Feed Supplementation for Laminitis and Founder
Proper feed supplementation can help repair damage done during a laminitis/founder cycle. Many horses are being fed rations deficient in the nutrients necessary to maintain and rebuild their health after having suffered from laminitis and founder. Some hays are deficient in essential nutrients, especially those put up after being rained on, grown on nutrient deficient soils or harvested at a late stage of maturity.
Horses that have had an attack of laminitis need a supplement that contains liver protectants and thyroid-positive nutrients. Amino acids play an important role in re-building a hoof damaged by laminitis and founder. Essential fatty acids and phospholipids are needed to build cell membranes and walls. Vitamin A and biotin are important hoof-building vitamins. Calcium, copper and zinc are important minerals for hoof strength. Please note however; for these nutrients to be most effective they must both be absorbable and in the proper ratio/balance.
A good supplement combines the hoof-building nutrients that are necessary to rebuild a strong hoof after tissue damage occurs during laminitis/founder. The hoof needs to be strong to protect the fragile coffin bone within the foot, much like the skull protects the brain.
J. Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS