Laminitis – Avoid Undue Pain and Injury to Your Horse this Summer
During the hot Arizona summers, it is particularly important to monitor your horse to ensure it doesn’t suffer from laminitis. Characterized by inflammation and swelling of the tissues in the hoof, a number of factors can increase your horse’s risk of developing laminitis. These include:
- High intake of carbs
- Certain medical conditions, such as Cushing’s Disease
Since these tissues in the hoof are responsible for supporting the weight of the horse, an inflammation of those tissues can result in severe pain. The inflammation also causes the tissues to become deprived of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood, which means failure to treat the condition can cause the tissues to die. Furthermore, if the weakened tissue allows the pedal bone to sink and rotate within the hood, it can protrude from the sole of the foot. This condition is usually irreversible.
Due to the dangers associated with laminitis, it is important to monitor your horse’s diet throughout the year and to ensure the hot Arizona weather is not causing unnecessary stress to your animal. By maintaining proper weight, eating a healthy diet and providing your horse with enough water and places to stay cool during the summer months, you will help to keep your horse strong, healthy and free from laminitis for years to come.