By Keith Foster of Fine Fettle Feed
Laminitis is a multi-factorial condition, and while research into individual causes is ongoing, we do know that the condition is linked to toxicity.
As part of the laminitic process, blood vessels within the horse’s hoof constrict and dilate, thus inhibiting blood flow through the capillaries; this can lead to the accumulation of toxins within the animal’s bloodstream, and specifically within the hoof capsule. It is thought that the actual dilation, e.g. the periods of increased blood flow to the foot, leads to a higher concentration and greater exposure to trigger factors such as acids and toxins within the bloodstream. The often-quoted factor of ‘an inadequate blood flow to the foot’ is actually thought to occur as a result of the laminitic changes, as opposed to being a cause. When the various factors associated with the onset of laminitis occur, a chain of events leads to catastrophic changes to the bonds that link internals tissues to the wall of the horse’s hoof.
However, it is possible to help prevent these changes taking place. Charcoal is widely used to help keep horses’ metabolic systems healthy; it works by carrying oxygen into the horse’s system and adsorbing the toxins that have accumulated. For laminitic horses, or those prone to the condition, charcoal can be used on an ongoing basis to dispel toxins from the hoof capsule and elsewhere in the bloodstream. A consequence of this action is that the the acid levels in the horse’s bloodstream are reduced, and pH balance is restored. Happy Tummy from Fine Fettle Feed is made up of specially-treated hardwood charcoal from sustainable British woodlands, and has a singular affinity for poisons, removing them from the system.
Happy Tummy has no medicinal properties, but simply binds itself to toxins, and passes them out of the system. In addition to being used to help laminitis-prone horses, it also addresses the causes of other metabolic conditions such as gastric ulcers and tying-up, by removing toxins and intestinal gases.
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