Laminitis problems

wickedwilfred

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We had thought out 12 year old shetland had laminitis, but blood tests showed that he has diabetes. He's been on Metformin and Vitex Equids, plus vit C to help absorbtion. He is out in a bald paddock during the day, but has access to hay and is stabled at night, again with just hay. His medication is given twice a day with a little chaff feed - no grain. During the summer he seems to do well but in winter and the moment temperatures are sub-zero, his condition worsens and he becomes very stiff and I wondered if there was a link and he would benefit from being kept warmer and off frozen ground.
 

Cecile

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I had this type of problem many years ago with an old driving shetland. Not sure if this will help or not but can you make a pen surrounding his stable so he has access to outside for mooching about and lay either rubber mats or even old rugs down? Failing that have you thought about making slippers, this weather is causing awful ground conditions
I begged an old dive suit off a friend and made neoprene slippers, it was very easy and when the pony went out she bounced around in her neoprene slippers, the other thing I tried was leather slippers, any old leather coat from a charity shop. This enabled her to move around without worrying about the hard ground, ruts and bad weather conditions, in turn keeping her warmer
 

paddy555

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presumably you are talking about being stiff as a result of sore feet rather that stiff as in old, arthritis type stiff. My laminitic 29yo mare comes in at night onto rubber mat to keep her tootsies warmer and if the ground is frozen I put her out in easyboot RX's. She has very small feet. This seems to help and she flies around in her boots. If you try cecile's suggestion of tying something onto the feet you will see very quickly if he is better and then could consider boots.
 
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Horses dont get diabetes - they have something similar (vets may have explained it to you as Diabetes but its not - even though the drug (Metformin) is used in diabetes)

He is will have either PPID or Cushings ... both of which (if unmedicated) can mean that the horse is more susceptible to accute laminitis attacks and chronic cases.

So your original thoughts are probably correct ... the pony is laminitic but the cause isnt grass its a metabolic malfunction...

on that note - it makes it very difficult to control - to start you need to get the levels of drugs correct - please read the side effects as they are many and serious.

Secondly you need to make him comfortable ... if he is laminitic his feet will be sore ... use boot and pads (these are available for small feet) or keep in on a thick shavings bed.

Of course if he is old being stiff makes everything worse - so maybe some leg wraps would be good for him ... but i thinbk the underlying cause of this is the lami - which as you said you are removing the cause of
 

meleeka

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Mine is better in at night with leg wraps or if it's dry, out with turnout socks to keep her legs warm.
Has he been tested for Cushings? Winter laminitis is a symptom.
 

Leo Walker

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Do you mean EMS or similar? Thats what the prescribe Metformin for. Or has he got cushings which isnt being medicated? I think its worth a chat with your vet to find out exactly whats wrong and if theres anything else that can be done to help, eg. boots and pads when the ground is frozen etc
 

Micky

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Ppid is cushings, renamed. EMS is equine metabolic syndrome, the opposite of diabetes, controlled by metformin...ppid is controlled by prascend...
Depending on severity of laminitis, correct trimming is essential, as usually are x rays to check no rotation or sinking of pedal bone.. hay should be soaked,drained and fed, least sugar and starch as possible.. if he's sore on hard ground, keep him in on a deep bed of shavings, straw is not supportive enough for the hoof...if he is cold all over, maybe invest in a rug and yes leg wraps are great at helping to keep warm but won't help with hard ground and sore feet...
 

Leo Walker

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EMS is equine metabolic syndrome, the opposite of diabetes, controlled by metformin...ppid is controlled by prascend...
No, EMS is most closely likened to Type 2 diabetes in humans. Its basically insulin resistance the same as Type 2 diabetes, hence the treatment with Metformin.
 

throughtheforest

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Yes, EMS is known as the equivalent to type 2 diabetes. AKA a pain in the @r$3 to manage. If a horse is presenting as having laminitis issues in the winter or autumn, a test for cushings/ ppid would be the next course of action. Myself and I knew a fair few vets and trimmers/ farriers too, that are sceptical on actually the effects of Metformin on horses. There's very limited research to show that it has any effect.
PPID is supposedly more common than we think, and it's estimated that a lot of horses of all ages have it, just not all have the insulin resistance related to it. If this was my pony, I would ask the vet to trial prascend because I would believe that the symptoms and problems encountered could be due to insulin resistance from cushings.
 
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Cecile

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I suspect everyone knows that a horse can't actually have diabetes but it does it make it easier for me to explain by saying its like diabetes,
it actually helps people who visit me not trying to stuff them full of polo's, apples and carrots

2 interesting things:
In the war era a carrot was put on a stick and frozen as it was so sweet it was like a lolly
Obviously you know sheep can get laminitis and today my sheep had a sneak in the ponies paddock whilst I was busy, the way they were creeping around the ruts and working out the best route made a few of them walk in a horse laminitic type way. They do not have laminitis and once they wandered back into their own soft grassy place were bouncing about normally

This is not to say people shouldn't remain so incredibly vigilant but the ground recently is making things very difficult indeed, especially if anyone is trying to watch and monitor a laminitic type pony/horse
 

wickedwilfred

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Thank you for tons of advice. He has been blood-tested and you are correct, the diagnosis was EMS, which I understand is a metabolic malfunction with high insulin level described as diabetes. He's only 12 years old so not Cushings and he's on deep shavings in his box but I still don't understand why the cold should affect his condition - if it was just the hard ground, why isn't it bad in the summer too when he can tolerate small amounts of grass and is supple enough to trot and canter. He has been on Metformin for about 6 months now but it doesn't appear to be very effective.
 

Micky

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If you read the info on the laminitis site, you will have more understanding ..personally I would get him checked for ppid ( cushings) , they can go hand in hand...diet and exercise are quite crucial to keep an ems horse/pony sound and healthy..
 

Brightbay

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Thank you for tons of advice. He has been blood-tested and you are correct, the diagnosis was EMS, which I understand is a metabolic malfunction with high insulin level described as diabetes. He's only 12 years old so not Cushings and he's on deep shavings in his box but I still don't understand why the cold should affect his condition - if it was just the hard ground, why isn't it bad in the summer too when he can tolerate small amounts of grass and is supple enough to trot and canter. He has been on Metformin for about 6 months now but it doesn't appear to be very effective.

This article may help to answer your question :) https://forageplus.co.uk/winter-laminitis/
 

NOISYGIRL

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I thought PPID is cushings and they think there is a link between that and laminitis

Mine had mild lami when he was about 25, he was diagnosed with cushings Nov 15 age 36

I was under the impression frozen ground made the risk worse not only for the sugar but for the blood vessels shrinking
 
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