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Winter Laminitis

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  • Winter Laminitis

    Has anyone heard of winter laminitis? It was in this month's Horse Journal. Here's an blurp of that article for those who don't get the magazine.

    www.herbalcom.comwww.bulknutrition.com, 800-975-8125, $6.99/90 grams). This is a source of the amino acid arginine, which is used to manufacture nitric oxide. The starting dose is 3 grams.

    AAKG can be found in several body-building supplements for humans. An inexpensive one is NOS, sold at Walmart. Caution: Nitric oxide is also generated in large amounts as part of the inflammatory process. AAKG will also "feed" inflammation. It therefore should never to be given to horses suspected of having active laminitis, or to horses with active infection.
    It's interesting. Makes me wonder a bit about my one boy. Article was written by Dr. Kellon (whole article talks about Chronic Laminitis). So, has anyone heard about or personally experienced winter laminitis?
    Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
    See G2's blog
    Photos

  • #2
    my gf suspects her mare suffers from it.

    it's hard to tell whether the horse gets ouchy b/c of the cold spell or b/c the ground gets hard. but after discussing this on dr. kellon's yahoo group, she put polo wraps on her mare when the temps would drop and hoof boots.
    mare was more comfortable but was it the boots or the polos? i guess one way to tell would be to take the boots off, but then you also can't be sure whether the soreness and/or digital pulses you get are a result of concussion to the already compromised hoof capsule or the cold temps...
    http://www.eponashoe.com/
    TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Interesting. This winter was the first winter that Gringo had problems with foot soreness. But, this was also his first winter with shoes on the fronts also. He's never been this bad, so it's hard to tell what exactly the issue is, but the concept of winter laminitis was interesting.

      Glad to hear your friend's horse is doing well with wraps and boots.
      Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
      See G2's blog
      Photos

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by appychik View Post
        So, has anyone heard about or personally experienced winter laminitis?
        Yes. Both my chronic laminitis ponies originally foundered and are worse off during winter. The one with the most severe IR is the worst off. Jiogulan and AKG did not help. Wearing lined bell boots and wrapping legs does seem to help. There is no research, although some of the theories proposed by EK do seem plausible to some researchers.

        Moving to a warmer climate during winter helps mine immensely They were sound the winter they were here in a lower, warmer valley, and they have been sound all this winter, too. Winter of 0708 the cold and snow at my permanent address was real bad on my younger mare and she rotated all fours. Here in the banana belt of CO, not being house bound by extreme weather in a 7,600 mtn valley is doing me a world of good, too. Mares stayed in work, footing is better, we rarely have to bundle up like we did before. When storms hit back in the cold valley, sometimes they would not come out of the shed for days. I have charted daily temperatures and see a correlation with onset of sore feet. Miraculous recoveries frequently happen on Easter, but my neither me or my ponies are religious. No way to separate the most important factors, but then managing laminitis must always be holistic and take into account many factors. I do think that balancing carbs with exercise is very important to a lot of horses, before and after their first bout of laminitis.
        Katy
        Are you feeding your horse like a cow? www.safergrass.org

        Comment


        • #5

          Comment


          • #6
            Has anyone thought that the frozen ground makes the horse more foot sore? Certainly the case with many horses suffering from arthritis, ringbone, navicular, etc....

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Thomas_1 View Post

              Got to say I'll not be suiting and booting my horses to keep them warm. Never have done and never will do.
              Aww, come on. A nice set of fuzzy pink slippers for Dobbin's sore tooters? I think it's a fabulous idea.

              The other thing you get with really cold temps is really hard ground. I noticed my laminitic mare was tender-footed back in December when it was extremely cold and the ground was frozen.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Thomas_1 View Post
                Got to say I'll not be suiting and booting my horses to keep them warm.
                Thomas,
                If I lived there in your climate, I wouldn't be doing it either. How often have you had - 28C? It gets that cold frequently at my permanent address for 3 month at a time. It's only above freezing for 100 days of summer. And we don't have to worry about fructan when the grass is buried in a foot of snow so crusty and frozen the horses are unable to paw through. My ponies can walk on top the hard packed, frozen snow.

