Laminitis is an inflammation and disruption of blood flow to the hoof laminae, the soft tissue structures that attach the pedal bone to the hoof wall. It is a veterinary emergency and is very painful, and the sooner treatment begins the better prospect of recovery. Always consult your vet immediately if you suspect your horse has lamintis.
By far the most common form of laminitis is due to some form of insulin dysregulation. These horses will often suffer from metabolic conditions such as equine metabolic syndrome or pars pituitary intermedia dysfunction (PPID or cushings). They are usually overweight with regional fat deposits and underworked. These horses will have abnormally high circulating levels of insulin after a high NSC meal which can cause inflammation and disruption of blood supply in the hoof.
Triggers for a laminitic episode are grazing stressed or lush pastures, or consuming a high sugar and starch diet.
Extra care must be provided for any horse that has previously had laminitis. Monitor their body condition score and ensure they are a healthy weight. Feed a balanced diet of high quality, low sugar forage with easily digestible fibre and avoid excess carbohydrates. Avoid grazing lush or stressed pastures and ensure regular hoof care.