Laminitis Horse Recovery Plan – What can it look like?

Laminitis Horse Recovery Plan

And How Can Formahoof Support The Progress?

A laminitis horse recovery plan will need to be put in place if your horse is suffering from laminitis. Laminitis is a common hoof pathology in horses and ponies which often develops into a serious hoof condition. In most cases, a separation of the laminae (the area of the hoof that connects the coffin bone to the hoof wall) is prognosed.

Laminitis causes pain for affected horses and can result in long lasting damage to the hoof or permanent lameness. In very severe cases, laminitis can also lead to the horse being euthanized and is the cause of over 7% equine death annually.

Table of Contents

Signs Of Laminitis In Horses – What To Look Out For

– Consistent heat in the hoof
– Increased pulsation
– Reluctance to turn
– Stretched/Bleeding laminae
– Shifting weight
– Shortened stride/stiff gait
– Change in behaviour
– Lameness

Signs of laminitis horse

Often a farrier can detect the signs of laminitis in your horse during a regular trimming appointment. However, a veterinarian should always be consulted to examine the horse’s hoof, to determine the state of the hoof disease and discuss an adequate laminitis recovery plan. With prompt treatment and appropriate rehabilitation, the majority of horses recover from laminitis.

Once a horse has suffered from laminitis, the chance of recurrence increases. Overall health and nutrition need to be monitored carefully and regular hoof trimming is a must for affected horses, but more on laminitis support and the road to recovery below.

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Example Laminitis Horse Recovery Plan

1. Status Quo

– Finding the cause of your horse’s laminitis and knowing the status of the internal structures – such as position of the coffin bone and the damage grade of the laminae and other structures – will be crucial to start rehabilitation. More information about laminitis and founder can be found here.

– Underlying conditions such as equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) and Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID) should be diagnosed to ensure the best treatment and rehabilitation options.

X-Rays (Radiographs) and blood tests are most likely part of the diagnosis and treatment plan as they will help to understand and monitor the progress of a laminitic or foundered horse. Therefore, we stress again that a horse with laminitis or founder should always be seen by a vet and diagnosis and treatment options should be discussed individually.

Read more about Nutrition and care for horses and ponies with PPID (Equine Cushings)

2. Pain Management

– While you are arranging a laminitis recovery plan with your veterinarian, pain management and inflammation management is key for a good rehab prognosis for your horse. As previously mentioned, laminitis and founder cause severe pain, which needs to be strictly controlled.

3. Providing supportive shoeing and hoof care

– Due to damage to the horse’s hooves and coffin bone from laminitis and founder, adequate orthopaedic shoeing is key and will support pain relief. Soaking and icing the feet can also help the process.

Traditional methods such as wooden clogs support the positioning and relief, however they also further damage the already suffering foot with additional nails and screws. This is where FormaHoof scores highly as FormaHoof is the most efficient non-invasive (nail-free) shoeing option for horses with laminitis.

FormaHoof has helped many severe cases to overcome their laminitis episodes, reducing or entirely relieving pain, and allowing them to return to riding horses.

Even if your veterinarian or farrier is not familiar with the new technique, you may want to introduce and discuss FormaHoof with them as an option, so your horse is supported with the most efficient hoof rehabilitation possible.

The key benefits of FormaHoof whilst treating laminitis:

• Provides immediate protection and three-dimensional support to the damaged horse hoof structure and coffin bone
• Provides immediate relief from pain, without drugs
• Increases the blood circulation and allows weight to be spread over the entire hoof capsule
• Allows for a faster recovery time
• Can reduce the cost of the whole treatment when compared to traditional treatment approaches

FAQ: Can Formahoof Cure Laminitis?

FormaHoof will clearly NOT cure a disease like laminitis or founder but can support your horse during their rehabilitation by providing drug-free comfort and support to prevent further damage. How long this will take depends on the condition your horse is in. Most horses can transition to barefoot within very few application cycles, whilst severe cases may need a little longer.

– Keep an eye out for abscesses and white line disease! A common side effect for horses with laminitis are abscesses and WLD or seedy toe, all underlying conditions that should be taken care of immediately to avoid further weakening of the already stressed foot. Find out how FormaHoof can take care of various problems at the same time in these related articles:

4. Restrict movement to enhance the healing process

– While horses with lighter cases of laminitis may be allowed to move a bit more, severe cases will likely have to be on stable rest for a longer time.

– The exact rest period needs to be discussed with your veterinarian and will vary from case to case. However, it is safe to say that acute laminitis cases may need stall rest for a period of one week, or every day the horse presents lame. Movement is only considered beneficial for healing once the hooves are physiologically stable (with the possibility of limited hand-walking).

– Stall rest should happen in a comfortable environment, on deep sand or shavings, avoid straw at all costs as the laminitic horse may over indulge and eat the straw bedding.

– If you are using FormaHoof for a laminitic or foundered horse, we strongly advise that you stick to the rest plan and are not tempted to turn horses out just because they seem sound or have a strongly improved gait after the application.

The hoof still needs time to heal and with turning your horse out or letting them wander loose, you increase the chance of abscesses and further damage during the laminitis recovery process.

– Allow your horse to gradually return to movement once soundness can be maintained and pain medication can be reduced or in the best case discontinued.

5. Strictly control your horse’s diet and nutritional input

– For most laminitic or foundered horses a structured and strict diet is key to a successful rehabilitation. The subject of the correct balance and diet is complex and will not only influence your horse while on stall rest, but also when it may be time to be turned out again. Equine Scientist and Nutritionist Lisa Elliott has put together helpful information on feeding for laminitis which can be found at:

Feeding and Caring for Laminitis

How long the total laminitis recovery plan or rehabilitation period will take for your horse depends on the severity of the disease and the individual progress your horse is making. While mild cases may return to work within a short period of 2-3 months, severe cases can take 8-12 months and longer.

Last but not least and to stress once again – Always follow the advice provided by your veterinarian and work with an experienced farrier to increase the chances of a successful recovery. If you have questions about including FormaHoof in your lamintis horse recovery plan, reach out to us today or use the promo code: LAMIREHAB to book a FREE Consultation with one of the Hoof Health Experts below.

Consult A Hoof Care Expert

S. Hedengren
S. Hedengren
Read More
Thanks to FormaHoof, I can finally start riding my horse again. When I say we’ve tried everything I really mean everything so honestly this feels like a lifesaver for me and my horse!
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horse hoof health blog
S. Hedengren
S. Hedengren
Read More
Thanks to FormaHoof, I can finally start riding my horse again. When I say we’ve tried everything I really mean everything so honestly this feels like a lifesaver for me and my horse!

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