Laminitis.... need to vent and get some support
 
 

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Laminitis.... need to vent and get some support

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  • Marsh hay for foundered horses
  • Dealing with laminitis, cushings and arthritis

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    05-16-2013, 06:35 PM
  #1
Weanling
Laminitis.... need to vent and get some support

My mare is 32 years old and the vet decided that she foundered this spring.

I'm just so frustrated because she was probably foundering for a while but we (the farrier, vet and myself) thought that it was just her arthritis. She had a really rough winter with her arthritis and then we had a couple of weeks where she was doing better and then got worse again. She didn't do the classic laminitis stance, she just looked uncomfortable and shifted her weight a lot.

We started her on a bute taper a week ago. She was on 3 grams divided doses for 3 days and then down to 2 grams etc. I stepped down from 3 to 2 and then she got worse again.

The vet decided to start her on pergolide because she is suspecting that she has cushings (which maybe why taking her off grass and sweet feed and starting bute didn't solve the problem.) I put down 4 bags of shavings in her lean to, put in a couple of extra fence posts in to cut down even more on her access to grass (cutting it down from a 50x100 paddock with a little grass to a 50x50 paddock with practically none), took her off all sweet feed, gave her marsh hay (that she hates) and am going to make her a pair of foam insulation boots until I get some soft-ride boots.

I feel so guilty that we didn't start to treat this earlier. If the coffin bone has rotated then we would need to do corrective shoeing and I don't know if I should do that. I just can't believe that this might be my best friend's undoing.

Thanks for reading my rant, I just needed to get this out since talking to people at work doesn't really make me feel any better.
     
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    05-16-2013, 09:35 PM
  #2
Started
I'm sorry to hear that. Are you getting the extra pair of orthotics from softride thay are great for laminitis?
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    05-16-2013, 11:43 PM
  #3
Weanling
I haven't decided exactly what orthotics to get other than the boots themselves. I can't really tell what the different colored orthotics were each for but I might talk to the vet about them. My husband helped me struggle and take some foam board insulation to her feet tonight, so hopefully that makes her a little more comfy for the mean time.
     
    05-16-2013, 11:58 PM
  #4
Started
The purple and turquoise ones, I think, are the best for laminitis. The frog has the support of the standard orthotic, and the toe is very soft.
MySerenity likes this.
     
    05-17-2013, 01:00 AM
  #5
Trained
Bare Foot Horse
Lots of good reading, tips for first aid and such.
Styrofoam slippers will make her more comfy.
Cushings: does she have symptoms other than the laminitis attack?
How is her weight?
Can we get pics of her feet? Side and soles, on level ground?
In the meantime, there are several threads on here with lots of info.
If she isn't the classic obese IR type, she can have normal hay. No need to make her even more miserable than she already is.
     
    05-17-2013, 06:56 AM
  #6
Trained
Sorry to hear that. But don't feel guilty over it yourself - how can you know better if the 'experts' at hand don't tell you?? So, bad news, you've got a lot to learn & unfortunately your mare is suffering, but the good thing is, now you know you need to learn more, can become informed to get your mare through it & prevent this happening to other horses in your care & nothing to beat yourself up about... so long as you don't put your head in the sand now

Unfortunately so many people still(inc veterinary 'experts') don't recognise laminitis until it's a 'full blown' attack, 'founder stance', 'rotation', etc. But as someone I know & respect puts it, that's a bit like failing to recognise any neurological problems short of quadroplegia - and if we only took notice & action on the 'minor' 'sub clinical' symptoms, we could avoid the vast majority of 'real' laminitic cases.

I wonder why the vet suspects cushings? - aside from the laminitis. Has it stayed acute despite the diet changes & bute? Have you kept her on pasture, albeit reduced & overgrazed? Is the 'marsh hay' tested as low NSC(sugars) or soaked? What other measures has the vet suggested/taken? Re the 'corrective' shoes, yes, you can go that route, but there are also other(better IME) answers, such as what is known as 'barefoot rehabilitation', very worth looking seriously into. Desert gave you one weblink. Mayfield Barehoof Care Centre Home Page is another good one with many case studies to look at too. One more 'spanner for your works' is that stressed grass, such as overgrazed, can actually be far higher in sugars than normal, so while she may not be getting the quantity it may be a bigger sugar hit. You can find some good info online on feeding as it relates to health & rehab on safergrass.org & also on ecirhorse.com
     
    05-19-2013, 10:11 AM
  #7
Weanling
Loosie and DHW: Yes, the vet suspects cushings because the bute hasn't really changed things and she is off grass and sweet feed and drastically reduced on her senior pellets. The marsh hay hasn't been tested or anything.

The biggest other symptom of cushings that she has is her shedding. She sheds out in patches and it comes out in clumps in some places and clings in others. She has a bit of a belly but definitely doesn't have the fat that some cushings horses have.

She started pergolide on thursday and we put foam shoes on her that day too (but they need to be replaced). She's much happier as of today and is moving pretty well. She still stands uncomfortably but she's much perkier. That is until she sees me coming and knows she's going to get a dose of bute, which she hates. I know she's doing better because I have to chase her to catch her for her dose. Lol

I have no clue if the pergolide acts this quickly. I know that the bute wasnt' helping for a couple of days because I couldn't get the powder into her!

