Lucerne and Laminitis

Discussion in 'Horse Management' started by oldgirl, Jun 26, 2010.

  1. oldgirl

    oldgirl New Member

    Got a horse with mild laminitis (vet was here to diagnose). Said we need to feed meadow hay for a while. After many phone calls to different suppliers we have found some BUT one of the produce stores said to just feed lucerne. Anybody got any advice about this?

    Just curious - is lucerne a cool or warm feed? Some friends say it has no effect, others say dont feed too much coz it heats em up.

  2. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    lucerne can heat up some horses.

    I wouldn't think it would be a good feed for a laminitic pony as it is such a high protein feed. I would check with your vet first.
  3. Debonair

    Debonair Well-known Member

    iw as told to feed chip lucern chaff and wheaten. soak oaten hay if thats all you can get and watch meadow hay as depending where from and when cut it can be quite high in sugar/protein. the lucern is lower in sugar apparently that oaten chaff. and soaking the hay the remove the sugars is also good. so from what i've learnt over the years its the sugars that are the problem for lamenitic horses....
  4. oldgirl

    oldgirl New Member

    Thanks for that. Will continue to soak the meadow hay and will stay away from the lucerne for a while until the laminitis is sorted.

    Thanks again.
  5. giddy up girl

    giddy up girl Active Member

    Really good to feed laminitic ponies a little lucerne.....apparently because it is digested in a different part of the gut and it helps. Soak your hay and feed it all day. I found with mine feeding her consistently some amounts ensures the gut keeps working and this aides in maintaining sugar levels.
  6. Clerrt

    Clerrt Well-known Member

    you need meadow that is so low in goodies and nutrition that you wouldn't think of feeding it normally :p NOT mouldy - just crap :)
  7. dun

    dun Active Member

    Out of interest I have alway been aware to never feed lucerne to horses with any signs of laminitis and also lucerne can bring it "on " just what I have seen and been told over the years.....hope it helps.
  8. Debonair

    Debonair Well-known Member

    google (god)
    Management after Laminitis
    Besides adopting the restricted feeding management program, horses and ponies recovering from laminitis must be provided with a diet that will not only minimise the risk of recurrence, but also allow regrowth of a sound hoof structure.

    Dietary Management
    Any risk of excess starch intake that could trigger a recurrence must be prevented. Chronically foundered horses and ponies are best managed by restricting grazing and feeding a low starch ration. The ration base should include low sugar (low glycaemic) feeds to minimise the risk of soluble carbohydrate overload from non-structural carbohydrates (NSCs) in spring harvested grass hay or even oaten chaff.. Many veterinarians recommend feeding grass hay or oaten chaff or hay, as well as straw, to horses and ponies recovering from laminitis and founder. However, good quality grass hay can contain fructan sugars (spring harvest) on NSC carbohydrates (late spring, summer, autumn harvest) in a concentrated form (10% moisture) which overloads into the hindgut. All types of grass hay and clover hay (including ?sweet? oaten chaff and hay) should be soaked for 1 hour in lukewarm water to leach out soluble sugars (as explained in Point 3 above). Unfortunately, grass hays and chaff have poor quality protein that does not provide an adequate intake of amino acids (lysine, methionine) for hoof regrowth after founder. Lucerne hay has higher protein and a lower level of NSC, but in large amounts in excess of 1kg/100kg it can overload excess into the hindgut to trigger laminitis ? it must be soaked as well. Horses rely on protein uptake from feed during digestion in the small intestine and have a limited ability to utilise bacterial protein produced during hindgut digestion. Therefore good quality protein, containing adequate methionine for hoof regeneration, should be given, such as full fat soyabean meal, and cracked lupins (1 cup/200 kg body weight) and lucerne chaff/hay in limited amounts.

    Note:- Although clover hay contributes protein, avoid feeding large amounts as it can also contribute carbohydrate NSC sugars ? lucerne has a lower carbohydrate content. (low glycaemic)
  9. oldgirl

    oldgirl New Member

    Thanks everyone. And Debonair thanks heaps for that last post, all the info is there **)**)
  10. Cornflower

    Cornflower Well-known Member

    Those 'large amounts in excess of 1kg/100kg' would be rediculous amounts of lucerne chaff.
    Say your averge 500kg horse, you'd have to be feeding over 5kg per day!

    Just to give some perspective, I know with my own feeds, my large scoop is 120gr, and 9 scoops make up a whole 20L white bucket.
    That means that a whole 20L bucket contains about 1kg of lucerne chaff.
    So to go to the excesses needed, i'd have to feed 6 buckets (because my horse is about 550kg) of lucerne chaff per day, every day! That's simply impossible. And honestly, impossible for anyone to do.

    There is nothing wrong with lucerne. But if you don't want to feed it, that's fine. But you need to supplement with other feeds that do contain protein, as the horse needs it. Just feed stuff that is low in sugar and NSC.
  11. Tallarook

    Tallarook Well-known Member

    I have a 12.2h pony who is laminitis prone, so was his mother i rescued as a 14yr old pony who had it for years. His grandmother also suffered and had a major episode the day his dam was born

    I feed my guy plain old chaff, equilibrium, and a very small sprinkle of pony maintenance pellets and a carrot in both morning and night feeds.

    He is in a wiwo at night and 3 out of 7 days he gets to go out in a paddock. I also use him to eat out the edges of the arena as needed too.

    I have always been advised NOT to feed lucerne and i have managed to keep my little one sound for the past 4 yrs.
  12. Debonair

    Debonair Well-known Member

    i know my scoop is 300gms for lucern chaff. i feed 1 scoop.
    told to watch the carrots with laminitic also and apple/pears are a big NO! too much sugar.
    the article i copied and posted just cause it gave some good info, didnt actually look at the quantities :)
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2010

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