Prevention is always better than dealing with a case of laminitis, and one of the main factors is weight management. The amount of food eaten and the type are equally important. Aim for feed / forage where there is less than 12% non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) as this is not water-soluble.
According to vet Sally Hodgson, it is better to feed grass based forage than alfalfa as the NSC in alfalfa is mostly non water-soluble, so cannot be removed by soaking. NSCs are the energy rich sugars and starches in plants which are not part of the plant’s cell wall or structure. Whereas the NSC in hay /grass based forage is mostly water-soluble so can be removed by soaking.
It’s also better to feed hay rather than haylage which can trigger a spike in insulin as it’s part fermented. If you have to feed haylage then go for a high dry matter, high-fibre, low-protein haylage low in residual sugars.
Finally, a scoop or two (depending on size of equine) daily of our Happy Tummy charcoal helps keep the gut in balance, and overall benefits the health of your horse or pony.
(*Central Horse News Issue 209)