Managing Laminitis With Activo-Med
Well, spring is (allegedly) here; and with it, comes the delicious, sugary, Laminitis-inducing grasses that our horses and ponies will soon begin binging on. Now is a good time to learn what Laminitis is, what its causes are and, importantly, how to effectively treat it.
What is laminitis?
Laminitis, also known as founder, is a condition in which there is inflammation of the laminae (the soft tissue inside the hoof that attaches the pedal bone to the hoof wall). This inflammation weakens the laminae structures, making it difficult to hold the pedal bone in place. As a result, the bone can begin to rotate or sink.
In rotation, the bone will rotate downward. If left untreated, or if the attack of Laminitis is particularly aggressive, the bone will eventually penetrate the sole of the foot. In the case of sinking, which is rarer than rotation but much more severe, the pedal bone becomes separated from the hoof wall due to a weakening of the laminae, and begins to drop within the hoof capsule. Again, as with rotation, the bone will begin to penetrate the sole of the foot, and pus may begin to leak from the white line or coronary band.
While both cases require immediate aggressive treatment in cooperation with your farrier and veterinarian, cases in which sinking occur are more likely to result in euthanasia. Often if a horse has laminitis once it will return year after year and if not kept on top of and treated vigorously it acute laminitis is probable.
There are many causes of Laminitis, with diet playing a significant role. An excess of carbohydrates, nitrogen compounds and sugar in your horse’s diet can quickly lead to Laminitis; particularly during spring when lush, open pastures offer a veritable buffet of sugary grasses. However, Laminitis can also be triggered by colic, untreated infections, insulin resistance, poor blood circulation, mechanical separation (whereby horses with long toes are worked extensively on hard ground), to name a few.
However, the most common cause of Laminitis in Australia is obesity which is why overall horse care and keeping a close eye on your horses body weight is crucial.
How to treat Laminitis
What’s most important with Laminitis is quick discovery followed by aggressive treatment. Clinical signs of Laminitis include a pounding pulse in the digital palmar artery, increased body temperature, particular of the wall, sole and/or coronary band of the foot, an awkward gait as though walking on eggshells or shifting weight from the affected hooves, sweating, flared nostrils and anxiety. Horses will also be quite unwillingly to move particuarly on hard ground and it’s important during the treatment to give them access to soft ground to encourage as much movement as possible.
Laminitis is a painful condition. Activo-Meds Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field therapy (PEMF) powered hoof boots and leg wraps can provide an excellent, and easy to use means of reducing the pain and inflammation associated with laminitis, whilst simultaneously boosting recovery time.
Popular in Europe, New Zealand and across the United States, PEMF therapies are currently being used by trainers and athletes within the Australian Institute of Sport. PEMF therapies are anti-inflammatory and analgesic, and work by pulsating at a 30cm range – hitting the laminae directly, reducing inflammation and relieving pain. Animal Therapeutics offer a range of PEMF technology that can assist in managing the pain of Laminitis, and other conditions, as well as speeding up recovery.
Activo-Med Combi Hoof Boots can be used for a range of hoof conditions including laminitis. The easy to fit boots contain three magnetic spools that provide Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) Therapy, and two massage modules each, all housed in a Goretex boot with rubber base. The boots are then connected to a control box that is attached to a surcingle on the horse, and this controls the intensity, frequency, combination and duration of the therapy. The PEMF element uses therapeutic frequencies to improve cell efficiency and repair, and the massage element helps to improve circulation as it moves blood, lymph and oxygen around the body.
If your horse is affected by Laminitis, or other painful hoof conditions, talk to us today about the options available to assist.