I don't have any pics for you. She is very long right now because when the farrier came out a couple of weeks ago Magic couldn't even hold a foot up for her. The farrier was super patient and tried very hard but couldn't get a lot done. She is due to come out next week and try again. She's a barefoot specialist so I hope she is going to know the best way to trim for a lamanitic horse.

Thanks for the input, I'll read the links tonight =)
     
    05-19-2013, 10:25 AM
  #8
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by MySerenity    
The biggest other symptom of cushings that she has is her shedding. She sheds out in patches and it comes out in clumps in some places and clings in others. She has a bit of a belly but definitely doesn't have the fat that some cushings horses have.

She started pergolide on thursday and we put foam shoes on her that day too (but they need to be replaced). She's much happier as of today and is moving pretty well. She still stands uncomfortably but she's much perkier. That is until she sees me coming and knows she's going to get a dose of bute, which she hates. I know she's doing better because I have to chase her to catch her for her dose. Lol

I have no clue if the pergolide acts this quickly. I know that the bute wasnt' helping for a couple of days because I couldn't get the powder into her!

I don't have any pics for you. She is very long right now because when the farrier came out a couple of weeks ago Magic couldn't even hold a foot up for her. The farrier was super patient and tried very hard but couldn't get a lot done. She is due to come out next week and try again. She's a barefoot specialist so I hope she is going to know the best way to trim for a lamanitic horse.

Thanks for the input, I'll read the links tonight =)
The patchy shedding can be a sign of cushings; that is how my good friend's cushings/IR Paso Fino started out.

However, it might also be a sign of hind gut ulcers. "might" being the operative. While my metabolic horse did not have patchy/clumpy shedding, he wasn't letting go of his hair. I worried about cushings since he's in his 20's. Once the hind gut ulcers were diagnosed and we started treatment, he shed out almost before my eyes.

I am privileged (not) to have a second horse with insulin resistance who foundered in March, 2012. Measuring from the dorsal wall, he foundered 8 - 9 degrees on the LF and 5 degrees on the RF. The LF was pointing pretty far south.

He remained barefoot, in boots with part pads. He continues to be formally trimmed every 4 weeks and I keep his heels rasped down in-between visits. The heels need to come down but not too fast, elst tendon damage can ensue (I have a big fat vet bill to prove that

Ask the barefoot trimmer to show you how to very lightly rasp the heels in-between her visits which ideally, should be every 4 weeks but if that's too much $$$, five weeks since you're dealing with founder. She may even have an old rasp she could give you that would be suitable for the light rasping you would need to do. If there's one thing I've learned thru this founder process, it takes the owner's hands AND the Trimmers hands for a successful and faster recovery. The owner just has to do precisely what they're told to do - nothing more nothing less

^^^Meaning, while I haven't had new x-rays yet, his hooves appear to have either completely or nearly completely de-rotated ---- without having to pound nails for shoes into an already painful hoof.

He never missed a day getting turned out, although I did keep him by himself in the half acre barnyard when he first foundered. He comes in at night.

Good luck to you, I hope this helps you
     
    05-19-2013, 10:38 AM
  #9
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by MySerenity    
Loosie and DHW: Yes, the vet suspects cushings because the bute hasn't really changed things and she is off grass and sweet feed and drastically reduced on her senior pellets. The marsh hay hasn't been tested or anything.

The biggest other symptom of cushings that she has is her shedding. She sheds out in patches and it comes out in clumps in some places and clings in others. She has a bit of a belly but definitely doesn't have the fat that some cushings horses have.

She started pergolide on thursday and we put foam shoes on her that day too (but they need to be replaced). She's much happier as of today and is moving pretty well. She still stands uncomfortably but she's much perkier. That is until she sees me coming and knows she's going to get a dose of bute, which she hates. I know she's doing better because I have to chase her to catch her for her dose. Lol

I have no clue if the pergolide acts this quickly. I know that the bute wasnt' helping for a couple of days because I couldn't get the powder into her!

I don't have any pics for you. She is very long right now because when the farrier came out a couple of weeks ago Magic couldn't even hold a foot up for her. The farrier was super patient and tried very hard but couldn't get a lot done. She is due to come out next week and try again. She's a barefoot specialist so I hope she is going to know the best way to trim for a lamanitic horse.

Thanks for the input, I'll read the links tonight =)
All the more important that you read this site, there are chapters on laminitis/founder. That way you KNOW what needs to be done
I would get these feet done, help her with the " slippers", watch her diet and wean her off the bute asap.....
You'll have to rethink her diet, especially at her age.
     
    05-19-2013, 07:59 PM
  #10
Trained
& ecirhorse.com While I understand it may have been impossible to do when she was acutely laminitic, you need to get her feet done ASAP especially if they're long, especially if they're shod. I would be avoiiding shoes tho & just padding her feet. Keep her on soft bedding until her feet are done at least. Pics would be good.
     

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