Pony Problems: Laminitis

In our latest Advice Guide from Shetland Pony Club we look at a pony problem called Laminitis.

Laminitis is a common condition in ponies, often caused by eating too much sugary grass. It causes the sensitive laminae in the feet to swell and become very sore.

How to recognize laminitis

  • Ponies with laminitis can’t walk very comfortably. You can check their feet to see if they are hot. It’s most common to have laminitis in the front feet, but it can be found in all four hooves.
  • They may also have a cresty neck, which feels hard and lumpy, and is a sign that they may be overweight.
  • Laminitic ponies may also sit or lie down more to take the weight off their sore feet.

Causes of laminitis

  • Rich grass in springtime can lead to laminitis
  • Frost induced laminitis can also happen in winter, with the temperature shock to the hooves and the sugary grass under the snow and frost
  • Concussion laminitis is caused when the ground is very hard

How to treat laminitis

There are lots of ways to help laminitic ponies with sore feet.

Ponies can be put in a stable with a deep bed of wood chips to make it more comfortable for their feet and stop them eating the sugary grass. They also like to stand on soft surfaces, like rubber mats, which cushion their hooves.

Vets recommend low sugar feeds and can make them more comfortable with pony anti-inflammatory medicine, to reduce the swelling that causes the pain inside the hooves. They can also x-ray the ponies’ hooves to see what’s happening inside.

The farriers can also help with frequent hoof trimming as their feet grow quickly.

Prevention is better than cure

Keeping ponies slim and well-exercised is the ideal way to help prevent laminitis. With careful management, they can recover and be happy and healthy again.

Watch the video to find out more:

There is lots more pony advice available to watch here.

Shetland Pony Club is open

  • May Half Term – there are a few extra Starter Rides and Own a Pony Experiences available to book now.
  • Book now for summer and the whole season. Make sure you don’t miss out on pony riding fun.
  • Spectators – more than one adult may now attend with their child.

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  • Please minimise the number of people attending with your child within the current government guidelines.
  • Adults must wear a mask when signing their child in.
  • You are welcome to watch from our socially distanced benches and marquee.
  • If your child is 5+ adults may leave site provided we have your contact details.
  • You can find out more about our COVID-secure procedures here.

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Do take a moment to watch this week’s video: Pony Problems: Laminitis

Enjoy your riding

From Rosemary, the Shetland Pony Club Team and all the Shetland ponies

Contact us on: 07734 950 309 or email: info@shetlandponyclub.co.uk

Watch more Shetland Pony Club TV videos here