Managing Autumn Laminitis


It is commonly thought that laminitis mainly occurs in the spring time with the ‘new’ or ‘spring’ grass coming through.  This however is not the case and autumn can see just as many cases of this crippling disease.  In fact more cases are admitted to the Laminitis Clinic in September than any other month.  Grass in autumn is basically ‘coming back to life’ as it does in spring, having been dormant over the hotter months of summer.  Warm days and cooler nights that are seen in autumn bring about the ideal conditions for grass to start growing again.

Preventing this crippling disease is a major issue and with laminitis being the second biggest killer of horses and ponies in the UK it is an issue that needs to be taken very seriously.  Nutritionally triggered laminitis is most commonly caused by overloading the digestive system with rapidly fermentable carbohydrates; this is usually from starch in cereals or fructans in grass.  Another cause of nutritionally triggered laminitis is the long term use of feeds high in sugars and starch, especially to overweight horses and ponies, which cause changes in glucose metabolism and ultimately result in insulin resistance or Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS).

Horses and ponies that are prone to laminitis should still receive adequate amounts of fibre, but this should be controlled to limit the sugar and calorie content.  Ideally turn out into a bare paddock and provide soaked hay to still allow fibre intake. Grazing muzzles can be used or strip grazing introduced to reduce the amount of grass consumed, whilst still allowing for daily turnout.  Hay may be soaked for several hours to reduce the soluble carbohydrate content and therefore the calories; adequate amounts can then still be fed to ensure your horse or pony is receiving the correct daily intake of fibre, which will help to keep his gut working efficiently.  Never forget that horses evolved to be trickle feeders.

Feeding horses and ponies that are prone to laminitis the low calorie, low sugar, low starch diet feed balancer, Blue Chip Lami-light is the ideal way to ensure they receive the correct level of vitamins, nutrients and minerals on a daily basis. The whole-cereal and molasses free formula makes it very low in sugar and starch.  Lami-light contains a respiratory supplement, including garlic and menthol, and a comprehensive hoof supplement, formulated with biotin, zinc and methionine. The prebiotic in Lami-light helps to remove harmful bacteria from the gut. This, combined with a probiotic yeast, helps to maintain good digestive health and promote a healthy environment for the beneficial bacteria to thrive. Many cases of laminitis are thought to be caused by toxicity in the gut.

Lami-light contains a generous level of magnesium which not only helps to keep your horse or pony calm and settled but also helps to increase insulin sensitivity.  Insulin resistance is often linked to overweight horses and ponies, laminitis, and Equine Metabolic Syndrome. Magnesium has shown to produce a reduction in fat deposits, especially on the crest and base of the tail.

Native ponies are built to withstand the rugged cold weather and scarce grazing conditions; they are strong, durable and maintain their condition in times when food is limited. With domestication we have now brought these ponies out of the wild and into fields that contain lush, rich grass.  Blue Chip Original Native is the only feed balancer designed especially for the Native pony.  The level of probiotic in Original Native will promote optimal gut health without altering body condition.  Sandra Burton who won the BSPS Heritage M&M Ridden Championship at Olympia 2013 with Fly the Last Flute says “I have been feeding Blue Chip for over 18 months, and I’m amazed at how it has helped to develop and maintain William’s (Fly the Last Flute) topline and muscle tone.  Even though he is grey, his coat just gleamed, and as I have only fed it alongside chaff it kept my feed bill low.  It’s great that Blue Chip have released a new product, specifically for Native’s to cater to their special needs, I’ve already swapped William on to it, he loves it.”

All the balancers in the Blue Chip range contain a complete hoof supplement, SoundHoof which includes biotin, methionine and zinc.  There is also a respiratory supplement, which includes menthol, eucalyptus and garlic.  All the balancers in the Blue Chip range also contain the correct balance of Omega 3 and 6 oils, eliminating the need to feed additional supplements.  Because Blue Chip balancers are nutrient dense it means they are fed in small quantities, allowing them to pass slowly through the gut, this enables more nutrients to be utilised by your horse or pony which will result in them being healthy from the inside out.  The balancers in the Blue Chip range include a generous level of magnesium to help keep your horse or pony calm and settled.

Blue Chip balancers are the only feed balancers to contain the revolutionary new ingredient nucleotides.  Nucleotides are the building blocks of DNA and RNA and are especially beneficial to laminitics as they help to repair the laminae, which are often damaged by laminitis attacks.  Nucleotides also help to aid nutrient absorption which is beneficial to those horses or ponies on a restricted diet.  Blue Chip uses a fruit derived form of natural Vitamin E in all their balancers which is 4-6 times more bioavailable than the synthetic form used in most other feeds.  Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and the cells first line of defence, again especially beneficial to horses or ponies with laminitis.

Blue Chip Lami-light has been recommended by vets and farriers to many worried owners of horses and ponies that were prone to laminitis or were overweight.  These horses and ponies are now once again, with the added help of Lami-light leading active, happy lives.

For more information visit www.bluechipfeed.com or call 0114 2666200.

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