Nutritional support for a horse who suffers laminitis is vital. For the horse that is prone to laminitis, clivers is a useful daily supplement to improve the integrity of the hoof as it is one of the most nutritional herbs available and especially high in Silica.
With the older horse, whose circulation may be sluggish, hawthorn berry is a further support and full of bioflavonoids that improve the elasticity of the supportive connective tissue that can become strained when the hooves are sore while improving the health of blood vessels that supply the hooves.
For the horse that has low grade inflammation in his hoof, turmeric powder will help lower the levels of discomfort. Often when there is systemic inflammation, there may also be arthritis in joints or irritated tendons and ligaments. With these horses adding ginger powder to the mix will increase the efficacy of the turmeric in a similar way black pepper is sometimes used.
For pain relief, where there is ongoing pain yarrow combines well with turmeric as a general management and recovery approach. Devils claw powder can be very effective with acute stages, however if the horse is already on Bute, do not combine these two as you could increase the toxic effects of the drug or irritate the horse’s gut. For the horse with a sensitive gut, white willow bark is a gentler option and hawthorn berry will increase the potency of this herb if needed.
Once a horse is through the acute stage, using liver herbs to address the two phases of detoxification will help cleanse the effect of the stress on the body. Dandelion root or St Mary’s thistle powder will address phase one, while turmeric powder will address phase two so that any residual drug therapy is not recycled back into the body and the recovery period can then follow on with Spring Blend restoring integrity to the hoof.
For horse owners who are time poor or prefer a pre-mixed approach, Country Park’s Spring Blend is full of hoof herbs to support the horse. This blend contains nutritional and hoof targeting herbs: fennel seed traditionally known as the dieter’s herb is a cornerstone herb of this blend to help with weight management; rosehips and clivers strengthening the hoof; celery seed, capsicum and hawthorn berry assisting with inflammation and healthy circulation; with vervain supporting liver and kidney function while settling the nervous system.
With the horse where stress has been a trigger to the laminitic episode, chamomile flowers will support the nervous and hepatic systems, and help the muscles that have become tense while the hooves have been sore.
Choose your herbs carefully when dealing with laminitis, keeping the selection simple also helps not to overload the horse further with too many herbs.
Combining a nutritional herb with an anti -inflammatory herb and liver support herb is often enough to start restoring health, and a maintenance program can follow on with nutritional and circulatory support once the hoof is sound again.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational purpose only and is not meant to replace veterinary advice or treatment. Copyright: Catherine Bird has been an equine natural therapist for 33 years working closely with Country Park Animal Herbs for over 22 years offering advice to their clients.