I cannot recall how to tell if a horse has foundered in the past. This gelding pony that I am buying is limping. She claims that he got out with the other ponys and might have hurt his leg, but she had from the start said that he was light on his front legs. She said she thinks that he had foundered at one point, but I am not sure. His hoofs are in awful condition, they are cracked and so long, im not sure when the last time the poor thing had them trimmed. When I lifted it to pick it out (who knows when the last time that had happened as well...) you could see the natural curve of where the hoof wall "should" be, and it was overgrown about 2 inchs from there. I will put a picture in here, and you can kind of see his hoof, and tell how bad it is. But I thought I remembered there being a way you could tell if a horse had foundered, like a hole in the outside wall of the hoof, or a ring....am I thinking of something different? Its been so long!
Also, what is a good way to recondition a horse that has a limp like that? I am going to go out and pick up some hoof conditioner for the cracks, is there anything else you recommend? Im going to have the vet do a thurough exam on him and im sure she will be able to point me in the right direction, but I thought id ask yall as well! Thanks!!!
You can only see his right hoof in this one, which is bad too..but the left one is the really bad one. When I went to pick out his right hoof, he started to lay down after a mintue, im guessing its from the pressure on his left hoof, poor guy
Here you can see the inside of his left hoof
You can really see how bad the left one is in this picture...
From the looks of his hooves, he hasn't foundered in the past...he's foundering NOW. The curve on the surface of the hoof represents where the toe of the coffin bone has dropped, and from the what I can tell, it's fairly severe. Once the damage is done, it cannot be repaired, only subdued with proper trimming and shoeing. Also, don't try to "recondition" this horse. He shouldn't be moving at all, if you can help it. Preferably, he should have something soft, like foam, strapped to the solar surface of his feet with duck tape, until the vet and farrier arrive.
I sure hope someone can correct me if I'm wrong about this, but in the mean time, you need to have an emergency vet and farrier visit for this horse. He needs a lot of work.
Yes, talk with the post vet. She will help you out. Also contact a GOOD farrier immediately. See if a local vet can recommend someone. In this case it isn't about the money it is about the quality of care. The farrier will probably give you the best advise on what to do with his hoofs and he needs a trim anyways.
1. Is there any heat or hot spots when you touch around his hoofs?
2. I see he is standing acquired. This can be from his great need for a trim or from a possible founder. If he has founded he will be stand with is legs straight out and in front of him and he will not want to talk. But he could stand like that for comfort for needing a trim.
3. Does he have a fever or appear to be in sever pain. I know you said he is limping but it can be from many things.
This could be founder or as I'm sure you are figuring from my post, it could be a need for a trim badly. Another sign of founder in his past is rings around the hoof. If he is just in need of a good trim it could help the limp and everything fairly fast.
I have seen much worse hoofs than this. Don't panic and talk with an expert ASAP.
He's limping, won't stand, trying to keep the weight off his front feet, head is down... sounds like founder to me too. This is URGENT -- must be dealt with ASAP.
To recondition him... get his hooves looked after and give him a rest in the field (not in the stall). When he is happy, not limping, not so sore - do ground work with him and move up from there. This is going to take some time. Hang that saddle up for a few weeks and get to know your guy in the meantime.
I agree with all about advice...and I would have someone out there NOW, but he is not in my care untill saturday, and I am trying to get ahold of the farrier now to see if he can meet me out there saturday or sunday, and the post vet is going to meet me out there to do his coggins and to take a look at him for me.
Other than limping he seems fine, I felt his legs and his hoofs and I did not feel any heat or any swelling. Other than when I was trying to pick out his other hoof, he was standing fine, it was just when he had been putting pressure on just that one foot that he started going down. And he doesnt always favor that hoof, as you can see in one of the pictures, he had the right foot cocked and was putting pressure on his left (the really bad side).
We have not ridden him yet, and I will not be having the kids ride him untill I see no signs of a limp and his hoofs have been corrected.
To give you an idea of how this lady is, she is not even sending a halter along with him :( So really, it doesnt matter to me what his problems are, I just want to get him out of there and with a family that is going to love him and take good care of him and at least try to nurse him back to health. If he ends up being a pet that all we can do is love from the ground....well, I am prepaired for that!
Thanks guys for the advise and I will update you when we see the farrier and the vet this weekend!
You sound like you're going to provide an excellent home for him. I'm glad he's getting out of the seemingly uneducated and dangerous hands that he's in now. And yes, I certainly agree about not riding. Any movement on his part, with the founder, will only increase the damage. Good luck getting him home and the vet/farrier out to see him. Let us know how it goes.
If he is foundered then I would do a ton of research on it. They have been coming out with some very interesting research.
There are even cases where horses have made full recoveries and are now sound and riding with the proper care. In most of these cases they have gone with barefoot trimming, changing the diet and keeping them moving. Here are some really interesting articles with before and after pictures.
Yep, he's foundering - not just laminitis, but full blown founder with a heap of rotation, by the look of it. Poor boy is very lucky to have found you!
I second www.hoofrehab.com & barefoothorse as an excellent 1st source of info. If you're in the states these site owners can refer you to some good hoof care practitioners too. If you're not in the states, look up your local barefoot association - but unfortunately, as with all else, there are good bad & otherwise farriers out there, so do your homework & try to get an idea of what to expect & question the hell out of any trimmer you get.
I personally wouldn't bother with topical 'hoof conditioners', regardless of the health of a horse's feet, other than allowing them to get wet regularly, but ensuring they're generally kept dry. I would however, be using internal 'hoof conditioners' such as good, balanced nutrition.
There are a few causes of founder. Obesity is related to founder because it causes insuline resistance - bit like type 2 diabetes (is that what cushings is??). The insuline resistance causes a breakdown of the laminae(connective tissue between hoof wall and the internal hoof). As with diabetes, it's very difficult or impossible to 'cure', but with careful management of diet, can be controlled. Mechanical causes of founder(bad trimming, neglect, etc) are generally not too difficult(but usually tedious) to rehab with diligent care.