Laminitis (Founder)

This time I'll be writing about Laminitis. I remember in the past a horse named Peppy got Laminitis. I learned a little of what it was from Peppy's owner but I didn't quite remember all she said about it. That was years ago but now I know more about it.

Laminitis happens in the feet. Although it's in the feet, what causes it is more often elsewhere in a horse's body. Overfeeding is a common cause to Laminitis, but thankfully is easier to control. 

Laminitis is a injury to what's called the sensitive and insensitive laminae (lamina, you can find it in the picture below) causing inflammation and could harm the important bond between these support structures of the foot. These Laminae parts secure the coffin bone (picture below) to the hoof wall. 

Inflammation can permanently weaken the laminae, and if severe can separate the bone and hoof wall, and penetrate the sole. 

I'll name a few of the causes (not all of them);
  • Overload of food (such as excess grain, fruit or snacks) or changes of diet. 
  • What's called "grass founder", is a type of Laminitis which a horse can get if sudden access to excessive amount of lush forage before the horse's system has time to adapt.  
  • High fever or illness
  • Severe Colic 
  • Bedding that contains black walnut shavings
  • Various foot deceases

Some of the signs horses may show as well:

  • Lameness, especially when a horse is turning in circles
  • Heat in the feet
  • Reluctant or hesitant gait (what's called 'walking on eggshells')