Friday, 2 March 2012

Exciting news! The laminitis app

This is a REALLY exciting post, which I have had to sit on for several weeks - its nearly killed me :-)

Its exciting because I've been allowed to trial an iPhone app which could be a huge help in dealing with one of the biggest problems to face horse-owners in the UK - managing grazing.

The app was the brilliant idea of Steve Leigh of Natures Way who is a hoofcare practitioner and Phil Hunter at VIZAR who has developed the technology.  Like all brilliant ideas, it is simple but effective.

The app detects where you are and uses local weather station data to assess growing patterns and the rise and fall of non-structural carbohydrates in grass.

In practice this means you can check the app daily and it will predict whether the sugar levels in your grass could lead to an increased risk of laminitis.  More than that, for a barefoot horse it can give you a hint of when conditions are going to trigger sole sensitivity or footiness.

Obviously, its no substitute for good management and correct feeding but it can give you prior warning of dangerous growing conditions which can occur at unexpected times.  Its also a clear way to demonstrate to others (eg yard owners) who may not see grass as a problem exactly what is happening and why turnout at certain times is hazardous but the same field at a different time can be safe. 

For instance, at the end of the recent cold snap, the risk profile was low with us - we had cold but cloudy weather and the temperatures were continually low.  To the east of us, where there were bright skies, frosty morning and rapidly rising daytime temperatures, the risk profile was high, which you might not have expected in February. 

Its easy to use, clear and very effective.  You can download the app from this website:  www.laminitis-risk.com or find it here on iTunes - its simply called "Laminitis" - its not expensive and I highly recommend it :-)  Thanks to Charlotte for the iTunes link!

PS: Currently it is only for iPhones but Vizar are planning to develop the app for Blackberry and Android too :-)

16 comments:

erinshaw86 said...

Are they going to make it available on android too?

Charlotte B said...

Found it, purchased it, installed it. Laminitis risk HIGH here today! Will advise Wendy Raptor accordingly but seeing as she jumped out over a 1.30m iron gate yesterday after only spending one hour out and not being out at all since September I wasn't planning on turn out today anyway!

amandap said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
amandap said...

Bloomin fantastic!

I live in hope someone will develop a simple hay test owners can do at home for the level water soluble sugars.

Neets Human said...

Brill... just need an Iphone now... ;)

Nic Barker said...

Hi all, I've just heard from Phil Hunter that they will develop it for other platforms too :-)

Thanks Charlotte for the iTunes link!

Chloe said...

What a great idea, I don't have an iPhone but I'd be very tempted by one just to have this app on it I think!

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Oh this would be SO great for the US..I'll be patiently waiting as I live in Michigan. Thanks for sharing this info..

Clare said...

Good news apart from the iphone part,do you know the lead time for android? Thanks Nic :-) exciting times.

jenj said...

WANNNNT!!!!

Now, who do I have to beg/bribe/pay/murder to have them make it work in central Texas? I'm totally serious...

Or do I just need to move to the UK?

Fran Jurga said...

Interesting...!

juliette said...

Kristen and jenj - I am still planning how I can move my family and three horses to the UK so you two (and families and horses!) can join us if you want!

Nic Barker said...

Come on over, guys, but beware of the grass ;-) for technical info and details of when/if it might go stateside, get in touch with Vizar.

Wiola said...

Bought and Installed! Fabulous and I agree that hay app now needed :)

Helen Barnes said...

Any idea if they're planning to develop it for other European countries? Would buy it if it covered France......

The Three Muleteers said...

Wow, this is the reason I need to get an iPhone! What a great idea.