Menu

Equine Laminitis

Image of horse legs.

Have you noticed changes in your horse's gait? Are they showing signs of fatigue or are disinterested in exercising? Equine laminitis is inflammation of the sensitive and insensitive laminae in horse's feet and generally occurs bilaterally in the front feet. This multi-faceted issue tends to run in heavier breeds such as draft horses as well as morgans, ponies, miniature horses and donkeys. Because laminae protect the coffin bone, when it is weakened, the wall to bone connection can become disrupted and sink. This situation can eventually lead to penetration of the sole. Your horse does not have to live with this painful condition. Particular equine lifestyle concerns such as nutrition play one of the most significant roles in how laminitis develops and is controlled.

While certain risk factors such as Cushing's Disease, severe colic, other injuries that affect gait and high fever can significantly contribute to the formation of laminitis, many horse owners are shocked to learn their feeding rituals could be the major cause of the condition. Allowing horses to grain-load by feeding themselves without supervision or feeding excessive amounts all at once are serious risk factors that often lead to equine laminitis. While changing feeding behavior immediately can significantly help prevent future inflammation, damaging effects to the laminae may have set in.

If your horse exhibits the following, they may be experiencing laminitis:
• Reluctance to follow owners while being led and propensity to lie down during activity
• Will appear to have transitioned weight to back legs with back legs further forward
• Hooves may be warmer than normal with bounding pulses in the affected legs
• Pain response upon applying pressure to the foot

Even if your horse is not currently suffering from laminitis, prevent the condition now by observing their eating behavior. Consider a dry area where grass has been removed if you notice your horse excessively eating grass or create an area for your horse to roam that takes longer for them to reach the grass. A feeding muzzle will also allow your horse to graze, but in much smaller amounts. Limiting or removing their grain intake and alternating to beet sugar can also ensure your horse receives adequate nutrition, but without causing digestive inflammation that leads to laminitis.

Is your horse suffering from laminitis? A comprehensive treatment approach that focuses on reducing pain, modulating inflammation and improving overall stability is most ideal. Talk to your veterinarian for a specific treatment plan.

Location

Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Hillsdale Office

Monday - Friday:

7:45 am - 5:30 pm

Saturday:

8:45 am - 12:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Professional Pet Grooming

Monday - Thursday:

by appointment

Friday - Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

Feedback from our clients

  • "Very good with my dogs ..snd very prompt with appointment"
    ★★★★★ | Larae H.
  • "We love Dr. Wood. He has saved our puppy from very bad things several times. He loves and cares for our pet as if he were his own. I highly recommend Northside!! I love that they do diagnostics - blood work and x-rays, same as us humans have to get real answers."
    ★★★★★ | Corinna M
  • "Thank you to Dr Wood and staff for fixing our Micks leg today after we had taken him to another vet for a laceration repair. The sutures that we’re placed by the other vet ripped open five days later. Mick is home resting comfortably with his cozy pillow around his neck. We appreciate your help in getting this fixed correctly! Thank you for your time and compassion!"
    Michelle Lyn Vanderpool
  • "I have taken my pets to Northside Veterinary Hospital for many years. I have always been very grateful for the wonderful care my animals have received there and the kindness of the staff. I would like to say thank you to their newest Vet. Dr.Roth. She took excellent care of my little Lou Lou yesterday with her many seizures. If you are looking for excellent care this is the place to go."
    Laura Nevins Patterson
  • "Can't say thank you enough to Dr. Wood and his staff for the excellent care they give my fur babies! ....I make an hour drive to go here because this place rocks!"
    Rhonda Alexander
  • "Dr. Wood and his staff are so nice to our furbabys and have up to date technology to really help our sick babies thank-you for all you do they are very caring people!!!"
    Cathy Sayer Smith