Many animal lovers ignore when their pets have been giving them signs that things are not okay. It is an unfortunate situation. But most people think that as long as they are treated well and thriving, the animal will be doing just fine.
It is the same case for all animals. Whether it’s a cat, dog, or even a sheep or horse, they are worth our time, attention, and financial support for their wellbeing. They may be unable to speak their concerns, but their change in habit should say a lot.
Most people are aware of the health issues for domestic animals such as cats, dogs, and other small animals. But the larger animals and exotic ones are not so lucky. Unless you’ve been living on a farm or surrounded by those animals for a long time, you may miss the signs.
Detecting any health issues in large animals can be a problem. Mostly because they don’t spend as much time with us as other domestic animals we keep indoors. Therefore, you need to notice the signs of any discomfort to treat the problem as soon as possible.
One of the common problems for a horse is laminitis (read more). This issue affecting their feet and hooves and can severely affect their life after treatment. Sadly, many owners are not aware of how dangerous it is and often take the issue as a cause of lameness.
What Is Laminitis?
Laminitis is a case of having a disruption in the blood flow that eventually pushes into the soles. This disruption can be constant or random, but it happens quite often that will cause inflammation on the thin layer between the leg and sole.
When you notice that your horse suddenly became lame on at least two legs, it’s most likely that it developed a case of laminitis. Do not panic and start calling your vet to get your horse treated. In the meantime, build a comfortable and thick bed for your horse, and prepare fresh water and food next to them.
It is rare for a horse to die from laminitis. However, there are chances that they don’t respond well to the treatment. Or worse, they resist and eventually refuse any kind of treatment. And when that happens, you have no other option but to put them to sleep.
What Causes Laminitis
Many owners seem to be unaware of the problem. It is simply because the issue starts elsewhere. Counting in other factors that cause laminitis and other aspects. The causes of this issue are well-known despite being difficult to pinpoint.
Laminitis often starts from the digestive organs. It can be a case of severe colic or accidentally digest a toxic material and lead to diarrhea. As you know, digestive organs are known to be the root of other body problems, including laminitis. Your vet may suggest you have better control over the food quality and timing of the mealtime for your horses.
However, there are other causes as well that you may be unable to control. For example, they may have issues with insulin and endocrine control. For this case, your vet may have to administer drugs such as painkillers as a laminitis treatment to alleviate the pain. The vet may also need to clean the existing abscess and take other important steps to get them out of trouble.
Anyway, keep in mind that there are several cases of heightened risk. An abrupt change in diet, high-carb food, short and unnatural postures like in a pony and miniature horse, and overweight put them at risk. Old age and previous health issues could increase the probability of catching one.
The Severity Of It
Firstly, understand the difference between a chronic and acute case. In short, acute means that it’s troublesome, but you still have enough time to treat it. And your horse will return to full health with minimum to zero impact.
However, chronic means that it’s already at a later stage and may require a harsher solution. In most cases, a chronic situation will heavily affect their wellbeing. They may don’t respond well to the treatment or have a hard time adjusting to their new condition. And when that happens, you may have to brace yourself to put them to sleep.
At first, they may appear lame or have an uncertain gait. But those signs should be enough for you to call your vet and ask for an X-ray. Look into the possible causes and how to treat them right away. Still, you need to look for information on how to prevent laminitis.
Anyway, most cases end in a happy ending. With a speedy recovery and your equines, continue a long and happy life. But do understand that this issue can occur again after a while. Therefore, you need to pay attention when you notice any sign of lameness again or when your horse has a fever.
What You Need To Do Next
Before you start overthinking it, do understand that you can avoid this problem. A balanced diet with enough important nutrition is a good start. Don’t forget to check on their health regularly. You also should pay close attention to horses that have experienced a case of laminitis.
There needs to be a massive diet change for your horses. Make sure that they don’t binge on either grass or hay to trigger another case of laminitis. It’s also important to keep clean water near and have a good food quality.
Laminitis often brings unbearable pain to your horses. But you can treat and prevent them from happening in the future. However, keep in mind that each horse is different. So always consult your vet to see all types of treatments to help yourself with the options. Ask if there is any first aid that you can do to help.
At any rate, a balanced diet is one of the keys to avoid this issue. Give your horses ample time and space to eat to prevent binge eating. You also need to educate yourself on any possible health risks they possess.
It doesn’t matter whether you breed them like cattle or compete.
Improving the quality of your relationship will bring better wellbeing for both of you. And that will be profitable in the long run.