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Feed options for a laminitic hard-keeper

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  • Feed options for a laminitic hard-keeper

    Hello all,

    I've been reading here for a while but have never really posted. I hope it's ok I'm starting a new topic for this.

    My 11yo paint gelding was recently (2 weeks ago) treated for Potomac horse fever. He has recovered from the illness itself, but is unfortunately dealing with some laminitis.

    The complicating factor is that he's always been a hard keeper. He was maintaining well on 2 scoops of Triumph Senior twice daily, but had to drastically decrease that recently. We had been giving only ¼ scoop during the initial illness (purely for drug delivery and to test his appetite) and have so far only increased to ½ scoop. We're still battling the laminitis at this point, as he is still quite tender (on left front only at this point).

    I'd like to pick your brains about feeds we could try moving forward. I've read/heard quite a lot of varying opinions on the topic. I saw lots of recommendations for a Seminole Wellness feed, but I'm unfortunately unable to get that up here in MI.

    I've looked into a few Purina options (Wellsolve L/S vs. Ultium), but wanted to see if anyone here has any experience to offer. Bear in mind that the horse is pasture-kept (yes, I'm looking into a grazing muzzle) in a boarding situation, so I would like to keep feedings as simple as possible (e.g. soaked beet pulp is out of the question).

    Thank you in advance!

  • #2
    Was the laminitis a result of the PHF... or perhaps other issues? Just double checking.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Yes, it was an acute onset due to the PHF. He's never had any metabolic problems in the past.

      To clarify:

      Day one: fever 103+. Treated with banamine.
      Day two: fever better, but still 101+. More banamine.
      Day three: fever gone, but legs stocked up, a bit slower to move around
      Day four: legs stocked up, severe diarrhea, slow to walk (needed lots of encouragement to get to barn) - this was day one of major treatment (including icing of feet, isoxsuprine, banamine, bute, DMSO, oxytet, IV hydration, etc.)

      We've been packing his fronts with Magic Cushion and padding. I'm working on getting some SoftRide boots.

      Today is day 15 post onset of initial fever. Major treatments (IV meds, etc) completed on day 7. Also obtained rads on day 7 which showed only a very slight rotation on left front.
      Last edited by Timid Wild One; Nov. 5, 2012, 12:01 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        If it were me, I would start with Wellsolve L/S... slowly of course with gradual increase. I have a friend with a metabolic horse and the results of Wellsolve have been wonderful for him.

        That may or may not be enough calories/nutrition for a very hard keeper and I do realize that, but for now your goal is to prevent an acute phase of laminitis from progressing to a chronic phase (founder).

        Had a hard keeper I boarded here for years that suffered a bout of mechnical founder and it was challenging to feed her and not perturb her founder.

        After you, your vet, and your farrier have worked thru this episode you may find that Wellsolve is not a dense enough feed for this horse. Then you can explore mixing in some Ultium...even a gradual complete change over as I do know several people that keep horses with past laminitis issues on Ultium.

        Has this horse had rads to rule out any rotation?

        Also keep in mind that keeping it simple in a pasture boarding situation can simply amount to a little organization on your part. Simple steps like you stocking a cooler every 2-3 days with feedrite bags of pre-soaked....even lightly oiled BP shreds might end up saving you some serious cash. And after treating for PHF I am sure you are feeling the $$$$ pains.

        Comment


        • #5
          Ask your veterinarian if soaked roasted beans + sugar free beet pulp would be ok for him. RB are high in fat and digestible protein (complete protein too), and low in starch. Also Flax Seed may be of benefit.

          I like the mix soaked - warm water 1/2-2hrs.
          Best wishes for your guy.
          Horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
          ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.

          Comment


          • #6
            My 32 year old foundered horse is on Triple Crown Low Starch and Triple Crown Senior mixed together. He is also on Speedi-Beet. When he first foundered I wanted to feed him the very best feed I could find so I went with Purina Well-Solve Low Starch. Evidently it tastes terrible, but that's not the reason I quit using it. I was constantly finding things in the feed. Corn shaped into pellets, just plain corn and oats. I found something one time Purina identifed as a red paint chip. It wasn't a big deal to Purina, but it was to me. They never even apologized. I think if a company is going to make a feed for compromised horses that have Cushing's they should do their very best to keep all this other stuff out of it.

