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Shoes mask weaknesses, barefoot highlights strengths

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Problems with 'plumbing'

The recent freeze has been unhelpful.  Frozen water pipes made getting enough water for the horses to drink was hard enough.  Sufficient water for soaking hay was not practicable.  In any case the soaking nets were emerging from their baths as popsicles.

So as poor old Grace is something of a lab rat, I thought now was my chance to test out a branded haylage product which has the Lamintis Trust seal of approval and comes in at 3% sugar or less.

Well that was a total bust.  The lami (an unofficial, but unavoidable second test subject) definitely went down hill (as reported by a third party) and POG was distinctly unwell, in three areas; her hind gut was so sore I couldn't touch that side at all, she lost effective locomotion in her iffy hind leg (the one that shows signs of tying up first) and her feet have 'gone'. 

Another symptom was that although her droppings were of perfect consistency they smelt really odd.  If you have ever had a dog that has had extreme gastroenteritis (where they are squitting jelly and in need of antibiotics) - well you won't forget the smell - and Grace's droppings smelt just like that. This and the pain were both clear indications that her 'plumbing' was not coping with the haylage.  I suspect it is the acidity. Which is another reason why we don't recommend feeding haylage, no matter how low the sugar, to laminitics.

Further proof of this particular pudding is how much better both guinea pigs are 48 hours after the last haylage 'dose'.

Grace was on probiotics throughout, otherwise I suspect she might have fared far worse.  And I have yet to figure out how we are going to cope if the water pipes freeze again.

Otherwise I love the snow, it is great for barefeet and where many other horses were skating all over the place Grace coped with the ice very well, even with her iffy leg and upset tummy.


Amanda Mogavero said...

I love your blog... my horses have always been barefoot, but not trimmed naturally. I have been trimming them myself for the past two months now and it's amazing the difference that it makes. I'm so addicted to learning more about barefoot hoof care. I'm hoping to go through Jamie Jackson's school sometime in the future.

Jenny said...

We are having the same weather here in western Washington state.... cold, snowy and frozen! It's not usually like this except for maybe a week or two each winter, but this is already our second cold snap of the winter. Stay warm!

sophie said...

Hi, must ask in the name of research, Grace's 'iffy' hind leg... near hind?


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Southern England, United Kingdom