There are two categories for this problem:
1. Horses in continual warm weather in Fall/Winter.
2. Horses in areas that get cold/snow in Fall/Winter.
Horses in warm weather areas are effected by the change in seasons while horses in cold areas are effected by both the change in season and the change in weather.
First – Horses in Fall/Winter Laminitis by change of season (over 50°F year round).
A. Horse Insulin Resistance is year round – it does not go away. At times, owners will “let up” on the Heiro program in November-March and suddenly find their horse foot sore. Laminitis Veterinary calls are expensive (most over $1000.00) and you want to avoid further damage to your horse’s feet. It is only $40.60 a month to keep on Heiro Program. Also, many get surprised by Spring grass while not on Heiro and fall into Laminitis.
B. Insulin Resistant horses are in a constant state of pre-existing pro-inflammation. Constantly on the edge to tip into foot pain if any outside event occurs – colic, kicked by another horse… “Higher TNF and IL-1 inflammatory cytokines in horses with Insulin Resistance.” Treiber, 2009, Vet Immuno; Vick, 2007, JAS.
C. Workload of the horse is reduced. There is less exercise with summer over. Exercise lowers Insulin. Heiro will help in this change.
D. Trims and routine shoeing times elongated – mistake. “When toes get too long, extra stress is put on the horse’s body and risk of lameness.” Farrier Matt Tiamuty, Holistic Horse, 2012.
E. The horse has been in continual chronic Laminitis for years and finally is lame enough for a diagnosis, or body changes that have been creeping up are now evident. Chronic white line disease underlying cause is now seen on radiographs. The reason for the radiograph might be a Pre-Purchase Exam or looking at another area can catch old founder evidence.
F. Older horse in Laminitis as seasonal surge of ACTH tips the horse into foot pain. All older horses have this increase in ACTH hormone from August (some late July) to November and, in some, will bring into recognition long-standing Equine Cushings signs. Most horses with Equine Cushings also have Horse Insulin Resistance so need Pergolide and the Heiro program to control ACTH and to control Insulin.
Studies show Prascend can’t stop seasonal ACTH surge. A 2013 University of Kentucky study shows just being older ALONE (not Cushings) lowers Insulin sensitivity by 75% – So if older or older and Cushings, have Insulin problems needing Heiro program. “Decrease in Insulin sensitivity might occur as a normal part of aging not directly associated with PPID (Cushings).” University of Kentucky, Gluck Institute, July 2013.
G. Older horses already on Pergolide go into Laminitis. The Horse Cushing disease they had is now joined by Insulin Resistance. Why? High ACTH of Cushings leads to high cortisol – both ACTH and cortisol at high levels increase Insulin leading to foot pain. Also muscle loss due to high cortisol will elevate Insulin. Muscle loss also leads to less exercise which will elevate Insulin. Now need Pergolide and Heiro together.
H. In many places with warmer weather, there are still cooler nights which will increase fructans in grass. Cooler nights, extra rain or droughts can create Laminitis events by changing your grass.
Click here to see Fructan section.
I. Dirt lot horses/horses on poor pasture due to year-round grazing beating up the pasture. Need Heiro program.
Dr. Hinkley in England, 1996 BEVA proceedings, showed that 39% of horse’s laminitis was not on pasture at all.
No/little fresh forage means a Vitamin E deficiency – either in a sunny, weedy lot in Florida or a snowy field in Pennsylvania (in cold weather areas, Vitamin E in grass is almost zero from November 1 – March 1).
Vitamin E in Heiro is over 2.5 times daily needs in order to combat inflammation of Equine Insulin Resistance. If you pull off Vitamin E in Fall/Winter, you go Vitamin E deficient within 30 days in university studies.
Vitamin E is the most important lipid (fat) soluble antioxidant responsible for integrity of biological structures such as cell membrane. Dr. Coombs, 1975, Fed. Pox. 34.
Heiro contains ester-stable Vitamin E so good in heat/light/air – the one that works. “Free Vitamin E compounds are particularly unstable, so ester-stable form is a better form in supplements.” Gassman, 1979, MD Nut Food Res.
Avoids neurological diseases – “Low Vitamin E is associated with EDM and EMND neurological diseases.” Goer, 2013, Equine App. Clin. Nut.
Vitamin E supplement shown to help brood mares by increasing IgG antibody in colostrum and hence increased IgG in foal’s blood. Hoffman, 1999, Eq. Nutri Physio.
Helps with immune function. Antibody response to vaccines increased in horses supplemented with Vitamin E. Balstrud, 1986, Eq. Vet. J.
J. 2000 USDA Laminitis study showed that in the Winter, the area of the country with the largest percentage of lameness cases being Laminitis was in the South.
K. Foot pain Neuritis Issues – can happen year round in any area, in any weather. On a good program and suddenly sore. This is due to spontaneous firing of damaged nerve endings.
Click here to see: It is not Laminitis, but your horse is sore –why? Due to Neuritis.
L. Horses genetic component in Winter is in effect in warmer areas. “Early Winter is a time of increased fat in the body, thickening of hair coat, increased appetite, and weight gain.” Drs. Donaldson, McFarlane, Beech, 2005, J. Vet Int Med. Body changing is due to less sunlight in order to store up for the Winter when food is scarce. All over the country daylight is lessened in winter time and not just cold areas.
Second – Horses in Fall/Winter Laminitis by change of season and also by colder change in weather. These horses have all the problems of the change of season horses AND problems of colder weather piled on top of that.
A. Grasses change as daylight lessens and cold weather advances. Why is this a problem?
Click here for High Fructans.
B. Less physical activity in cold/snow – they move less, exercise lowers Insulin, so less exercise means Insulin is up.
C. Osteoarthritis is worse in Winter – people and horses are stiffer in arthritic joints in cold weather. Less movement so Insulin is up. If more painful, then remember Insulin also goes up with pain.
D. Less soaking of hay due to quickly freezing up. Many horses will not eat “Haysickles”.
E. Drink less – all horses drink less when it is under 45°F – When water gets to that point, start using heated water buckets. Less fluids in your horse means less blood flow to the feet, which damages nerves. Less fluids in your horse means the dilution factor of insulin drops so higher insulin concentration to the feet. Less fluids means less flow of nutrients to the feet.
F. Foot pain neuritis issues. Some issues are due to cold weather inducing foot pain. Not true Laminitis.
Click here to see about nerve pain issues.
High Insulin levels will cause vasoconstriction or less blood flow – this damages laminae and nerves
Vasoconstriction due to cold weather
Past Laminitis damaging vessels so tissue is not as vascular (fewer or inadequate)