Need some input... - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 14 Old 11-23-2011, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 8
• Horses: 0
Need some input...

If my horse (bought her few months ago) has early stages of founder, would it be more humane to have her euthanized than put through the process (probably surgery, etc.)?
We are not financially secure anymore due to me losing my job (last week) to be able to handle helping her through that kind of process.
I don't want her to suffer because I lost my job, that is not fair. I, also don't want her to be in pain rest of her life either and on a bunch of medications.
TNJArabians is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 14 Old 11-23-2011, 09:36 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 22,173
• Horses: 7
I'm not an expert on founder but if it's in the early stages as in just beginning then I think you need to soak the feet in epson salt and get a vet out. If you can't afford to care for the horse then putting it down is definitely an option, although I'd look into a rescue facility that may have the resources to care for and then rehome the horse.

I'm sorry you are going through hard times.

"Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you
Go to work, do your best, don't outsmart your common sense
Never let your prayin knees get lazy
And love like crazy"
farmpony84 is offline  
post #3 of 14 Old 11-23-2011, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 8
• Horses: 0
I do not want to have to result to that, as I view every horse's life is precious. I wish my situation wasn't as it was, otherwise I'd put forth all the effort and money I could to help her be comfortable. I'm not knowledgable in founder department, but from what I understand once they founder even the early stages it's incredibly painful, they continue to be prone to foundering. In our pasture and the way our home is setup, she'd be setup to founder all the time :S. I do not want to euthanize her, as I've grown very very attached to her even in just the short time I've had her. I love her to death, but i refuse to let her live a life of pain and medication. Is it wrong for me to be thinking that ending her life might keep her from a life of pain and misery?
TNJArabians is offline  
post #4 of 14 Old 11-23-2011, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 8
• Horses: 0
So far every rescue facility that I have contacted that is near me, is full or will not take her for one reason or another.
TNJArabians is offline  
post #5 of 14 Old 11-24-2011, 12:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,648
• Horses: 6
I presume you've had the vet out, since you have a diagnosis. She may very well be salvageable. Talk to your vet about options. In many cases, corrective shoeing will fix the immediate problem.

First thing to do is get her off grass and stop her from moving around. Stand her deep in cold mud or thick bedding. If she's seriously lame cut styrofoam pads for her feet.

Putting her down is a valid option, but make sure you know what you're dealing with before you resort to that. Once foundered, yes, a horse is more prone to do it again, but if you do things like limit turnout or use a grazing muzzle, you can minimize the risk.
bubba13 is offline  
post #6 of 14 Old 11-24-2011, 01:31 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,289
• Horses: 0
I am not aware of any surgery to repair the damage done by founder.

If a horse's coffin has not rotated; then a foundered horse can be useful for years with careful management. Many horse have repeat episodes of founder, but if it's caught early, it's still managable.

Most of founder management just requires attention, rather than money. Limit grazing severely, get a grazing muzzle, monitor legs for digital pulses and feet for heat, check the fat pad at the crest of the neck. Proper shoeing to take some pressure off the toe and lamina.

Yes, acute founder is painful, but easily relieved by inexpensive painkillers (bute and banamine), soaking, etc.

Bubba gave you excellent advice for managing an acute founder.

If the problem is the way access to pasture is set up, get a grazing muzzle. My fatties live in them every spring and fall when the grass is rich.

If your horse is otherwise useful, and you can currently afford the basic expenses, you should be able to keep going with very little additonal investment. And if she's not currently acute, reselling or rehoming her is still an option.

If she's not otherwise useful, if the founder is severe and acute, or if she has coffin bone rotation on xray, then euthanasia may an option, but I wouldn't rush to that conclusion yet.

Last edited by maura; 11-24-2011 at 01:35 AM.
maura is offline  
post #7 of 14 Old 11-24-2011, 01:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,648
• Horses: 6
Originally Posted by maura View Post
I am not aware of any surgery to repair the damage done by founder.
The only one I know is salvage severing of the DDFT to eliminate the pull on the coffin bone. There may be others, but I'm not aware of them.
bubba13 is offline  
post #8 of 14 Old 11-24-2011, 01:38 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,289
• Horses: 0

Interesting. But I'm imagining that's done to salvage a horse for breeding? Surely a horse can't be ridable after having both front deep digital flexor tendons cut?

Last edited by maura; 11-24-2011 at 07:48 AM.
maura is offline  
post #9 of 14 Old 11-24-2011, 02:27 AM
bubba13 is offline  
post #10 of 14 Old 11-24-2011, 10:10 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: OK
Posts: 10,645
• Horses: 12
As an owner who has had 2 horses with varying degrees of laminits/founder, they most assuredly are salvagable if the rotation isn't too severe. My old QH had laminitis most of his life, we watched his diet very carefully and limited his grazing. Mainly, he'd have flares only once or twice a year at most, and we treated the discomfort from that with bute. We continued riding him until he let us know it was time to quit, at 30 y.o..

The 2nd horse was more severe, she was a broodmare and we sent her out to be bred one year and the breeding barn's staff made a feed error (she got no grain due to her laminitis and they fed her a warmblood's grain ration) and she had severe gas colic. Due to fearing for their jobs, they said nothing for over 12 hrs, and by the time I went to get her and take her to the vet, she was in such severe pain that she was already starting to founder. The colic was severe but remedied fairly quickly. The founder however, kept her in ICU for 10 days and we thought we'd lose her to that. Both front feet rotated, right more than left, 7 degrees for the right, I think 3 for the left. That was in 2005. She was 25 at the time. She came back from it, and with careful trimming and careful diet management, she did totally fine. She was retired from being a broodie at that point, and was just a pasture puff until last winter when she was injured in a pasture accident. Basically, she hurt her left leg to the extent that she'd have required extensive stall rest and would have stressed her right leg/foot even more so we pretty much decided it was put her down now or put her down later. At the time we put her down in Feb, her right front foot sole was so thin you could feel the coffin bone and we knew if she had another big flare, it would descend through the sole. So at 31 years, we let her go.

Neither horse was expensive to manage and except for brief flares of a couple of days, neither was in pain most of the time. Lucky passed at 32 y.o. and Fetyszka passed at 31, so both lived full lives and knew they were loved and cared for. Only you can know what is right for your horse, so if the rotation/pain is severe enough, putting her down is certainly and option. You don't say how old she is, so I can't tell you what I might consider/try in your case, nor do you say how severe the rotation is, if any.

When you say 'early stages of founder', to me that means more of a laminitis flare up than that she actually foundered. Founder itself is usually pretty dramatic. Fetyszka's rotation was not considered terribly severe yet she went down and stayed down for 8 days. When she got up she was bedded on peat moss and then sand for over a month until she showed signs of being more comfortable in her stance.

Hope some of this helps you in your decision process.

Dreamcatcher Arabians is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
I need input JDUNCAN1991 Horse Health 4 11-10-2011 06:13 PM
Input wanted jshell24 Horse Grooming 4 02-17-2011 12:35 AM
Input please...... mvinotime Horse Health 6 03-07-2010 10:16 PM
Thanks for the Input jennifer Horse Health 12 02-09-2007 11:19 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome