We both took a Insulin Resistance/Cushing's Disease course by Dr. Eleanor Kellon and in the course, there are several chapters dedicated to laminitis and treating laminitis. So after I read the symptoms which include:
- Less activity
- Reluctance to more off from a stand still
- Reluctance to trot
- Reluctance to make sharp turns
- Preference for soft ground
- Stiffness when moving
- Muscular tension in the upper arm, neck, shoulder, back, hindquarters (any or all)
Hoof changes which are suspicious but not diagnostic include:
- Hoof rings
- Widened white line
So, out of those 10, Diesel had 7. Now these symptoms are for low-grade laminitis, NOT acute laminitis. For acute laminitis it's a lot easier to tell, they just can't and won't move! Poor horses, and it's all because of grass. But, let's not get sidetracked - I could go on about this all day!
The vet came out and sure enough, it was laminitis. Drastic changes were made to Diesel's already diet-ed diet. No sweet feed. No grass. Hose his feet & banamine (for the first two days). And Exercise. Our vet chose banamine instead of Phenylbutazone (bute) because bute is an anti-inflammatory drug for hard tissues while banamine targets soft tissues including... the inflamed lamella of the hoof which is laminitis.
Diesel was on that for two days, we hosed his feet and he is back to his old self and it is only two days after the vet came. Of course, he is unhappy to be in a dry lot all by himself (only for 4 hours though) but we're going to turn our track into dirt so the ponies (who are on their diets) can actually go out and get exercise.
So, that's our plan! More exercise once his feet are a-ok and no more grass.
Keep an eye on your horses and minis, this spring has been a sugarpacked-grass growing-super wet one. When all else fails, there is always the dry lot and that can work wonders for an overweight horse!