Re: Is this low grade laminitis?

Lavinia Fiscaletti

Hi Melodie,

Welcome to the list. Our philosophy is DDT/E, which is shorthand for Diagnosis, Diet, Trim and Exercise.  

DIAGNOSIS: Thoroughbreds are not a breed that is routinely IR unless there is something else driving it. If anything, they tend to need more calories than the average horse just to maintain good condition. Bloodwork is the best way to know for sure. Send a sample drawn from a NON-FASTING horse to Cornell for Insulin, Glucose and Leptin. At 7 yo, PPID (Cushings) is not a likely component here. As she has been away from the track for several years she has had time to "decompress" from the schedule, training and possible drug issues that can accompany that lifestyle so those are also not likely sources of the problems. Testing her for iron overload would be something to consider as iron supplementation is quite prevalent (and unnecessary) at the track. Iron overload could factor into some of Amelia's issues. The sample would need to be sent to Kansas State University as they are the only lab capable of doing the serum iron/ferritin/TIBC tests that are required to properly diagnose this.

DIET: Forage based with the hay tested and supplements mineral balanced to the assay. All hays have excesses and deficiencies and testing shows you exactly what is missing/excessive so you can supply the necessary nutrients in the correct amounts for the healthiest horse at the best value for you. Until you can have your hay tested, we recommend adding in the emergency diet items as they are meant to address the most common deficiencies. In Amelia's case, I don't think you need to soak her hay as she is a young TB who has trouble holding her weight so excess sugars are not likely to be a factor here. You can use rinsed/soaked/rinsed beet pulp as a good way to add safe, extra calories and as a supplement carrier. No red or Himalayan salt blocks (contain iron and aren't correctly mineral balanced).

TRIM: Toes backed and heels low so the  hoof capsule tightly hugs the internal structures. Is she shod or barefoot? Either way, the trim must be correct first or shoes will only make the situation worse. Putting up pictures would be a real help for us. You can add them to the Photos section:

Here is a link to how to take good hoof pictures:

The trim could be the source of many of your girl's hoof issues. Coming from the track almost guarantees that her toes were long, heels underrun and hoof walls may nave been shelly. Flat soles would go along with this scenario. The time of year itself could be the issue rather than the consumption of grass. Depending on where you are located, weather changes and ground surface changes can cause bruising over the winter that then shows up as the weather warms and ground softens. The abscess path is usually a channel rather than a dishing effect. That dished configuration and her soreness could strictly be due to mechanical forces rather than metabolically induced laminitis. Agree that there is more to this than randomness as it has happened two years running at the same time of year.

EXERCISE: Bets thing for any horse as long as they are sound and willing. Never force a sore horse to move. Boots and pads may be in order if she is barefoot. I wouldn't recommend working her any harder than a walk until you know for sure what is causing the soreness.

We ask that you sign your posts with your name, general location and year of joining. This helps us to help you better. Also ask that you fill out a case history for your girl on our sister site ECHIstory8 so we have all the pertinent information in one place for the volunteers to refer to. You'll need to join but approval is quick.

Ask any questions as they come up, we're here to help.

Lavinia, Dante, George Too and Peanut

Jan 05, RI

EC Support Team


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