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Feeding laminitic horses or ponies

 

Feeding laminitic horses or ponies requires a low calorie, low sugar and low starch diet.  Fibregenix Lami Low-Cal diet feed balancer meets those requirements and is 100% free from whole cereals and molasses. It’ll ensure a laminitic prone horse or pony gets his daily levels of vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

Feeding laminitic horses and ponies to alleviate gut toxicity

Modern research shows laminitis commonly begins with toxicity in the gut known as hindgut acidosis. Therefore eliminating this is vital.  Fibregenix Low-Cal contains a gut health package of MOS and FOS prebiotics.  The two prebiotics not only feed beneficial gut bacteria but they help to remove harmful bacteria caused by hindgut acidosis.

Insulin Sensitivity

Studies have shown feeding a short chain FOS prebiotic can moderately improve insulin sensitivity of obese horses, as can magnesium. Feeding  prebiotics alongside digestive enhancers is highly beneficial.  It enables good digestive health overall, and promotes a healthy environment for the beneficial gut bacteria.

The Magnesium Factor for Metabolic Problems 

Lami Low-Cal’s generous level of magnesium helps keep your horse or pony calm and settled. Just like the FOS prebiotic, magnesium promotes insulin sensitivity reducing resistance.  Insulin resistance is often linked to obesity, laminitis, Equine Metabolic Syndrome, PSSM and Horses with Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (Cushing’s).

Considering Cushing’s

Horses suffering with Cushing’s usually become overweight or underweight  showing regional adiposity.  This is fat deposits along the shoulders and tailhead, a cresty neck, etc. that results from insulin resistance. Reducing circulating insulin levels is key to managing the diet and the condition.  Studies have shown that Magnesium helps reduce fat deposits, especially on the crest and base of the tail.

Limit Starch and Sugar for Cushing’s Disease

Since the body releases insulin in response to elevated blood glucose levels, avoid high starch/sugar feeds. If your Cushing’s horse is overweight, avoid restricting his diet entirely. You can remove concentrates, but restricting hay is the worst thing you can do as hunger will cause stress. Furthermore, the elevated insulin levels prevent your horse from burning body fat, so you defeat your purpose. Alternatively, provide free-choice low  NSC hay alongside Lami Low-Cal diet feed balancer.  It has a starch/sugar combined feed value of just 8.8% and no added iron, ideal for Cushing’s.

Hay Analysis

It’s good practice to have your hay analysed so you know what your Cushing’s horse is eating. Look for forage that has an NSC value of preferably less than 10%. Soaking for up to an hour will remove some of the sugar – just remember to discard the water.

However, underweight Cushing horses need more calories than hay can provide. Therefore consider using a low-starch feed such as unmolassed beet pulp, together with Fibregenix Platinum Pro or Prime Original.

Pasture Access

Maintaining fibre for any laminitic prone horse or pony prone is vital but it must be controlled to limit sugar/calories.  Ideally, the horse or pony should be kept off pasture during any high risk periods (Spring/Autumn). Instead, turn out into a bare paddock with sufficient soaked hay to reduce the soluble carbohydrate content and calories. You can then feed adequate amounts so that your horse/pony receives enough fibre to keep his gut working efficiently.  Alternatively, use a grazing muzzle or employ strip grazing to reduce the amount of grass consumed.  This method allows for continued daily turnout.

Conclusion

Fibregenix Low-Cal’s formulation provides suitable nutritional support for a variety of metabolic conditions. However, it’s essential you follow veterinary advice in conjunction with a carefully monitored feed regime.

Need some diet advice? Call our nutrition consultant –  Anita 0408 920707

Need a review of your horse or pony’s diet? – Diet Audit 

 

 

Reviewed and updated Nov 2019

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