Laminitis in horses | What you need to know

Just like colic, laminitis can be extremely painful and in some situations, fatal. The thought of your equine having colic can be enough to drive a horse owner crazy. No rider or horse lover wants their horse to experience colic. Here is what you need to know to keep your equine safe.

What laminitis is

If you aren't familiar with the word laminitis, maybe you have heard of a lame horse. A "lame horse" is a horse with laminitis. Basically, laminitis is a hoof disease that affects the tissues bonding the hoof wall to the coffin bone. It is caused by the disruption of the flow of the laminae. Without the bond the coffin bone can sink into the hoof and possibly exit the sole of the hoof as well. Laminitis can affect the front feet, back feet, or all four.


- Heat in feet

- In-creased digital pulse

- Hoof wall rings

- The horse may be leaning forward or backward to take the pain away

- Laying down a lot

- Bruised soles

- Flat feet

- Large crest


- Over-weightiness

- Concussion

- Stress

- Severe bacterial infection

- Too much sugar or grain

- Too much lush grass

- Improper care of your horse's hooves (unbalanced feet)

- Big diet changes

- Diseases like Cushing's disease, equine metabolic syndrome, or mechanical overload.


- Proper diet and exercise (work your horse at least 45 minutes a day. Let them be in a turnout for a few hours a day as well. Only feed grain 2 times a day. Give horses half a bail of hay a day.)

- Don't overfeed grain

- Make sure your horse is eating 1-2% of their bodyweight in roughage a day

- Limit sugar

- Limit grazing (during spring and fall grass contains lots of sugar)

Emergency treatment if you cant get a vet in

- Keep the hoof on soft ground

- Give the horse a dose of mineral oil if they have overeaten

- Ice the hoof to lower the swelling


Acute laminitis: Symptoms come on strongly and quickly. Symptoms may be similar to colic.

Chronic Laminitis: Symptoms are ongoing from past laminitis episodes. Horses may develop growth rings, more growth towards the heel of the hoof, or have a large crest.

I hope this has helped you learn about laminitis. It is truly a shame for an equine to get laminitis, and just like colic, and horse at any age, sex, or breed can become lame. It is important to keep on researching about laminitis especially if you want to own a horse or are a new horse owner. There are many other guides to help you with your knowledge on laminitis so I highly encourage you to try them out. xx The Desert Rider

#laminitis #lamehorse #hoof

14 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All