My farrier was out today and said he saw signs of founder in Excel, who has always had pretty bad feet. He showed me a horizontal line at the base of one of his fronts that he told me was founder. Excel currently wears a full set of shoes and front pads and is re-shod every 7 weeks or so. He is stalled at night and has free access to a dry pasture during the day. I've ridden him only a few times in the last couple weeks, most recently on Tuesday, and he hasn't seemed off at all. No changes in diet, no rich grass, just quality hay, beet pulp, and Safe Choice grain. My farrier reccomended a supplement from HorseHerbs.com for founder; any experience with their supplements? I'm not sure if I should have my vet out to look at him....the farrier didn't seem overly concerned, but I'd like to get a second opinion from my vet.
A single, horizontal growth ring does not constitute founder/laminitis. That the horse shows no clinical signs of lameness is also a good indicator that the farrier may be incorrect. To be quite blunt, even if your horse had foundered, recommending nothing more than a dietary supplement to address the concern is beyond silly. Radiographs to identify any displacement of P3 within the hoof capsule is important. So is mechanically stabilizing the bony column within the capsule.
Any advice? I can take pictures of his hooves Monday and post them.
Any advice? Sure. The information provided does not support the diagnosis or the need for veterinary attention. A foundered horse will usually be seriously lame, presenting a bounding digital pulse often accompanied by readily discernible heat in the effected feet. Even in mild cases, there is usually evidence of at least some discomfort and there are generally "markers" a farrier will recognize as indicative of laminitis. A singular growth ring hardly rises to the level of a laminitis diagnosis.
There are no known dietary supplements that can cure laminitis. Don't waste your money. Particularly given that the information provided does not support the diagnosis.
Moreover, laminitis (founder) should always be considered an emergency situation. It's not something a farrier or vet would downplay as being nothing to be overly concerned about. It is also not something that warrants a "wait and see" approach. Laminitis is the number 2 killer of horses and should be viewed accordingly.
Photos are always interesting to review. Since you mention the horse has "bad feet", you may as well share and see what kind of feedback is available.
Unless there is more to the story, I'd also recommend taking a deep breath and relax with the beverage of your choice.