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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Monday, 23 August 2010

LGL - low grade laminitis

In some quarters the subject of LGL is controversial.  Not all vets believe it exists, but among my barefoot community we believe we see it a lot and it is commonly believed to be a barrier to complete barefoot soundness over all terrains.

The following list of symptoms is an extract from a veterinary paper (source detailed at end)

Tell-Tale Signs of Low Grade Laminitis
  • 'Jarred up' or sore feet in the front hooves, particularly when worked on hard tracks
  • A short, scratchy gait which does not warm out, and worsens after fast or hard work - the horse may appear sore in the shoulders
  • Prominent 'growth rings' on the hoof wall
  • A dished hoof wall with flared out toes (often with low compacted heels)
  • Broken away hoof edges and flaky soles - sole may appear flat or dropped
  • A crumbly white line or low grade seedy toe
  • Pain when hoof testers are applied around the edges of the sole, particularly in the toe region
  • Sore footedness after hoof trimming or shoeing
Research in Australia has shown an association between high grain diets, hindgut acidosis (high levels of acid in the large bowel) and symptoms of low grade laminitis.  Hind gut acidosis can also cause other side effects in addition to hoof disorders including loose 'cow-pat' droppings, sour smelling droppings and nervy, fizzy behaviour and other behavioural changes such as bedding eat and wood chewing.

Extracted from:  Veterinary View; Laminitis - Racing Horses are at Risk!, Ruth Davis BVSc, Vetsearch International

6 comments:

Kate said...

I'm a believer in LGL - I've seen it - it make sense that there'd be symptoms before full-blown laminitis arrives.

Sophie said...

Yes - me too. But I think shoes mask many of the symptoms, which could explain why some vets are unconvinced about it - they don't see any lami signs until much later (sadly for the horse).

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much!

Diamond in the ruff said...

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achieve1dream said...

It's interesting you should write about this because I think this is what I may be dealing with. I made a post today about my yearling's hooves http://myfarmerlife.blogspot.com/2010/08/chromes-hooves-need-advice.html and would really, really, really appreciate it if you could check it out and give me some advice. This is my first time dealing with possible founder/laminitis. Thank you!

Ingrid Sutton said...

3 weeks ago my horse started "popping" up in front during the trot. We thought he was just asking to go into the canter. He would hop one stride like changing leads. Then 2 weeks ago he started picking up only one lead - no matter what cue I gave him. On the lunge line he picks up the correct lead. Then 2 days ago he starts tripping a little at the trot and by the end of a mild exercise lesson he is hanging his head to the ground. All during this lesson he has been gently asking to quit - or stop. When I go to pick his feet (I do this every day) he doesn't want to lift up his front feet. I force the issue and he allows me, but is tail swishing and mildly trying to jerk his foot out of my hand. CONCLUSION: He has very sore front feet and is going lame! We go to the vet tomorrow to confirm this. He gave me lots of signals months ago, but I did not see them as related until yesterday. He has been such a good boy - never refusing his lesson and allowing me to put him in pain with a lot of tolerance ... I hope we have caught it early enough!

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