                We all have to qualify horse keeping advice based on local conditions that vary enormously globally.
                Are you feeding your horse like a cow? www.safergrass.org

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'd also like to see a venogram of the "cold" feet... wouldn't that be the proof?

                  It was my understanding the horses with severely reduced blood flow after laminitis (which can be seen on a venogram) in general have a poor prognosis, due to the lack of ability bto grow a healthy foot. I'd find it very odd that a previously laminitis horse was a healthy hoof has residual severely decreased blood flow that's "triggered" by cold weather.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Very cold weather is very obviously going to adversely affect secondary joint disease.

                    Likewise hard ground is obviously going to be harder to walk on.

                    Mine won't be getting pink fluffy slippers though! I was bought some paint on pinky/purple hoof glitter by a little girl that I teach to ride. She suggested I could use it for when I take my horses out.

                    We do seem to have quite a bit of pink seeping into the tack room: travel boots! head collars! numnah's! hat silks! Even feed buckets!

                    As far as the OP is concerned though, I'd be quite interested in knowing whether this is merely a hypothesis or if there's been any research: either statistical or scientific to back it up. I'm also wondering how "cold" is cold according to the hypothesis.

                    All seems a bit vague and woolly to me. Or maybe I should say pink and fluffy

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Katy Watts View Post
                      Thomas,
                      If I lived there in your climate, I wouldn't be doing it either. How often have you had - 28C? It gets that cold frequently at my permanent address for 3 month at a time.
                      Our coldest is about -18C

                      This morning was -4C but it's was up to 6C this afternoon.

                      But by gosh we've got mud to make up for the lack of being buried in snow for 9 months of the year.

                      The guy who fixes our computers lives on a farm in Canada for 6 months of the year and he comes home to the Scottish borders in winter for the better weather. He comes to our farm on days when it's -12 to -18 and we're buried in a couple of feet of snow and says "what a lovely day".

                      Then someone comes up from the south of England to our holiday cottage, gets out of the car and says "Blimey, it's freezing" and I'm wondering around in my shirt sleeves! That's just an example of difference in a piddling little Island!

                      It's all relative!

                      But I just saw your posting after I'd pontificated and said I'd love to know what was meant by "cold". Likewise I was curious to know how there could possibly be a sort of "global" theory for the USA. Having been there on numerous occasions I well know there's huge regional differences in climate.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by FatPalomino View Post
                        Has anyone thought that the frozen ground makes the horse more foot sore? Certainly the case with many horses suffering from arthritis, ringbone, navicular, etc....
                        Well, and that's what we think is wrong with Gringo. He does have a fractured coffin bone that just won't heal, but he didn't get bad until our first major snow storm the beginning of December. He's been horrible ever since. Has never been this bad, even when first diagnosed. We keep trying new things (shoes, pads, no pads, etc... now no shoes) and he's still horribly lame. Just waiting to see how he is come late April/early May once the ground here is totally unfrozen and dried up. Now it's currently a mix of frozen/DEEP mud. He does much better in the mud then he does with the snow and ice.

                        Anyways, I had never heard of winter laminitis, but it makes sense. As with Gus, to the best of my knowledge, Gringo has never had a bout of laminitis. But, something funky happened last summer that we were just able to notice in his hooves back in early January. Some weird, warped rings. Not necessarily founder rings but makes you wonder. We kinda "counted" back about six months and realized that was just when I got the grazing muzzle for Gringo. He had gained a lot of weight and I was worried... BO wasn't been too good about putting the muzzle on daily. So, who knows? Never was really off at that time though. Pretty sound and was in some work (lunging).

                        Thanks all for the information. It was just another thing I was contemplating... I really think I should test Gringo for IR. It's depressing enough to have one with it, but to have two? Anyways, thanks again for all the information about winter laminitis and the ideas on how to manage it.
                        Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
                        See G2's blog
                        Photos

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by appychik View Post
                          Well, and that's what we think is wrong with Gringo. He does have a fractured coffin bone that just won't heal, but he didn't get bad until our first major snow storm the beginning of December. He's been horrible ever since. Has never been this bad, even when first diagnosed. We keep trying new things (shoes, pads, no pads, etc... now no shoes) and he's still horribly lame. Just waiting to see how he is come late April/early May once the ground here is totally unfrozen and dried up.
                          Poor critter. Have you re-consulted with the vet and re-radiographed? Could be something bad in there. How about putting him in a deeply bedded stall? Check out the other tread about Epona shoes, magic cushion, etc.....

