• 16 March 2015

Research keeps Spillers Happy Hoof ahead when it comes to feeding the laminitis prone

Laminitis may affect around a third of some groups of horses and ponies in the UK but Spillers® is working hard to improve our understanding of the risk factors, in order to help reduce the incidence of this potentially devastating condition.

Through its work with the WALTHAM® International Laminitis and Obesity Research Consortia, it is conducting important research into many of the areas that are thought to be involved in the development of the condition and Spillers Happy Hoof® has been used successfully in several of these studies.

To date the waltham® equine studies group, which provides the science behind the Spillers® brand, has conducted more than 20 research projects over the past 10 years, looking at all aspects of laminitis including investigating the role that obesity can play in the development of the condition. This work not only aims to build knowledge but also to give practical support to owners of susceptible animals.

This year Spillers® is supporting a Post Doctorate programme and a PhD programme in the UK. The Post Doctorate is looking at the effects of diet on the microflora in the hindgut of senior and obese horses.1 The PhD is trying to understand why some horses and ponies are more at risk than others to pasture-associated laminitis.2

There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that insulin dysregulation (a collective term used to describe high circulating blood insulin levels and/or an increased insulin response to a starch/sugar load and/or insulin resistance) appears to be a component in the risk for laminitis. It is hoped that the predisposition study in particular will shed further light on the role of insulin.

Clare Barfoot RNutr and the research and development manager at Spillers® explained: “We are determined to find out more about the role of insulin dysregulation in the development of laminitis as well as the other associated risks. Meanwhile we are excited to report that Spillers Happy Hoof® has been used successfully in many of our studies. This low calorie, high fibre feed has been proven in more than one project to show a low glycaemic and insulin response which will benefit those horses and ponies at risk from or prone to obesity and laminitis. This is something that very few, if any, feeds in the category have scientific proof of.”

SPILLERS HAPPY HOOF® is a specially blended, low calorie, short-chop forage which contains all the vitamins and minerals your horse needs to stay in good health. Approved by The Laminitis Trust, it can be used as a bucket feed or as a replacement for hay and is specifically designed to extend eating time.


For further information

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