Winter Laminitis, does relocating to warmer temps help?


Hi All... 
Long time lurker, first time poster here :)

I have an approximately 20 y/o IR pony who, I'm confident, has been stricken with winter laminitis. This will be the 2nd winter she's had trouble. Last winter (I'm located in SW PA) I thought it was from the very hard frozen ground, so I booted her and she made a miraculous recovery in the spring. Unfortunately she's having more trouble this winter. It started earlier and seems worse for her this time. Her diet is as dialed in as I can get it and she's not the least bit over weight. I have tested hay to make sure my orchard/timothy mix wasn't the culprit but it's not.  ESC+Starch is very very low as well pretty low iron. Her current diet is just enough soaked orchard grass pellets to mix her supplements in. I supplement her jiaogulan, copper, zinc and magnesium. She's blanketed although she's got a nice winter coat and cloud boots all the way around. She's struggling and some days are better than others. There doesn't seem to be any rotation, she's just really foot sore.

I'm going to see how she recovers this spring and if she makes another miraculous recovery, I'm sure it's winter laminitis. If this is the case I'm going to try to rehome her in a warmer climate and if I can't do that, then I'm thinking of letting her have a good summer and fall, then let her go before it gets cold. I just can't put her through this again. I noticed she's laying down more and just overall miserable many days. I will keep her as comfortable as I can for now.

I guess my question is... has anyone relocated one with winter laminitis to a warmer climate and it resolved, or at least helped at all?

Thank you,

Lavinia Fiscaletti

Hi Amy,

So sorry your girl is having issues.

Lots of discussion regarding this issue is on the main ECIR group. Winter laminitis is about pain caused by cold-induced circulatory issues. These are set off when temps drop below 50*F, so if that is the underlying cause, then living where temps don't fall below that threshold would be helpful. To deal with that in colder temps, blanketing the animal to maintain the body temp and adding socks inside of boots, plus wraps on the legs (fleece lined shipping boots work well) will also help. Adding Jiaogulan and arginine will help improve the circulation.

Here's one post on the Main list to get you started.

Here's the link to Dr. Kellon's blog on winter hoof pain:

This can also be a red flag for a PPID involvement. Have you had her ACTH tested? Fall/winter laminitis is a classic symptom of PPID.

Jan 2005, RI

Moderator/ECIR Support


Thank you so much! I will head over to the main board and start searching.. and as I suspect as the temps here start to warm up and the snow melts, she's moving around better and seems more like herself.. 

sigh... she's my sons pony and she is so awesome.. this is heartbreaking.