A Regumate experiment: will it help my laminitic mare?

Well this was interesting today…

My mare, Mama Tess, seemed slightly off about 10 days ago.

At that time I put her in the barn.  She’s been totally off grass, has had anti inflammatory medicine daily and I’ve had her on Omega Alpha’s Anti-Flam.

That usually does the trick.

And, she seemed to be improving – in fact, she seemed almost normal – but I kept her in the barn to be safe –  with no green grass and on a restricted diet – for the past 9 days.

This morning, the 10th day, she was dead lame on the fronts.

Ahhhhhhhhhghhhh!  What tha?

I gave her a loading dose of Banamine, deeply bedded her stall, iced her feet and called the vets.


This has never happened before – where she got worse for no reason – except when it was an abscess.  Yet, I could feel no heat and she hoof tested ‘not sore’.

I know, it could still be an abscess up high in there…  but in both fronts?  Could be…

Luckily, I got a call back from one of my vets.  She would come right over (love that).

After taking Tess’s temp and pulse, it was clear she was in pain but not infected.

We tested her hooves again.  Nothing.

We felt for pulses.  None.

But Tess would not move her fronts.  She was like a statue.

Even the Banamine had no effect… it had been two hours since I double dosed her and it was not doing anything.

Wow.  I was becoming frightened.

I told the vet my regime over the previous 9 days.

“Hmmmmmm”, she said.

“Let me tell you a story…”

I went back into the barn at 9pm and she seemed much brighter.  I gave her the Regumate at 6:30pm.

I went back into the barn at 9pm and she seemed much brighter. I had given her the Regumate at 6:30pm.


The vet proceeded to tell me about a few mares she cared for who foundered last Spring and a few more who were presently foundering/laminitic like my mare.

She said that in her mind, it seemed that this type of laminitic episode only happens in mares – where you catch it early, do all the right things and they continue to worsen, or get better then worsen for no obvious reason, or they worsen overnight when there are no triggers – and none are helped by non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.

She hadn’t experienced this with any geldings.


She said she was thinking that there might be a hormonal component to this kind of laminitis.

“I mean,” she said, “why is it always in April and always mares?  April is when their heat cycles kick in… right?”

She then proceeded to tell me that on a hunch, she dosed these mares with Regumate to inhibit their cycles.. just in case the heat cycle was the trigger.

All 4 mares got better within 24 hours – and continued to improve.

As you can see, she is leaning on her fronts.

As you can see, she is leaning on her fronts.


I cannot stand to watch Mamma Tess suffer.

This episode was very odd.  I could not find a reason for her to be sore like this overnight – especially since I had been controlling her every move for 10 days.

I thought the Regumate was worth a try….

Couldn’t hurt, could help.

So, we gave her a dose.

By the time I write to you all tomorrow, it will have been 24 hours.

We shall see…

As I was leaving, I gave her some beet pulp and she moved over to get it.  I'm crossing my fingers that she will continue to improve.

As I was leaving, I gave her some beet pulp and she moved over to get it. I’m crossing my fingers that she will continue to improve.

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HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

12 comments have been posted...

  1. dawndi Post author

    Interesting… keep me posted. Hormones effect everyone. Thank you for sharing your story.

  2. Sandra K Schmidt

    my mare started laying down right in front of me in february. called the vet and he had me take a video of her. initially thought seizures but later ruled it out as she only kicked out with back legs for a second. I thought at the time she was going into heat. He took blood sample. results showed slightly elevated albumin that vet not worried about. during this time he gave her shots of banamine and i tried to do it orally which only worked once as she hates the flavor. I later tried butte plus but stopped as she was only laying down more and i was affraid it would hurt her. she continued to lay down frequently and was cyclying in and out of heat. I asked for an ultrasound. it showed she had two follicles and was going out of heat. which she did for about 4 days then started cycling again. I took her to a different vet a couple hours away. he did blood work and diagnosed laminities, 4th degree rotation in coifin bone and overload of tape worms. He strongly suspected cushings disease. the results came back negative, leaving me at square one. I spoke to the vet to let him know she continues to lay down for up to 2 hrs at a time. he put her on regumate. as of this writing she will be on it for 5 days, needs another 10 days per vet. both out of town and my local vet consulted yesterday. If no improvement local vet will probably do an endoscopy. yesterday i was with my horse about 4 hours and she laid down briefly then up and eating. she laid down later for an hour and a half. In the evening when i checked on her she was up. I am seeing this as improvement. It was her 4th day on regumate. this a.m. she was out in the pasture with the gelding wandering around then laid down around 9:33a.m. this too is improvement as she had been going down much earlier. I am praying the regumate is taking effect. she has been going through this almost 3 months. It is killing me to see her go through this and no real definite answer. I did have her poop retested for worms and ulcers. she showed some worms but apparently not bad enough to warrant treatment. and negative for ulcer. I did give her diatoamaceous earth for 5 days and will have poop retested. Has anyone else had this type of experience. when she lays down i know she is in discomfort. her flank is really sensitive too. although since a baby it always has been, maybe more so right now though. I bought her when she was 3 months old and she will be 9 in june. she is a companion horse and has never been completely broke but i love her and love having her around as she has quite the personality.

