The autumn flush of new grass brings with it an increased risk of laminitis, something that many people think of as a springtime-only condition. “Autumn laminitis is particularly a risk for horses who have PPID (Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction), also called Cushing’s disease,” says Katherine. “The grass at this time of year is packed full of WSCs (water soluble carbohydrate), so it’s not so much the quantity your horse consumes, but the quality.” Limiting how much grass your horse or pony has access to is a good idea if he’s prone to laminitis. “It’s also a good idea to get him tested for PPID if he’s showing clinical signs of Cushing’s, or is an older horse,” adds Katherine. SYMPTOMS INCLUDE: Fat pads Dull coat Delayed shedding Decreased athletic performance Sunken back Lethargic look “Consider reducing the amount of sugar and starch he receives in hard feed too, if he’s prone to laminitis,” suggests Katherine. There are plenty of low sugar/starch feeds on the market. Speak to a nutritionist first and always make any dietary adjustments gradually.
The flush of new grass in autumn can lead to an increased risk of laminitis