            Comment


            • #7
              See if you have an Equipride dealer near you (or one that'll ship) and combine it with plain, soaked beet pulp. It simplifies the diet, you're feeding cups of EquiPride instead of pounds of grain and you can always up the calories with whatever you/the horse likes: more beet pulp, canola oil, cool calories, etc.
              <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

              Comment


              • #8
                I don't know if you can get it there, but Dengie's Alpha A Molasses Free is approved by the Laminitis Trust and absolutely safe for laminitics. Its also a great product to put on weight on healthy horses, so should help with the hard-keeper part of things.

                They also offer another product, Healthy Hooves which is absolutely amazing.

                I have been using Alpha A with great success on my horses and I've also tried Healthy Hooves at one point.

                I really recommend the Dengie products to those with laminitic horses, as they have an entire spectrum of feeds designed specifically for them and, as such, are 100% safe.
                www.facebook.com/lusitanos4sale

                Comment


                • #9
                  If you can get Tribute feeds up there, I'd look into those. They're designed to be low sugar and starch, but higher fat. My Arab does very well on them.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SCMSL View Post
                    I don't know if you can get it there, but Dengie's Alpha A Molasses Free is approved by the Laminitis Trust and absolutely safe for laminitics. Its also a great product to put on weight on healthy horses, so should help with the hard-keeper part of things.

                    They also offer another product, Healthy Hooves which is absolutely amazing.

                    I have been using Alpha A with great success on my horses and I've also tried Healthy Hooves at one point.

                    I really recommend the Dengie products to those with laminitic horses, as they have an entire spectrum of feeds designed specifically for them and, as such, are 100% safe.
                    Agreed, although my laminitic hard keeper wouldn't touch either of those. But he LOVED Triple Crown Safe Starch Forage.
                    Originally posted by EquineImagined
                    My subconscious is a wretched insufferable beotch.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      *waves at TWO*

                      Bummer about Hunk! We had a bad bad case of PHF at our barn. No laminitis but serious weight loss, edema, and generally malaise, was off for over a month. Who's your vet up there? Do you need to treat as if he's IR even though it was clearly a case of PHF?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I don't think I would personally change any feed as long as it did not cause the laminitis. All the drugs would have a more profound affect than the feed. I would detox the horse and keep him on his feed. Just My Opinion.
                        Charlie Piccione
                        Natural Performance Hoof Care

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Laminitis

                          Originally posted by Herbie19 View Post
                          Agreed, although my laminitic hard keeper wouldn't touch either of those. But he LOVED Triple Crown Safe Starch Forage.
                          I like the Safety Starch feed as well (expensive, tho), but I would not feed anything else except for water until the the acute phase passes. It is so easy to set off rotation in the other foot, etc. I also think small doses of Banimine are necessary to keep the horse from overloading his "good" foot. I just went through all this and it was a nightmare. Good luck!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Triple Crown Senior or Low Starch. I highly recommend calling Triple Crown customer service and talking to them. They are the best!
                            "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I love Triple Crown Senior as well. My IR (and one-time laminitic) horse does amazingly well on TC Senior. I don't have to feed anywhere near the recommended amounts either, so it's fairly cost-effective.

                              I also second the notion about perhaps not changing feed right away. Especially if the laminitis is directly due to PHF. But, that's just my opinion.
                              Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
                              See G2's blog
                              Photos

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Is there a specific association between non-feed-induced laminitis (such as what occurs with illness) and the more typical laminitis that overweight horses or those who break into the grain bin, beyond the fact that both are laminitis?

                                Not meaning to state the obvious, because perhaps horses that have had one trigger are more prone to others (is this actually known?) but for a hard keeper recovering from a serious illness I'd also be worried about just plain malnutrition and would not want to go TOO hard at eliminating everything from the horse's diet.
                                Click here before you buy.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  A Fine balance to play, while giving him enough to have the energy/strength to heal. Keep both in mind

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                                    Is there a specific association between non-feed-induced laminitis (such as what occurs with illness) and the more typical laminitis that overweight horses or those who break into the grain bin, beyond the fact that both are laminitis?
                                    DW, I'd like to know the answer, too! My mare has what is most likely "mechanical" laminitis in one front hoof and I'm trying to figure out what to do about her feed, treats, etc.

