The Truth Behind Laminitis

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horse-laminitisLaminitis is considered to be a leading cause of lameness among horses. It’s a condition that must be taken very seriously as it aggravates pretty fast. Today, we shall shed some light and get to know more about it with the help of Formula 4 Feet in the hopes of better providing cure, ensuring care and preventing its occurrence.

What is laminitis?

The condition is defined as the inflammation of the sensitive plates of tissue in the hooves called the laminae thus its name. Such tissue is responsible for supporting the pedal bone and the hoof. In other words, it is crucial in terms of holding in the weight and balance of the horse. It affects all equines regardless of age, gender, bread and season.

What causes it?

There are many reported causes of laminitis. This includes but is not limited to the following.

  • Bacterial infection
  • Cushing’s Disease
  • Hoof injury or accident
  • Obesity and overfeeding
  • Overindulgence in starch and sugar
  • Stress and/or weight bearing
  • Poor hoof care such as lack of regular and proper picking

How to care for horses suffering from it?

A smaller stable is highly recommended as well as comfortable beddings to avoid further stressing the affected hooves. Be sure to provide them with adequate nutrition and water. Don’t have them walking or running too much as they are likely to cause further pain. Be careful when picking too so as not to irritate the inflamed tissue.

Equines that suffer from the said condition must be given immediate medical attention so be sure to call your vet immediately. They should be able to devise a plan on how to go about treatment depending on the gravity of the situation. In most cases, an x-ray shall be requested to see how deep the inflammation has gone.

How can it be prevented?

As the old adage goes, prevention is always better than cure. To prevent laminitis, here are some of the measures that owners must take.

  • Ensure proper and adequate feeding at all costs.
  • Divide their daily requirements into several small portion meals.
  • See to it that they only take what’s necessary to avoid obesity.
  • Hoof care is important so ensure proper trimming, picking and shoeing.
  • Avoid dangerous and difficult terrain.
  • Never let your horse carry so much weight.
  • Make it a point to monitor their overall health.

Now that Formula 4 Feet has helped us understand laminitis better, we hope that you got enough insights to provide better care for your horses.

How to Clean a Horse’s Hoof

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horse hoof cleaningOne of the vital tasks that any horse owner must be able to master is the cleaning or picking of the hooves. This is important to ensure not only sanitation but also the avoidance of injury, infection and certain ailments like laminitis. Today, we will be discussing a basic tutorial on how to do this.

Cleaning is done using a tool called a hoof pick. The main goal is to remove compacted debris like mud, dirt, stone and similar other items that may have found its way in. These can eventually cause pain and injury which can lead to injury or even lameness. Experts suggest that picking must be done on a daily basis, before and after the horse is taken out for a ride.

#1: Ready the animal. See to it that they are calm, not panicky, anxious or irritable. Bring them to a secluded or quiet area. Tie them up but make sure that it isn’t too tight so in case they panic they won’t get hurt or strangled.

#2: Begin with one side. Carefully approach one side and stroke the neck and shoulders gently. Stand by the shoulder and turn your body to face the tail. Put one leg slightly in front of the other for better balance.

#3: Give warning. Run your hand down its leg and tap the back of it. This will introduce the horse to what you are able to do allowing him time to square up.

#4: Life the leg. You can squeeze above the fetlock if the horse doesn’t automatically do so itself. This will take some getting used to. After which, provide support. With the hand closest to the body, support the hoof allowing the other hand to take hold of the pick.

#5: Start picking. With the hoof on hand, begin by removing any debris from the frog using your fingers or a brush. This part is very sensitive so pay extra caution. Once done, use the pick to loosen up the packed debris, dirt and stones. Continue until the horn becomes visible. When everything has been removed and cleaned, examine the foot for any injury, crack, abnormal heat or sore spots. If any, call the doctor immediately.

Caring for your horse’s hooves is very important.Remember the old adage, no hooves means no horse.

