Princess and her Laminitis

So, Princess is a laminitic horse.  She is a Morgan/Saddlebred.  She’s more Morgan than Saddlebred (I’d say anyway).  Last fall she started to become Insulin Resistant and Laminitic.  That’s a big problem, especially since our horses live 24/7 on grass pasture.  And it broke my heart because I truly believe horses should have lives free and grazing all the time.  But we had no choice but to take her off grass for awhile anyway.  We got her body stable by bringing her into a stall at night for a few weeks and then muzzled out with the herd during the day. princess headThe grass doesn’t grow in Illinois in the winter, so she got to be out again 24/7 once November came and the grass died.  We tried various herbs and supplements through the winter.  princessThen, as it always does, Spring came.  We were very nervous because with Spring comes sweet, new grass.  We decided to muzzle her in the day and putting her into a dirt paddock/shelter area at night with one or two of the other pasture horses.  There is an older Arabian named Nysa in the picture below who is arthritic and likes coming in with Princess for a rest from the herd at night.  Sometimes we put Belle in there too (behind the pole) as she gets a little fat in summer, so a break from the grass works and she loves being with Princess.

prnicess and nyssa

At the start of spring, we gave her two containers of Dr. Dan’s Critical Care supplement which seemed to work well, but it’s very expensive and is not meant to be given more than a few times.  We also tried Chinese herbs from For Love of the Horse also a bit expensive for us.  As spring ended and summer arrived, we took off the muzzle during the day. Sometimes she took it off herself.  The pasture she’s in is about 30 acres or so, so finding it was never easy.  So we decided to go without it.   We found a local woman named Margaret Reiland who works with Chinese Herbs and does acupressure.  She came out and looked at Princess and did accupressure and has mixed a formula of herbs for her.  Margaret also has a laminitic horse who is on grass pasture 24/7 and is using her formula.

We watched Princess like a hawk and she seemed to be doing well.  Then one weekend Rachael and her boyfriend took Princess on a camping trip.  It turned out the terrain where they went was extremely rocky and hard.  Princess came back with very chewed up and sore feet.  She also got an abscess from the experience.  We continued our routine though – out of grass during the day, in dirt paddock at night.

princess and majorSo, far so good.  We even had her x-rayed again the other day and there is no more movement of the coffin bone, so we feel we are on the right track.