Mechanical Founder/Laminitis

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Mechanical Founder/Laminitis

This is a discussion on Mechanical Founder/Laminitis within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category

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    08-13-2013, 11:23 PM
Green Broke
Mechanical Founder/Laminitis

So, I've had some bad luck with my horse Kitty. I rode her for six months before I bought her, and she never took a lame step. A month after I signed that bill of sale, she comes up with a bout of laminitis.

I thought she had thrush. (She does have thrush, turns out; but that had nothing to do with the lameness.) She went lame on the 11th of this month. I began treatment for thrush and left her out to pasture. Today, the 13th, she can hardly walk.

I was in school today, so I friend drove her to the vet for me. Since I missed actually seeing my vet face to face, I'm not too sure what the report she wrote for me even means. So here it is:

"Hs: Having trouble walking on rocks, and becoming increasingly sore. Barefooted, hooves are very short less three inches of total length. Walls are severally broken and worn, walking on soles. Increased digital pulses are present in all four limbs. Hoof testers no reaction over the sole, +2 both heels RF only. EXC ROM, but resists standing with full weight on either forelimb for extended periods. No joint effusion. Walks extremely slow and guarded even on packed dirt. On packed sand circle L grade 2 lame RF and RR, circle R, grade 2 lame LF."

My friend told me the vet used the words "mechanical founder" and "mechanical laminitis." I'm not too sure what this even means and how it's different than normal grass founder.

I also have no idea how or why this happened to my horse. The vet said that the weather conditions have been erratic; wet for weeks and than dry and hot. Apparently this was a contributing factor to the breakdown of her hooves. But why just this horse? All the other horses were trimmed at the same time by the same farrier and were of course exposed to the same weather conditions. Kitty's feet have always been very good too...

I'm going to call and speak to my vet tomorrow, but I would like some tips and knowledge. Because I'm lost.
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    08-13-2013, 11:58 PM
Originally Posted by Brighteyes    
Hoof testers no reaction over the sole.
This confuses me if he wants to call it founder. Did he take x-rays, and can you get them? If he didn't, he needs to. If she's having heel pain and poor hoof quality with thrush, I'm thinking that's something else, but founder is very serious, so you need to know.

However, if the x-rays show rotation and she's got the digital pulse, she really needs to be off the grass pasture and put on a dry lot. Mechanical founder is seen more often when one leg/hoof is damaged and the other has to bear extra weight, so that's strange that he'd say that, unless he thinks the hoof fell apart and caused the coffin bone to rotate. Then the question is "why did the hoof collapse?" if he doesn't think the rotation happened first.

Can we see the feet? What is her diet like?
    08-14-2013, 12:03 AM
Could be that the horse is sore from walking on her soles. Her hooves are really short. Grass founder would be from toxins building up from rich grass and causing the lamina to let go of the coffin bone.

Mechanical would be banging, breaking, hoof walls falling apart and physically causing the lamina to let go of the coffin bone, like sinking. But maybe it looks similar because the coffins have not sunk, but the walls are higher than the soles.

I think your horse needs xrays, and you need to talk to the vet.
Missy May likes this.
    08-14-2013, 12:04 AM

"Founder can be either mechanical or metabolic in nature. Mechanical founder refers to a physical force mechanically separating the hoof wall from the bone, causing trauma, swelling, and subsequent death of sensitive laminae. Another type of mechanical founder is from concussion (too much hard riding on asphalt, for instance, also known as road founder.) Metabolic founder refers to a systemic issue where the body has suffered some type of metabolic insult, whether it be a flood of mycotoxins, sustained high glucose levels in the blood (Insulin Resistance or Cushings Disease) or some other type of inflammation or fever...."

From High Performance Hoof Care - Help, my horse foundered! Now what?
    08-14-2013, 12:04 AM
Green Broke
I'm not sure the context in which the word was used. I got this information second hand. Trust the vet report. It's a direct quote from the vet. I'm thinking that the vet is trying to say that she isn't foundered yet but is at risk for it.

I can take pictures. I can say her feet do look like they're falling apart. The hoof wall is cracking and breaking all over the place.

She was on 24/7 pasture and eating 1 pound of Triple Crown ration balancer a day. Currently, she's on stall rest and eating grass hay and her ration balancer.
    08-14-2013, 12:09 AM
I would definitely write out all the questions I had for the vet so I didn't "miss" anything. Personally, I would ask the vet about boots. Any relief you can give her would be positive.
    08-14-2013, 12:14 AM
Green Broke
That's a good idea! I'll do that.

My vet recommended four shoes. "Wide web shoes" to be precise. Whatever that means. She hardly has any hoof wall; I don't know how they'll nail on shoes. Might have to glue on. I have a pair of renegade hoof boots I could put on her fronts for now, if that will help.

Is there anything else I can do for pain? She's getting bute twice a day for 6 days. Would cold water help, or anything like that?
    08-14-2013, 12:22 AM
The boots might help. If she is very uncomfortable and is thought to be foundered, you can get some styrofoam blocks and duct tape them to her feet. Both my vet and farrier have recommended this at different times for my mare. Please get x-rays before you shoe! Shoeing blind can do more harm than good sometimes.
    08-14-2013, 12:24 AM
Green Broke
No, x-rays were not taken. I would have requested them if I were present during Kitty's appointment. I may make another appointment for x-rays after I speak to my vet to determine whether my horse is in danger of laminitis, or has laminitis, or any rotation is suspected...

Styrofoam -- good idea. I feel awful about the poor mare hurting so much.
    08-14-2013, 12:46 AM
Hoof casting is a good option in cases like this. Hiwever if the thrush is bad or any whiteline disease is present, you want to get that in check first. In the meantime, you can ducktape foam to her feet for now to give some comfort.
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