Laminitis Case Study

October 14th 2009

Pumpkin is showing the classic "Laminitis Stance".  Leaning Back and trying to weight bear on the hind legs to releive the pain in the front legs.

She looks totally miserable and very overweight, her crest is thick and hard and her muscles where locked up.
December 22nd 2009

This photo shown is her near front hoof with severe laminitis rings, her toes are flared.  Unfortunately there was nothing to trim off the feet because there was no hoof growth so a farrier came in November and went away again, since her trim in October.

Laminitis Hoof Oil was applied 2x daily (a hoof oil I now make and sell)
January 10th 2010

Clearly showing a huge crest and overweight, this horse was moved to another property to begin a recovery regime.  Notice the hoof is in a bad state, same hoof as prior photo.  Was told at this stage that perhaps her future was bleak.
January 12th 2010

Now moved to her new place, this horse took on a new lease of life.  Here she is enjoying paddling in the ocean and her demeanour totally changed.  Had been off grass for approximately 4 days here.  Look at the difference.
Pumpkin's New Home

OMG, I am supposed to keep my horse on dirt?  This was the most stressful part of everything I have
had to ever do to help this horse.  I was so used to giving her comfort food, this was definitely the worst thing I ever had to do but it saved her life.

Please note:  She is only at the beginning of her journey and full recovery could take several months to a year as I am doing this very slowly.  Keeping her metabolism working correctly is the key as you cannot just put a horse into a paddock with no grass and leave him to lose weight.

Pumpkin is being fed a small amount of Pea, Vine & Clover Chaff twice daily, herbal remedies rich in silica for hoof growth and anti inflammatories for the pain then 1/4 of a slice of hay 2x daily which is soaked for about one hour prior to giving to help reduce the sugar, plus homoeopathic remedies and cell salts.  She is walked on flat soft ground in straight lines daily for about 20 minutes daily in the evening when cooler.  This walking will slowly be lengthened the fitter and more comfortable she gets.  Although not lame at the walk is still showing signs of lameness at the trot.

January 29th 2010

Hey look at this new girl.  Just had her feet trimmed today, the first time since Oct 2009.  Due to herbs rich in silica and anti inflammatory herbs plus homoepathic remedies and cell salts and a great farrier, this girl is on the mend
January 29th 2010 - Total New Hoof

Shown here are the photos taken after a trim, first since Oct 2009.

February 5th 2010

Taking a walk here, showing a real movement improvement.  Still getting walked daily in the evening and is definitely pushing the pace now instead of feeling like I am dragging her.

Still got a long way to go in the weight department but managed to get her paddock area to quite a nice size now.  Still has high spirits and seems to be enjoying life and loves the two daily visit routines we are both now in.

Notice how much better she is standing in the photos below, especially when you look at the initial photo of her.  All going smoothly but still a long way to go.  Losing weight in the hind area, rump and back.  The neck is still cresty but at least not as firm as it was before.

Hoof showing more growth, she was about to take a steop when I took this photo so it appears a little crooked.  You can see the flaring already starting again so she will need to be retrimmed again quite soon.
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Laminitis, the word we all hate to hear and yet it appears to be more common than ever.  Had it not been for my own pony suffering an attack I would not be able to offer such valuable information in order to help your horse.  Here is my story ....  Please note, if you suspect that your horse has laminitis it is vital to get your veterinary professional out immediately to give a correct diagnosis and status of your horse.
1st March 2010

This photo was just taken after a ride which involved watling, trotting and a bit of flat work.  She is much more livlier than she was in the early stages of her improvement.  She has lost weight across her back and now her spine is noticeable, her rump and flanks have slimmed off quite a lot too.  She is not showing any signs of lameness and I intend to take her to a very low key adult ribbon day on Sunday.  She is a bit pooped in this photo and having a bit of a sleep.

Laminitis or stress rings are still here and will be for quite some time, possibly a year. The new growth is looking good and her hoof appears to be growing a bit bumpy but around the coronary band is showing good healthy hoof coming through.  She is due for another hoof trim now just to get that old flaring off.
Showing here a far healthier crest.  Her neck isn't so jammed up as in the earlier photo of her crest and she seems so much more relaxed in her face.

Pumpkin is still on bare land with very minimal grass (about 5-10 minutes grazing a day).  She is still being fed 2x daily with Chaf and supporting herbs and soaked hay.  I would like to think that in a couple of months time she will be able to go back to grazing in a very short grass paddock supported with regular exercise.
2nd April 2010
Pumpkin is now what I would call a good weight for going into winter with.  She is now being ridden at least four times a week and is now starting to do circle work and more cardiac work.  
Still on basically no grassand being fed chaff and soaked hay twice daily plus herbs for laminitis.  The hay has now being doubled so she would be getting approximately one slice of hay in total per day.  My intention now is to keep her at this weight throughout winter which hopefully at some stage will allow her to eat grass.  Just a reminder, during autumn after rain, the sugars are higher in the grass.
July 2010
Looking really in great shape here.  During the winter months Pumpkin is getting 1-1/2 slabs of hay twice daily.  She is also getting an evening feed of Oat Straw Chaff which is brilliant for laminitic prone horses (please note that this is not Oat n Chaff) and a small scoop of Low GI Feed.  I am also feeding her herbs, beetroot powder, garlic and diatamateous earth for worms and parasites.  Her feet have improved immensly and she will be going to Pony Club this season.  This has been a long and slow but extremely worthwhile and rewarding journey and I hope this has helped you to understand that it is much better to avoid obesity in horses as opposed to trying to get the weight off at a latter stage.  In the latest Horse and Pony Magazine it has been said that Kaimanawa Ponies in the wild are now suffering high cases of laminitis due to the fact that they are staying near the water lands grazing where the grass is lush and not walking as much as they did in the past searching for food or just grazing on tussock which is what they are designed to eat.