Frost footiness? Help!

Jane&Ziggy

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Apr 30, 2010
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As you know Ziggy has been diagnosed with EMS and is on Prascend, one a day. My trimmer came 10 days ago and was concerned about his feet - the vet came and took bloods but I haven't had the results yet.

There was a hard frost this morning, and when I went over to the field Ziggy was footy. Not lame, he could walk fine and trotted a step or two for his breakfast, but uncomfortable. I have put him in with hay; I'm working today but plan to let him out at 4 when I get home and see how he looks.

Could this be frost related? If so, he's probably better in overnight while the frost risk continues. I just hope to God it's not the start of another full attack.
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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Yep entirely possible but for 2 possible reasons, 1 hard ground and 2 the sugar levels. Don't be fooled that once frost melts the risk is gone, The frost doesn't cause sugars, it preserves them. So sugars are made during warm sunny days, then normally the plant respires at night when it is over 6c using the sugars up, but if there is frost (or 5c and below) then the plant won't respire and the sugars are preserved in the plant, the next day more sugars are added, and so on until there is a warm night, then they will come down. So a complete nightmare this time of year with warm sunny days and cool nights.
 

carthorse

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Jan 6, 2006
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@Jessey has it in one, and by keeping him off the grass until later in the day you're doing the right thing. Sometimes keeping their legs warm with wraps can also help as it keeps the circulation to the feet active.

As a slight aside if he's struggling you may want to look at treating the EMS as well as the PPID. They're separate conditions & EMS can also cause laminitis, though at least with careful diet management & exercise it can often be managed - the problem comes when footiness means exercise has to be reduced & then a vicious circle starts. There are various products out there that can help - short term I've found Metformin from the vet helps, longer term I use NoMetSyn from EquiLife who are the same people as the Laminitis Clinic.
 
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Jane&Ziggy

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Thank you @Jessey and @carthorse . He was in till 3 pm when I got home from work, and then he seemed completely sound and comfortable, happy to trot up with me and to give my OH's grandchild a pony ride!

While this weird weather lasts he will be in at night and not let out until late morning or early afternoon. I hope that keeps the sugars away....
 
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