Thought 4the day: Geldings are funny things when you sit and think about it. They all have quirks (just like mares) some more so then others! We have one gleding who likes to poo in one corner and one corner alone yet he is not a rig in any shape or form he just likes to be tidy! We have another who has clamied a mare in their group as his own now this is a little naughty but he used to be alone a...nd now has found someone who likes him. The others only tolerate him. We do have a borderline false rig who has to be kept alone from the others. He has them next to him for company but can never be in their with him. He would physically attack them! Literally! We have another gelding who is in an all mares group as his scared of other geldings! Then if you look at our mares we have one mare with all geldings as she does not like mares! We have another mare in another group who is the boss over 3 geldings and the other two mares as she says where and how and who goes where but they except it. Groups, horses are all funny creatures yet beautiful and elegant i could watch them all day! What is your horses preferred groups?
Quote 4the day: horses are different than people they never stop loving
Fact4 the day: Endotoxins
Carbohydrate overload: One of the more common causes. Current theory states that if a horse is given grain in excess or eats grass that is under stress and has accumulated excess non-structural carbohydrates (NSC, i.e. sugars, starch or fructan), it may be unable to digest all of the carbohydrate in the foregut. The excess then moves on to the hindgut and ferments in the cecum. The presence of this fermenting carbohydrate in the cecum causes proliferation of lactic acid bacteria and an increase in acidity. This process kills beneficial bacteria, which ferment fiber. The endotoxins and exotoxins may then be absorbed into the bloodstream, due to increased gut permeability, caused by irritation of the gut lining by increased acidity. The result is body-wide inflammation, but particularly in the lamina of the feet, where swelling tissues have no place to expand without injury to other structures. This results in laminitis.
Nitrogen compound overload: Herbivores are equipped to deal with a normal level of potentially toxic non-protein nitrogen (NPN) compounds in their forage. If, for any reason, there is rapid upward fluctuation in levels of these compounds, for instance in lush spring growth on artificially fertilized lowland pasture, the natural metabolic processes can become overloaded, resulting in liver disturbance and toxic imbalance. For this reason, many avoid using artificial nitrogen fertilizer on horse pasture. If clover (or any legume) is allowed to dominate the pasture, this may also allow excess nitrogen to accumulate in forage, under stressful conditions such as frost or drought. Many weeds eaten by horses are nitrate accumulators. Direct ingestion of nitrate fertilizer material can also trigger laminitis, via a similar mechanism.
Colic: Laminitis can sometimes develop after a serious case of colic, due to the release of endotoxins into the blood stream.
Lush pastures: When releasing horses back into a pasture after being kept inside (typically during the transition from winter stabling to spring outdoor keeping), the excess fructan of fresh spring grass can lead to a bout of laminitis. Ponies and other easy keepers are much more susceptible to this form of laminitis than are larger horses.
Frosted grass: Freezing temperatures in the fall also coincide with outbreaks of laminitis in horses at pasture. Cold temperatures cause growth to cease so that sugar in pasture grasses cannot be utilized by the plant as fast as it is produced and thus they accumulate in the forage. Cool season grasses form fructan, and warm season grasses form starch. Sugars cause increase in insulin levels, which is known to trigger laminitis. Fructan is theorized to cause laminitis by causing an imbalance of the normal bowel flora leading to endotoxin production. These endotoxins may exacerbate insulin resistance, or the damage to the lining of the gut may release other as yet unidentified trigger factors in to the blood stream. For horses prone to laminitis, restrict or avoid grazing when night temperatures are below 40 °F (5 °C) followed by sunny days. When growth resumes during warmer weather, sugar will be used to form protein and fiber and will not accumulate.
Untreated infections: Systemic infections, particularly where caused by bacteria, can cause release of endotoxins into the blood stream. A retained placenta in a mare is a notorious cause of laminitis and founder.
Insulin resistance: Laminitis can also be caused by insulin resistance in the horse. Insulin resistant horses tend to become obese very easily and, even when starved down, may have abnormal fat deposits in the neck, shoulders, loin, above the eyes and around the tail head, even when the rest of the body appears to be in normal condition. The mechanism by which laminitis associated with insulin resistance occurs is not understood but may be triggered by sugar and starch in the diet of susceptible individuals. Ponies and breeds that evolved in relatively harsh environments, with only sparse grass, tend to be more insulin resistant, possibly as a survival mechanism. Insulin resistant animals may become laminitic from only very small amounts of grain or "high sugar" grass. Slow adaptation to pasture is not effective, as it is with laminitis caused by microbial population upsets. Insulin resistant horses with laminitis must be removed from all green grass and be fed only hay that is tested for Non Structural Carbohydrates (sugar, starch and fructan) and found to be below 11% NSC on a dry matter basis.