Founder
 
 

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Founder

This is a discussion on Founder within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Should horses that have foundered always have shoes on?
  • Farrier says my horse founder

 
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    12-10-2011, 07:33 PM
  #1
Showing
Founder

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. Any advice? I can take pictures of his hooves Monday and post them.
     
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    12-10-2011, 08:07 PM
  #2
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by equiniphile    
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.

Quote:
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.

Cheers,
Mark
     
    12-10-2011, 08:19 PM
  #3
Showing
Thank you, I needed that. I've been worried all night and wondering how he could have laminitis but be sound and ever-eager to go out for a hack. I'll get photos for you Monday and post them for an overall evaluation of his hooves.
Thanks again,
EQ
     
    12-11-2011, 10:30 PM
  #4
Trained
Hi,

I imagine what your farrier saw(I'm *assuming* he does know what he's on about) is a prominent 'growth' or 'laminitis' ring. This does indicate that there was some metabolic or mechanical upset at that time which inflamed the laminae & damaged it at that point. If it's only one ring(per foot) and has nearly grown out, chances are it was a 'one off' type event - could be diet related, stress, illness... - that was short lived & over many months back. As you say it's only on one foot, I'd guess it was mild but there may be a mechanical issue too/instead - is that foot steeper, for eg? I would not call that 'founder', but many use the terms interchangeably, don't differentiate about degree, etc. This sort of thing may be called 'sub clinical' or 'low grade' laminitis. Depends on other specifics & signs I reckon, as to whether it's any worry or any cause to change what you're doing IMO.

You said the horse has bad feet, which can mean anything really, so something there may have given your farrier more to go on considering what he said. So with so little info from you, this is sort of my generic opinions on the various issues - food for thought for you...

As for diet & supps, a good quality nutritional supp is a good move IMO, as domestic horse's diets are generally deficient or imbalanced in a range of nutrients. 'Hoof specific' supps may or may not be well balanced & have everything the horse needs. FeedXL.com is one good source IMO to sort out all that.

As for supps to 'cure' laminitis, if it's an insulin resistance problem, cinnamon has actually been scientifically shown to increase sensitivity to insulin. There is also 'Equisure' which is a slow release magnesium, which can reduce hind gut acidosis which can cause laminitis - acidosis is generally related to too starchy feed. There's also 'Founderguard' which is an antibiotic, for treatment of the same prob. I don't think feeding antibiotics is a great idea, but many do. There are other herbs & nutrients which have not been fully tested, but there is anecdotal evidence to suggest they may help.

When you say your horse is not on rich grass but gets good hay, it's worth keeping in mind that grass doesn't lose sugar content after cutting & storing, so it depends on the quality of the grass & when it was cut, etc as to how rich your hay is. Also overgrazed or drought stressed grass is generally higher in sugar content. Safe Choice does have corn, wheat & molasses in it, so I would personally consider something 'safer' if your horse needs extra energy of hard feed. If you are going to feed starchy feeds, it's especially important to ensure you feed it little & often with lots of roughage, rather than just one or 2 larger meals daily.
     
    12-11-2011, 10:33 PM
  #5
Yearling
Loosie, what's the recommended "dosage" of cinnamon for horses? I knew it was effective in people but didn't know they had proven it for horses...thanks.
     
    12-12-2011, 10:55 AM
  #6
Showing
Thank you, loosie! By bad feet, I mean he loses shoes constantly, though that's getting better with time, and he has virtually no heel. I'll check into those supplements.

Our hay supplier is big into the organic certifications and such, has paperwork showing which assosciations his hay is approved with, and claims his clients' horses have never had a problem with it. Of course, every horse is different, and what causes problems for Excel might not to other horses. With winter here, I gradually took them off the grass pastures a few weeks ago.

I will try to get pictures of his feet today for you all to dissect.
     
    12-12-2011, 08:18 PM
  #7
Trained
Quote:
Loosie, what's the recommended "dosage" of cinnamon for horses? I knew it was effective in people but didn't know they had proven it for horses...thanks.
Yeah, I'm not sure if there's been scientific horse-specific research on it. It has been proven to be effective in humans & anecdotally shown to have the same effect on horses. Therefore, putting 2 + 2 together... I'm no herbalist or naturopath and it depends on the type as to dose. There are a number of herbs (of which I don't think cinnamon is one of but not 100%) that are contraindicated in certain situations - eg. I think Devil's Claw, another one supposed to be helpful with laminitis, is contraindicated during pregnancy. Therefore I'd consult a herbalist or such before feeding. Don't forget that just because something's natural doesn't mean it's always safe or without side effects.

Quote:
Originally Posted by equiniphile    
Our hay supplier is big into the organic certifications and such, has paperwork showing which assosciations his hay is approved with
Yeah, not sure how much the horses really care about certificates! But if your hay supplier has got figures on NSC levels, that's helpful. Another trick to give you an idea about sugar levels in hay is to soak some in clean water for an hour & see what colour the water is when drained. The browner it is, the more sugar.

I think it's SO important that owners educate themselves as best they can on issues of hooves, health & soundness (not assuming you haven't BTW, but we can all learn more) and to that end, the thread in my signature has some info I find helpful to start people off & give them the basics.
     

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