  3. ST

    Watch out for feeds that cause the horse to produce oestrogen. It seems to be that it is the fluctuation of the oestrogens that cause the problem of laminitis in our our mare. Even LAMINITIS SAFE feeds such as haylage, copra and rice bran are not safe because they mess with the oestrogen levels in the mare. Worst of all is Maxi-Soy! Maxi-Soy caused founder in the mare, the dairy goat’s milk supply to dry up in 3 weeks and the chooks to stop laying eggs! Just watch out for that. And of course, I think at least some grains might mess with their hormones too. I’m not a vet, but we have had constant problems with founder and laminitis, so just passing on my painfully learned knowledge from our experiences with this mare.

  4. dawndi Post author

    Marianne: Thank you for this. I agree. I only use Banamine initially to stop the inflammation and hopefully stop any rotation. After that, Anti-Flam (herbal by Omega Alpha). They also produce a stomach aid called, Gastra-FX. If herbals can fix it, I use it!

  5. Heidi Krantz

    I have a very similar story – my mare foundered essentially out of the blue 3 years ago in March. After keeping track in a journal of the dates and durations of her pain episodes I noticed a 20 – 22 day pattern – coincidence – not at all. I talked to my vet about this and we put her on Regumate for the remainder of the summer and while we had to deal with the damage resulting from the rotation of her coffin bones, the pain was under control.

    Unfortunately this all started up again this past winter – in January.My vet has moved and I’m still looking for a good replacement – but I was hesitant to go backto regumate that early in the year. We got it back under control with help from Dr. Frank Reilly – maker of Heiro and his assistance with pain management – allis good now – hasbeenfor amonth – it’s all one day at a time!

  6. Marianne

    Two of mares got laminitis and ulcers from Equimax dewormer! They weren’t on pasture as it was December and get only get 1 cup of oats once per day with grass hay. That was the first and last time I used Equimax, haven’t had any problems with ulcers or laminitis. Anti-inflamatory such as banamine and bute cause and induce ulcers. I believe that mares are just more sensitive to stomach upset then geldings or stallions. Watch your mare’s stomach becoming tight on the sides and contracting when they have ulcers, it appears as if they have in their front feet laminitis, they are just positioning their feet to relieve pain in their stomach.. The Vet I used for years misdiagnosed a rescue horse that had ulcers for colic because some of the symptoms are similar to colic, only sporadic. Vets automatically gave banamine, causing a mild ulcer to become severe with pain, causing laceration and bleeding later confirmed by gastroscope.. I used silver lining herbs to and successfully treated the ulcers #30E in one mare and gastrogard in the other, Laminae support #23E sold by horsehealthusa.com. I only use herbs as preventative and treatment these days. Have healthy and sound horses.

  7. Tomas

    This turns out to be one of the most common scenarios for laminitis in cycling mares. What’s interesting is that we don’t see these symptoms in mares that are moving with a herd a number of miles per day, even on RICH feed. Interesting to contemplate the significance of this with respect to the horse’s history: Springtime, Estrus, Stallions and Mares mixing it up (TONS of movement/mileage), rich feed as it is greening up in the Spring, moving to lower elevations/warmer temperatures…

    Movement is protective against laminitis, no matter what the inciting cause(s). This is an interesting story…I would love to see pictures of the hooves to see if their shape is also a contributing factor to the circulation/inflammation issues…

    Dr. TT

  8. Ute Philippi

    I wanted to add that your horse is blessed with a very observant veterinarian …they seem to be rather on the rare side these days :-)

  9. Joanie

    How is she today? Very interesting if it does work. I had a mare that foundered and she was my first horse. It killed me…really killed me…I had to put her down and I got post traumatic shock from it for a long long time. I pray Tess gets better. Good to know if it does work in case my mare ever gets it. She had a bad abscess that was one of the worst that my vet and farrier had ever seen. She was out of commission for 5 months recently…UGH!! I had never had a horse with that ever either. So, it was a learning experience for me too. Please keep me posted on Tess.

  10. Ute Philippi

    I have had this hunch for a while, that laminitis in some mares may be caused by hormonal imbalances. I have seen a few cases who just did not turn around as they should have, while geldings always seem to respond to the right support. Or I have seen some mares being a lot more senstivie in general with their hooves. Your experience and the vets response pretty much now confirms it for me. I currently have a rescue mare here, Arab, who came to me with severe founder , she was also a sinker. I do not believe that her hormones alone caused this issue, but she is not popping out of it as she should, even with all the right support she gets and even more, she seems to react to any hoof supplement I have put her on so far (meaning she becomes more tender footed)…..I will now explore this angle in more detail. Best wishes with your mare :-)

  11. Trudy

    Oh , she’s a cutie. I hope this is the answer, very interesting. Lucky that you have a vet that thinks outside the box, kudos to her. Looking forward to hearing that she continues to improve in your next post. Best of luck.

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