                                    OP -- Can *you* soak beet pulp and bring it to the barn when you go? (Others: would it be bad for the horse to have beet pulp on some days but not others?)
                                    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                    1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      My severely foundered pony (granted he's a solid 12hh) is doing AMAZING on Triple Crown Lite. I know it's for "easy keepers" but since he is only about 600 lbs. he needs something with a good amount of calories, but not a lot of volume. It also has a VERY low NSC level, I want to say less than 10%?

                                      I also feed soaked beet pulp, and right now they (my mare, too) gets beet pulp + TC Lite for breakfast, and just the TC Lite for dinner. I don't want to soak the beet pulp for dinner, it would get too cold, and I would feel bad feeding freezing cold beet pulp, lol. They do fine getting beet pulp for one meal, and their powdered supplements with it.

                                      I would be careful after having a non-feed related laminitis episode, since the hooves are now compromised, they could be more sensitive to things they weren't before.

                                      Also, my pony could not eat the TC Safe Starch Forage, he was too sensitive, and would have had a bad episode had I continued to feed it. (He is sensitive to all types of sugars, and most horses are not, which is why the TC is a good choice for metabolic horses. Just not Timmy The Miracle Pony.) He gets soaked hat for the most part, and can handle having some of the dry hay that I have now.

                                      Oh, and for treats? The Hilton Herbs Herballs are AH-MAZING! Timmy is VERY picky, and absolutely looooooves these!
                                      "On the back of a horse I felt whole, complete, connected to that vital place in the center of me...and the chaos within me found balance."

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Hello everyone. I'm just coming back to this and surprised to see so many responses. The way things move around here, I thought it had surely sunk to the bottom of the heap after only a few replies. Thank you for all of your suggestions and thoughts. I'll post a general update and try to answer every question I find.

                                        (Hi BXM!!!)

                                        It's been 5 weeks since onset of the PHF and there has been general improvement, though he is still lame. His weight has improved, though his topline still leaves something to be desired (that will take quite some time, I'm sure). He is in generally great spirits and is now past the "I don't care I'll just stand here and let you treat me" stage. I had the vet out two+ weeks ago and we considered an abscess as an alternate theory, but two weeks of soaks+sugardine and ichthammol packs have shown no results. Well, I shouldn't say "no results". He has been much more comfortable, especially because my vet found some Softride boots to loan me. He is about 85% sound walking in the boots and is so far tolerating them well (no rubs) on limited turnout (2hrs in indoor arena). Vet ok'ed starting some pasture time, and we're going slow...started 15 minutes and now at 20 minutes daily. Slowly but surely. No changes good or bad since doing so. There's been no palpable digital pulse for the most part. Felt one a few days ago, but it was gone after ten minutes of handwalking. I think the sooner I can get him back on turnout, the better. Still considering a grazing muzzle, but grass here in SE MI is pretty much dead and we'll probably have snow cover by the time he's ready to go out full-time.

                                        As for rads, we are doing a followup set with more views (only did single lateral views last time as a baseline) on Friday to see if there have been any rotational changes since 10/27.

                                        On to the questions...
                                        I am going to discuss feed options with my vet on Friday. Ideally, we'd stick with a Tribute feed, but Hunk needs something more than just a ration-balancer for sure. My vet is definitely of the mind that an acute bout of non-metabolic laminitis is reason for caution in the future.

                                        Re: Tribute
                                        This is the feed currently stocked by my barn. Hunk is getting the senior feed. He'd been getting two scoops/feeding (twice daily) prior to his illness, but we cut down to ½ scoop/feeding during the initial stages. Will discuss with my vet if he thinks we're ok to increase a little bit again.

                                        Re: Triple Crown
                                        I just located a local dealer. I have heard nothing but great things about their feeds, and they will certainly be my first consideration should a feed switch be necessary.

                                        Re: Dengie
                                        This looks like a wonderful company - sadly they don't seem to distribute to the States (or Canada).

                                        Re: beet pulp
                                        I have given beet pulp in the past, but Hunk is picky about it. Once upon a time, he ate it right up, but a relatively recent attempt (pre-illness) resulted in him ignoring it entirely. I am certainly willing to try it again. I'll get a trial bag to soak/feed on days that I'm out (roughly 3-4 days/week) before I thrust that task on barn staff.

                                        Re: alternate calorie sources
                                        I am tempted to try some cool calories. It works best on a soaked feed, as it falls through to the bottom of the pan easily otherwise, so I could give it on days I feed the beet pulp.

                                        Thanks for the treat suggestion, Ainsley!

                                        Comment

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