Laminitis and horse feed: which is their connection?

Laminitis is known and feared to be one of the most serious and complex diseases that can affect a horse. This disorder usually affects the forelimbs, in more rare cases even the posterior ones and can lead to very serious consequences up to the forced choice of slaughter of the animal. For this it is useful to know the symptoms, to urgently call experienced veterinarians to quickly diagnose the disease, to eliminate the severe pain it causes and to avoid unpleasant consequences.

Specifically, this pathology involves a modification of the animal’s foot, due to a downward rotation of the third phalanx. The symptoms visible even to the less experienced are the horse pain manifestation with the typical attitude of the front limbs forward, difficulty in doing even a few steps and the so-called «warm feet». In these cases it is necessary to contact immediately a veterinarian, even in the case of slight doubt.

Trying to prevent this serious disease, it is good to pay attention to its many causes which all have a common result: a foot blood flow decrease. This can be caused by various causes such as excessive sugar ingestion, horse obesity, in some cases postpartum and severe limp that forces the horse to overload the contralateral limb for a long time.

Given the complexity and numerous causes, how is it possible to prevent laminitis?

In addition to schedule constant and expert veterinary checks, those who deal with the horse on a daily basis can actively prevent laminitis, through proper nutrition.

One of the major causes of laminitis is related to unbalanced and poor quality nutrition. An unbalanced diet causes laminitis when the dose of carbohydrates and sugars is too high. Sugar has to be avoided for the horse health, while excessive bad quality carbohydrates dose, are difficult to be digested, ferment in the digestive system, producing toxins that can cause inflammation and then laminitis.

Excessive carbohydrate doses may simply depend on an overdose of cereals, but also on cereals with a higher carbohydrate content. For this it is good to analyze the feed label to follow the suggested doses and checking the nutritive parameters, choosing manufacturers that ensure feed formulations and nutrients consistency. The cereals poor quality is connected to the quality of the raw material that must be free of aflatoxins and processed with methods, such as thermo-flaking, which keep the characteristics of the raw material and make it easily digestible. Thermo-flaking has also a further advantage: the cereals starch gelatinization process (ie the loss of the starch crystal structure) their subsequent crushin, transforms the carbohydrates into less complex structures making them more, reducing the starch content that in excessive doses plays an important role in the development of laminitis.

But be careful: cereals are an important elements in horse’s diet, they shouldn’t be eliminated but carefully chosen, considering their starch amount nd feeding them in the right dose.

All Guidolin Horses feed have thermo-flaked cereals, controlled at all production stages, guarantee the absence of toxins, high digestibility and excellent and constant nutritional values. It is possible to choose between different formulas to combine with hay according to the nutritional needs of the horse. If you prefer a complete and handy product, Wafer Fioc in five different formulations, combines Guidolin flaked cereals with high quality hay, in a complete meal suitable for the prevention of laminitis.