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by FatPalomino View Post
                            Poor critter. Have you re-consulted with the vet and re-radiographed? Could be something bad in there. How about putting him in a deeply bedded stall? Check out the other tread about Epona shoes, magic cushion, etc.....
                            I've been constantly in touch with the vet with regards to Gringo. He's on his last leg, not literally, but figuratively. Next, and last step before euthanasia, is a neurectomy on that leg. He's had it blocked earlier this month, but we're going to reblock it later next month to see if things have improved at all.

                            Last radiographs were done 3/08. Viewable here: http://picasaweb.google.com/DAEImagery/GringoXRays#. His older x-rays from June '07 are not digital. Vet has those. I wouldn't mind rex-raying, again, but money is limited, and Gus is rehabbing too. His stall definitely is far from deeply bedded - very limited bedding right now actually. But, he'll be back on pasture 24/7 here May 1st.

                            I'd love to do alternative forms of shoeing, etc. but don't know of anyone in the area that does that without charging an arm and a leg. Thanks for your input.
                            Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
                            See G2's blog
                            Photos

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by FatPalomino View Post
                              I'd also like to see a venogram of the "cold" feet... wouldn't that be the proof?

                              It was my understanding the horses with severely reduced blood flow after laminitis (which can be seen on a venogram) in general have a poor prognosis, due to the lack of ability bto grow a healthy foot. I'd find it very odd that a previously laminitis horse was a healthy hoof has residual severely decreased blood flow that's "triggered" by cold weather.
                              Exactly. Dr. K has zero proof (i.e. none have had venograms or arteriograms) compromised winter bloodflow causes the problem yet she doesn't hesitate to present such as fact.

                              I never saw any improvement in my chronic laminitic with either her herbal recommendations or wrapping protocols although many of her sycophants give witness to miracle cures and the like. She doesn't want to hear about "failures" of course and any and all that don't report success are either ignored or banished from the cult. Very bad science all round.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by rcloisonne View Post
                                She doesn't want to hear about "failures" of course and any and all that don't report success are either ignored or banished from the cult. Very bad science all round.
                                Interesting....

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Thomas_1 View Post
                                  Our coldest is about -18C

                                  But by gosh we've got mud to make up for the lack of being buried in snow for 9 months of the year.

                                  He comes to our farm on days when it's -12 to -18 and we're buried in a couple of feet of snow and says "what a lovely day".
                                  And the fructans in the grass do what then?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Androcles View Post
                                    And the fructans in the grass do what then?
                                    Depends on what kind of grass. Here is a very detailed comprehensive book on Fructan. Discussion of winter starts on page 235.

                                    http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&...1fAk#PPA236,M1
                                    Are you feeding your horse like a cow? www.safergrass.org

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Thomas_1 View Post
                                      Very cold weather is very obviously going to adversely affect secondary joint disease.
                                      Can see why you would guess that, but the old mare with the arthritis issues has less problems with cold induced laminitis than her daughter who's insulin is much higher. The daughter once got sore feet the day after a cold front went through and the temperature dropped 30F in an afternoon. She stayed sore all winter, while the older mare was fine. She was also once sore from a late spring snow for a few days, and got better as soon as it melted. While I have no explanation as to what mechanisms causes it, and the researchers I have discussed this with have only theories, I cannot pretend it does not exist.

                                      Thomas, the temperatures you describe are what we would call an extended autumn.
                                      Are you feeding your horse like a cow? www.safergrass.org

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Katy Watts View Post
                                        Depends on what kind of grass. Here is a very detailed comprehensive book on Fructan. Discussion of winter starts on page 235.

                                        http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&...1fAk#PPA236,M1
                                        what the heck difference does it make, if they're covered by two feet of snow? (irony alert)

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