Parasites in Horses

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horse parasiteOne of the most common and fatal digestive dilemmas that befall horses would have to be parasitic infections. Not only are they a health issue for the animal but they can also pose threats to the others inside the barn or stables. To battle it out, knowledge has to be above par because we can’t exactly fight off an enemy we don’t know. This is why today we’ve asked the experts from Global Herbs to introduce to us the common parasites that make life a living hell for our friendly horses.

ASCARIDS or more commonly known as round worms are plump white worms that can grow up to 12 inches long. It primarily affects but is not exclusive to foals. They are contracted by ingestion of eggs which can be found in pastures, paddocks and contaminated soil. Infected foals will show. Its signs will include loss of appetite, lack of energy, colic and even intestinal blockage in the intestines and perforation.

HORSE BOTS are the larvae of Bot flies and are found to linger in the stomach. It is contracted when the adult fly lays its eggs on the horse where it sticks to the coat or hair. When dampened with sweat, the eggs hatch and the larvae are carried into the mouth as the animal grooms itself. Soon enough, it passes and burrows itself in the stomach. They can cause wounds and ulceration in both the mouth and the stomach.

TAPEWORMS are found in the stomach and both the small and large intestines. They begin when the horse ingests pasture mites that have come to be infected by tapeworm eggs. As the larvae travels down the digestive tract, it brings about mild to severe symptoms depending on the gravity of the infection. The horse can suffer from ulceration, abdominal infection, recurring colic and weight loss.

LARGE STRONGYLES are also known as red or blood worms. They are ingested from forage (e.g. grass and hay) that have become unsterile by being contaminated with feces. The initial point of entry would have to be the intestines but as they grow, they migrate to the blood vessels and other organs in the body thus their name. Large strongyles bring about anemia, diarrhea, weight loss, poor appetite, weakness, colic, intussusceptions of intestinal tissues, bleeding, rupture of the digestive tract and even damage to the central nervous system.

These horse parasites can be treated in several ways and it is best to consult and seek medical help from a veterinarian immediately. Apart from proper nutrition, sanitation is also a key instrument to ward them off says Global Herbs.

Nutrients for Maximum Health

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equiboxNutrition is a huge part when it comes to equine care. Feeding and providing the right supplements and care to one’s horses is needed to ensure their maximum health and productivity. Horses that are out of shape are not only susceptible to diseases but they too become more vulnerable to accidents and injuries. That said, we teamed up with to bring you the following list of nutrients to ensure maximum care for your horses.


Dehydration is the number one cause of death among these animals so adequate levels of water intake are necessary. On average, they are to consume 2 liters of water for every pound of hay consumed. A 500 kg animal will drink up from 30-45 liters of water on a daily basis with lactating mares needing more. This will also increase depending on the climate and the size of the animal.


This is the integral source of energy in their bodies and must therefore be present. This is the content of most feeds in the market. The needs of every animal will always be unique depending on which category they fall under: maintenance, growth, pregnancy, lactation or work.

  • FAT

Adequate and healthy levels of fat are needed in equine care. Fat is stored energy and it is very much needed in certain cases, the winter months for example where animals tend to shed pounds and eat less. However, constant check is required to avoid feeding them with too much as obesity is a health risk as well.


Minerals form an integral aspect of equine care too as they aid in the support of various functional needs. Calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur are needed in relatively high amounts compared to others like cobalt, copper, iodine, iron, selenium, and zinc.


A building block for muscle development, protein must be part of their daily nutrition for growth and exercise agility. Absence or lack of it can result to unhealthy and coarse hair coat, stunted growth, poor milk production, weight loss, high injury rates and poor performance.


According to Equine America, horses need a significant level of Vitamins A, B-complex, C, D, E and K in their diets. Majority of these vitamins are found in the roughage and feeds that are given to the animals but certain cases will necessitate for added supplements which must of course be done under veterinary supervision.

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