Carb overload question


Hi all

On a local forum, there is a discussion about laminitis taking place and causes etc. and, of course, I've thrown in my two cents' worth (LOL!).  However someone's just come back with the fact that the info I've provided re IR etc is a different beast to carb overload and more geared around long term laminitis due to metabolic disorders.

My question here is:  if a horse without any metabolic issues at all ingests a carb overload, can/does this trigger a laminitic episode in an otherwise healthy horse?

I hope that's made sense.  I've been of the impression that there'd likely be an underlying disorder if an excess of grain triggered an episode in a horse that was considered to be healthy.  I'm thinking too of the horse out on lush pasture that doesn't develop laminitis.  There'd be a lot of carb in the grass too (?).

Just after some clarity as I don't want to be responding with wrong info :)

Lisa & Miami (Arab x RP)

Plus Condor & Woody (unchallenged)

Victoria, Australia – 2010






Hi -

I have answered this a number of times, and see that none have made it past neo.

Give this a read -

Carb overload/laminitis is a separate issue, but nowhere near as common as laminitis from metabolic problems.  Carb overload is a potential problem for all equines - that's why we lock up grain/grain products.

Carb overload from pasture continues to be thought to be a significant problem, since that was the initial focus years ago when researchers started looking into pasture associated laminitis.  With the exception of possibly rye grass, and perhaps a few unusually sensitive horses, it is quite rare.

EC Primary Response
West Coast
May 2004