Laminitis• Meaning: Inflammation of the Laminae• Laminae is found in the hoof wall.• Is common to develop in the front hooves.• Is very painful to the Horse.• Signs to look for: Lameness, visibly distressed Horse, shifting weight from one hoof to another, heat in the hoof, palpable pulse behind the fetlock. Laying down all the time, poor hoof care.
• Severe cases are commonly known as founder.• Laminitis is usually caused by overeating feeds rich in soluble carbohydrates (mainly found in cereal grains and lush spring or autumn pasture).
• These high carb feeds cause a digestive upset in the large intestine, the feed can not ferment properly as it should in the small bowel, this results in lactic acid build up, which in return kills the good bacteria in the bowel.• So as the good bacteria disappears, toxic substances known as endotoxins are released and enter the bloodstream. It is these endotoxins which damage the laminae.• The damage involves the soft tissues that connect the pedal bone to the hoof wall. They separate, which causes the pedal bone to drop and rotate.• This explains the pain level, which is excruciating to the Horse, in return shows up in the horse’s behaviours.
• It can also be caused by concussion of the hooves on hard surfaces, over-eating grain, infection from retaining afterbirth, excessive weight bearing on one leg, stress, vaccinations and medications.
Colic• Colic means, Abdominal Pain.• Can happen at any time, and can be fatal.• Colic in layman terms is a stomach ache for horses.• Can be caused or bought on by, sudden change in diet, stress, feeding straight after working, water deprivation, anything un-natural digested.
• Colic is fairly easy to diagnose, the symptoms are usually obvious, especially if the horse is quite uncomfortable.• Common symptoms can include: Depression, rolling violently, lack of appetite, kicking at the belly, elevated pulse rate, no digestive sounds, sweating excessively, pawing at the ground, turning of the head to the belly, lip curling, repeatedly lying down and standing up, straining to pass manure, without passing any.
Types of Colic• Impaction colic:• This is the term used when the intestine becomes blocked by a firm mass of food. Impactions most commonly occur in the large intestine. This is a fairly common type of colic which usually resolves easily.• However, an impaction may be just the first obvious sign in a more complicated case.• Treatment: Mineral oil and/or oral electrolytes, via stomach drench.
• Gas colic:• Sometimes gas builds up in the intestine, most commonly in the large intestine. The gas stretches the intestine, causing pain. Gas colics usually resolve fairly easily with appropriate treatment, although it is essential to ensure that there is no underlying reason for the problem.