoof wall. Butternut trees are also a laminitis inducing tree.

Your horse’s resting hear rate will increase ever so slightly by about 5 beats per minute. This happens a few days before lameness sets in.

We all know that horse hooves will heat up when the laminitis starts to set in, but did you know that the hooves actually spend a few hours being ICY COLD before the heat sets in? Many horse owner never experience this as it’s short lived.

You can significantly slow or stop the chemical triggers that cause laminitis. Icing your horse’s laminitis hooves for 24-48 or longer hours physically slows the rate at which the chain reaction of chemicals tells your horse’s feet to inflame. Some protocols are suggesting ice therapy for up to 72 hours. Yes, these are 24-72 hours consistently.

Your horse’s hoof shape reflects laminitis. A horse with laminitis grows more heel than front. Perhaps a good reasons to photograph your horse’s feet every time the Farrier is there.

Chronic abscesses are a real possibility for the horse that has experienced laminitis. A good way to monitor for a brewing abscess is to know your horse’s baseline digital pulse and monitor it daily. Checking the hooves for heat daily also helps, but is a bit more subjective than the pulse.

Laminitis is the inflammation of the internal hoof structures. Founder is when the sinking, rotation, or other change to the position of the bones inside the hoof. Both are horribly painful.

Daily attention to your horse’s legs, hooves, and overall health go a long way to preventing laminitis.