Laminitis is the break-down of the living cells that connect the inside of the hoof to the coffin bone (the bone closest to the ground). This breakdown can cause a split, leaving a gap and making your horse’s feet open to infection and highly painful.
CAUSES: Laminitis can occur through repeated foot trauma, especially sudden traumas on hard surfaces. It can also be caused by excessive hoof trimming.
Catching it early is important and will prevent lameness in your horse.
Here’s what to look out for:
- ONE – Hot hooves.
Hooves get warm with exercise and with normal body heat regulation. But if your horse’s hooves stay unusually warm for hours at a time, this may be an early indication of laminitis.
- TWO – Increased heart rate.
As with any problem of the body, your horse’s internal systems will try to fight against laminitis, resulting in a much higher heart rate.
- THREE – Strange stance.
A leaning-back stance is a very strong indication of laminitis. Horses do this to avoid putting pressure onto their sore feet.
- FOUR – Sensitivity at the top of the pedal bone.
The pedal bone ends in the very centre of the hoof. If you press gently in that position, you will be able to gauge if your horse has an unusual sensitivity or pain.
- FIVE – Heavy pulse.
Press your fingers against the vein that runs along the side of your horse’s leg just above the hoof. The pulse should be relatively feint in a healthy horse. A heavy pulse is an indication of problems.
- SIX – Distorted hoof growth.
Laminitis prevents the hoof grow properly, causing it to become misshapen. This usually only becomes evident rather late; the hoofs will begin to spread out and sometimes even turn upwards.
- SEVEN – Foot lifting (too much or too little)
Horses shuffle their feet to keep blood circulating. An early response to laminitis can be to shift often to help extra blood flow, or to avoid shifting due to pain.
- EIGHT – Visible gap.
Look for a gap between the hoof wall and the sole on the underside of the hoof. This is a very strong indication and needs to be taken care of immediately.
- NINE – Shortened stride.
A shortened stride indicates pain much as a limp does in a human. This can be particularly evident when walking on hard surfaces.
- TEN – Obesity.
Obesity is not a sign, but can be a precursor to laminitis. Extra weight can put stress on the hoof that encourages the breakdown of the laminae.
Keep an eye out for any of these signs to make sure that your horse is comfortable and healthy. With any indication of discomfort, consult a vet. The easiest way for your horse to recover is to be proactive and take protective measures as soon as you see the signs.
Download a brochure to see our equestrian work.
Orphaned Foal Finds the Perfect Mother
The emotional complexity of horses is an amazing & profound thing.
Below is a photo of Zindita, a mare that was due to give birth. Unfortunately, her baby was upside-down inside the womb, and when the birth took place, things went terribly wrong.
Zindita survived, but the baby did not.
Clearly distraught, Zindita struggled to recover after the event.
Nearby, veterinarians had gone through a similar experience, a foal’s mother had died whilst giving birth. They saw an opportunity and introduced the pair to each other.
Zindita became immediately protective of the foal, as you can see in the photo below.
But would they bond enough to stay together?
The photo above was taken hours after their meeting.
The photo below shows them weeks later. The pair got along excellently. Zindita looks after the foal as if it were her own and both mother and child are happy and healthy.
READ MORE: Mother refuses to leave her sick foal.
5 Things Everyone Should Have In Their Shed
A shed is really all about how you use it. It should be more than just a place to park your cars; you took the time and spent the money to get it built, so why not make proper use of it?
We’ve put together a list of things that every shed should have
A first aid kit
Even if you have a first aid kit in the home, it’s a really good idea to have a spare in your shed. Little bits and pieces always go missing, so it’s good to have a back-up somewhere outside the house.
A tool kit
What kind of a shed would it be if you weren’t able to do handiwork in it? A proper tool kit means that your shed becomes a workshop.
A music player
We’re proud of the sheds that we build and we want people to spend as much time enjoying them as possible. A simple radio or music player will make the difference and get you whistling as you work on your own projects.
A work bench
A workshop is no good without a work bench. Whatever kind of work you do, set aside a bench and a chair so you can get things done.
Always consider the powerpoints. Where are you going to need them and where should they be positioned? If you’re going to be using a lot of power tools, think about where you’ll be doing most of your work so you can avoid long extension cords that get in the way.
To see some of our sheds, download our brochure at the top of our website.