illustration cheval


26 January 2023

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The horse’s foot is of considerable importance in the horse’s anatomy: it supports the entire weight of the body, ensures locomotion by absorbing shocks and propelling the animal. Its structure is therefore complex in order to ensure all these functions.

The end of each limb, the foot is made up of bony, tendon, cartilaginous and vascular tissues, etc. The hoof (horn) corresponds to our nails, neither sensitive nor vascularized, it protects the internal structures of the foot. Behind this horn, the skeleton of the foot is formed by 2 phalanges (middle and distal) which correspond to our finger phalanges, as well as the sesamoid bone and the navicular bone. The distal phalanx is surrounded by a layer of keraphyll and podophyllum, thus allowing the phalanx to be suspended in the foot, in the correct axis and parallel to the ground. In order to ensure flexibility of movement, impact resistance and shock absorption, soft tissues, tendons, ligaments complete the foot.

A disease very frequently encountered in horses, laminitis is characterized by inflammation and congestion of the foot. As the second leading cause of death in horses, the management of laminitis must be rapid in order to limit the appearance of complications and disabling sequelae. Very painful for the horse to the point that he cannot stand up, the earlier the diagnosis is made, the higher the chances of the horse’s well-being. Laminitis is characterized by inflammation of the soft tissues of the horse’s foot, resulting in a tilt or descent of the 3rd phalanx.

Generally, the first symptoms that can be observed are:

  • A restless pulse
  • Feet that are hot and painful to the touch due to inflammation
  • A reluctance to travel
  • An abnormal position or trampling since he tries not to lean on his forelegs
  • Treatment must be rapid as soon as doubt sets in, in order to avoid more serious consequences for the horse:
    • Limp
    • A deformity of the foot
    • A Lying Horse
    • Prostration of the horse

It is important to consult a veterinarian if you have the slightest doubt. The diagnosis will be confirmed by X-ray.

Once the veterinary diagnosis has been made, it is first necessary to identify the cause in order to act effectively with the help of a veterinarian. There are many causes of laminitis:

  • Dietary causes: laminitis can be observed after horses are put out to pasture. Excessive consumption of high-carbohydrate grass and concentrates does not match the horses’ dietary needs, and this can lead to overweight.
  • Mechanical causes: laminitis can occur from intense physical exercise on hard ground, where the foot is subjected to powerful shocks. A fracture or mechanical problem of one limb causes a transfer of support to the other limb, and laminitis can thus arise from this compensation of support.
  • Serious illness: toxins are released throughout the body during severe illness, be sure to monitor your horses’ limbs as these toxins can lead to vascular damage in the feet leading to laminitis.
  • Cushing’s syndrome and equine metabolic syndrome can also lead to laminitis.

In addition to this veterinary treatment, we recommend several levers of action:

  1. Putting the horse to rest
  2. Adopt a dietary rebalancing by supplementing it with our draining DETOX : the body will cleanse itself, eliminate accumulated toxins and unclog. This draining cure will limit the evolution of laminitis.
  3. Improve blood circulation in the limbs with our REGEN’ ACTIVE : in order to complete the draining action, the blood will be thinned, the return of blood from the feet to the heart will be promoted. You can massage the forearm of the limb to accompany the action of the REGEN’ ACTIVE.
  4. Manage pain and inflammation with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and cryotherapy.
  5. Involve a farrier in collaboration with the veterinarian if necessary and when the laminitis is stabilized in order to improve the animal’s locomotion and comfort.
  6. Once the laminitis is under control and the cause treated, we recommend a course of ACTIVE IMMUNE in order to strengthen your immune defenses and boost the immune cells damaged during its inflammation.

In any case, it is an emergency for the horse, contact a veterinarian if you have the slightest doubt.

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