Symptoms and Solutions 

Is a condition where circulatory changes cause inflammation and congestion of the sensitive laminae of the feet. A number of factors cause changes to animal’s blood pressure causing it to rise, leading to an increase of blood supply to the feet. However constriction of blood vessels supplying laminae reduces blood circulation which then will deprive the area of oxygen and nutrients causing inflammation. Fluid then leaks from vessels and the increase in pressure inside the hoof causes pain. If the cause is not removed tissue dies causing the pedal bone to lose its support which in turn causes it to rotate. This is an irreversible condition.


These may include:

  • Unlimited access to lush grass or clover.
  • Eating large quantities of feed. Access to off-limits feed bins.
  • Toxaemia (blood poisoning) where bacterial toxins have been absorbed.
  • Concussion or prolonged exercise on hard ground.
  • Incorrect trimming or uneven weight bearing on limbs.
  • Poor horn development.

Clinical signs:

  • Heat in the hoof with a reluctance to move.
  • Standing with the front legs angled towards the front.
  • In some cases cloudy urine.
  • Horses that have had previous bouts of laminitis may have concave horn development and /or horizontal ridges on the horn.
  • In more severe cases the sole may have collapsed making the hoof flat and susceptible to stone bruises.

Aims of Treatment;

  • Minimise pain, reduce inflammation.
  • Restore normal blood flow to foot by dilating blood vessels.
  • Address blood vessel integrity thus reducing leaking of fluids.
  • Address bacterial toxins blood.
  • Look at restoring condition of horn development.

Alternative Preventative and Herbal Treatment.

  • Move horse to a yard or stable which has a thick bed of wood shavings. Cold water will provide temporary pain relief at the acute stage but do not prolong this as it will cause further undesirable constriction of blood vessels. Bathing with warm water once the heat has subsided will dilate blood vessels.
  • Reduce feed consumption. Provide water which will have a tea of cleavers added to it to flush kidneys.
  • Gingko leaves will help improve blood circulation to the laminae.
  • Pain relief using some of the following: Devil’s Claw, Hypericum, willow bark, meadowsweet, feverfew etc
  • The herb valerian may help lower blood pressure and dilate blood vessels in hoof thereby relieving pressure due to blood vessel constriction
  • Anti-inflammatory herbs like white willow bark, devil’s Claw, and yarrow will help with pain
  • Omega Oils that have both gamma linolenic and alpha linolenic acid  will encourage production of the anti-inflammatory prostaglandins,
  • Herbs like  Echinacea and olive leaves will enhance the immune system and address bacterial toxins in blood.
  • Herbal chaffs and acidophilus supplements to restore normal gut activity and liver function.
  • If pedal bone is stable, short periods of walking on soft ground to encourage circulation.
  • Shorten long toes and rasp the front of hoof wall until it is parallel with the pedal bone.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this page must not be used in place of professional veterinary treatment . We recommend that either a qualified herbalist or your animal professional carry out diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Herbal remedies must not be given not be taken in conjunction with other medication with out consulting a medical professional.



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