Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Managing Laminitis-Prone Horses - Full Article

by: Pat Harris, MA, VetMB, PhD, Dipl. ECVCN, MRCVS
June 27 2011, Article # 18447

There are countless "how-to's" regarding managing a horse diagnosed with laminitis, and many horse owners are familiar with these procedures. But how should you manage a horse that has not developed the debilitating disease, but is a likely candidate? Based on existing knowledge and scientific reports, the following tips could help reduce the likelihood of at-risk horses developing laminitis.


* Base the horse's diet on forage and fiber.
* Aim to feed forage with less than a 10% nonstructural carbohydrate (i.e., starch, sugar, and fructan) content. If your hay has a higher carbohydrate content than 10%, soaking hay in fresh clean water for at least three hours (possibly overnight) might help to reduce the water-soluble carbohydrate (WSC) content. However, as the results from soaking are variable, try to ensure the original forage has a low NSC content or feed an appropriate forage replacer...

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