What is Laminitis?

The layers of tissue that bond the hoof wall to the pedal bone is known as the laminae. Laminitis occurs when the laminae become inflamed resulting in severe pain because the hoof wall prevents any expansion to accommodate the swelling. In severe cases the laminae fail, allowing the pedal bone to rotate downward and even push through the sole of the foot.

Laminitis Diagram CreditHorseWyse

Diagram courtsey of HorseWyse 


Laminitis is more commonly seen in the front feet - horses often adopt a classic stance of shifting their weight back on to the hind legs to relieve pressure from the front feet. Other symptoms include a pounding digital pulse, heat in the feet and a reluctance to move.

If your horse has laminitis then it is important to identify the underlying cause. Researchers suggest that we should consider laminitis to be the symptom of other diseases such as Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) and Pituitary Pars Intermedia Disease (PPID), which need to be diagnosed, treated and managed appropriately.

Raising awareness of laminitis

LAMTRUST APPROVED LOGO dec04 RGBFounded in 1998 by Robert Eustace FRCVS, The Laminitis Trust raises money for research projects and co-ordinates campaigns to warn horse owners of the dangers of laminitis and providing informed advice and recommendations. As part of this, The Laminitis Trust Approval Mark was introduced to identify feeds that are considered suitable for the healthy maintenance of horses and ponies prone to laminitis.

For further information on The Laminitis Trust click here.

Dengie Products with Laminitis Trust Approval


Dengie’s ‘Healthy’ range of fibre feeds are fully balanced fibre products and as such, when fed at the full recommended quantity, no additional supplementation is required.

Dengie Vits & Mins and balancers are suitable for laminitis-prone horses and ponies and can be used to balance the ration.

For further information or friendly feeding advice, email the Dengie nutrition team or chat live with a nutritionist online.

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