Approximately 10% of mature bone goes through the resorption (bone removal) and ossification (hardening of new bone) process each year. Arthritis causes an imbalance in the remodeling process resulting in bone spurs like the one shown here.
It is a common misconception that applying hoof dressing to the outer hoof wall adds moisture. The hollow fibers that make up the hoof wall are naturally filled with moisture and an adequate amount of moisture is reliant on a healthy blood supply to the hoof.
Yes, fall pasture grass can cause laminitis. As the air gets cooler and the leaves begin to change, so does your pasture grass. The sugars in grasses rise as new growth explodes with cooler temperatures and fall rains, increasing the risk of laminitic episodes. If a horse looks foot sore contact your veterinarian and start soaking their feet in ice water as soon as symptoms appear.
Take extra care when fall grazing horses who suffer from metabolic disorders. Their bodies do not metabolize sugar properly and are at a higher risk of pasture-induced laminitis.
We have probably all heard we should not place ice directly on the skin. This is true when treating horses, too. While ice freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit it is often much colder. Ice from a typical kitchen freezer can be as cold as -20 F.
Burn occurs when ice is placed directly on the skin. The skin begins to freeze, and ice crystals form within the cell structure causing damage, or “ice burn”.
To avoid crystal formation and ice burn, soak foot and leg injuries in a bucket of ice water. For injuries that cannot be soaked, place a layer of cloth between the ice pack and the skin.
Steroid induced laminitis can happen in rare cases. When evaluating risk, corticosteroids are comparable to other anti-inflammatories and the benefits out weigh the risks. For healthy adult horses the risk of steroid induced laminits is very, very low.
Horses with certain medical conditions, while the risk is still very low, are more likely to experience a laminitic episode. Those condition include, but are not limited to, horses that are overweight, are insulin resistant, who suffer from Cushing’s disease, or those who have had a recent occurrence of laminitis.
The frequency in which horses are vaccinated depends on their risk of encountering a large number of the disease-causing organisms. With regards to many respiratory tract diseases, risk is increased for most horses in areas where they congregate (shows, trail rides, etc.) For other diseases, such as encephalomyelitis (“sleeping sickness”) or tetanus, all horses in a given area are basically at equal risk. It is important to note that vaccines are ideally administered when the need for immunity against a disease is at its highest. For example, diseases carried by insects like West Nile, Potomac Horse Fever, and Eastern and Western Encephalomyelitis should be vaccinated against in the springtime each year.