Fibre and Fructans; The Keyflow Guide to Managing Laminitis
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|This week we wanted to remind you that after the glorious sunshine and some much needed spring showers the grass is growing! Great for our fields to finally recover following a very wet and muddy winter, but for those horses who are at risk of laminitis, it is time to consider their management. |
We are experiencing a sudden increase in advice calls and online requests for support with horses and ponies at risk or suffering from laminitis. The long cold winter, followed by an extreme lack of rain has led to particularly ’stressed grazing’. Grass stores sugar that is unable to be used for growth (due to cold or drought for example) in a form called fructan, that cannot be digested in the horses stomach and absorbed in the small intestine. It passes into the hindgut, causing a significant drop in the pH, leading to the death of the beneficial microorganisms and an increase in the production of lactic acid. Toxins are released and an inflammatory response triggered, leasing to an increased risk of laminitis and colic.
Laminitis myth buster! ‘Only little chunky ponies get laminitis!’ All horses and ponies can develop laminitis! Laminitis can affect horses of all shapes and sizes!
Horses with metabolic disorders such as Cushings (PPID), Insulin Dysregulation and EMS (Equine Metabolic System), may have a greater risk of developing laminitis. These conditions do occur in ALL breeds, and we are experiencing a rise in the number of sports and performance horses affected.
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The Keyflow Advice and Support Team
UK 01672 519000