Increased Risk of Laminitis in Fall Grasses

 

What is Laminitis in Horses?

sorrel horse fall

Laminitis is an inflammatory condition in the hoof tissues, called lamina, that bond the hoof wall to the coffin bone. Laminitis can be very painful to the horse. It can affect a horse of any age male or female at any time of the year. However, typically horses that are obese or have a history of metabolic or hormonal issues are more prone to laminitis.

How Fall Grasses Can Affect Laminitis:

You may think laminitis is a springtime disease. However, it is an issue in the fall as well. Grasses accumulate NSC (non-structural carbohydrates), or Sugar and Starches when it is exposed to sunlight and heat. As the temperatures drop and nights become colder the grasses have a regrowth period and once again have high amounts of NSC. Grasses that have high levels of NSC can increase the risk of Laminitis for your horse. In addition, as days get shorter and colder your horse secretes more ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone). Higher levels of ACTH lead to higher insulin levels, which a leading cause of laminitis. 

fall horse grazing

Increased Risk of Laminitus for Your Horses on Fall Grasses

Fall Nutrition for Your Equine:

One way to know if your pastures are too high in the NSC level is to simply get your pastures tested. Test your pastures every couple of weeks to be aware of what is going on, and what levels are present in your fields. If your pastures have high levels of NSC, it is best to take your horses off the pasture and feed them quality hay. In addition to quality hay, adding a vitamin and mineral supplement is a good idea. A vitamin and mineral supplement ensures their needs are being met without adding extra sugars to their diet. Feeding a hoof supplement that contains high levels of biotin will also help to ensure a strong hoof wall which will help reduce the stress on the lamina. By adding a supplement to their diet, it can help prepare them for a smooth transition into winter feeding. In the colder months of the year, quality nutrition is important to the overall health of your horse. The cold can impact the health of your horse, be sure your horse isn't missing any key nutrients this Fall.

5 Responses

Donna Gabriel

Donna Gabriel

October 21, 2021

We live in West Chicago, Illinois. Where, how and by whom would I have my pastures tested? Thank you in advance.

Dr. Kelsey Nonella

Dr. Kelsey Nonella

October 08, 2021

If you are feeding one of our vitamin-mineral supplements, you are getting 3 mg of organic selenium, which is needed for ideal immunity, muscle recovery, etc. None of the other supplements you are feeding have significant amounts of selenium. It is much below the toxic levels of 20 mg per day. The only thing that may have a lot of selenium is your hay(depending on where you live, there are pockets that have high selenium in Nebraska and Colorado). However, it is most likely not an issue for you. However, you could get a selenium hay analysis done to make sure.

Let me know if I can answer any more questions.

Sincerely,

Kelsey Johnson Nonella, Ph.D., PAS

Nancy Hay

Nancy Hay

September 30, 2021

I have heard different things about Selenium. How do I know if I am overdosing my horse by adding the supplement with Selenium in it? My horse has anhidrosis so I was giving the Selenium supplement you have. I have stopped because of my concerns about overdosing. He gets Timothy Grass pellets 2x’s a day, Canadian orchard hay with a little alfalfa 2 flakes a day, Equitrol feed thru fly deterrent, Wendel’s Garlic, and a hoof hardener with biotin. ( not sure which one right now.) I have used Life Data Labs, Ferrier’s Hoof Secret, and yours.
He is a Quarter horse about 1000#.
Any insight you can give me is greatly appreciated.

Dr. Kelsey Nonella, PhD

Dr. Kelsey Nonella, PhD

March 22, 2021

Thank you for the question. The NSC on Trifecta are 42%. Although this probably sounds high to you, you need to consider the amount they are consuming. Trifecta is fed at 8 ounces so your horse is only getting 95 grams starch. If you compare feeding 3 pounds of a low starch grain at 7%, your horse is getting 95 grams of starch. Trifecta will provide:
• A complete vitamin-mineral supplement to fill any deficiencies that are typically lacking in hay
• A gut supplement with prebiotics, probiotics, and live yeast cultures to help stabilize the gut flora to help ensure they are getting the most out of the feed they consume
• A great hoof supplement with 32 mg biotin, plus zinc, methionine, and MSM to help keep strong hooves
• An outstanding joint supplement with 5,000 mg MSM and glucosamine, and 100 mg hyaluronic acid
Paired with some Teff pellets or by itself Trifecta will ensure all their vitamin-mineral needs are being met and doesn’t add a lot of extra calories to their diet.

Nancy Rose

Nancy Rose

March 22, 2021

WHat is the NSC of Horse Guard Trifecta?

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