Whole Oats to Horses with a History of Laminitis

Whole Oats

Laminitis and colic are often the result of undigested starch entering the caecum of the horse where it is broken down and fermented by microbes. It is this fermentation process along with alterations in the gut flora that produces the toxins that enter the bloodstream and damage the sensitive blood vessels within the hoof.

Although horses with acute (active) laminitis should not be fed whole oats, there is increasing awareness that horses that have had a history of laminitis in the past can be safely fed whole oats. This is due to the fact that the starch in oats is highly digestible. The starch in oats is quickly broken down into sugars in the small intestines and absorbed long before reaching the caecum. 

When changing the horse’s diet it is important that no sudden adjustments are made. Feeding smaller portions more frequently is safer and more easily digested than infrequent larger meals. The average 1000 lb. horse should not receive more than 5 lbs. of a grain per feeding.

Horses with a history of laminitis and recovery can be usually be given oats without concern.

1st: Give a supplement that will balance the hay or pasture diet.

2nd: Feed the whole oats as a calorie source to maintain proper weight and body condition.

Recommended hay and pasture balancer: Barn Bag®

 Learn More About Barn Bag®

J. Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS
Founder of Life Data Labs, Inc.
Developer of Farrier’s Formula®