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This is a discussion on Founder?? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Xrays to determine laminitis
  • Equine lily pads for laminitis

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  • 1 Post By Cherie

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    09-23-2012, 06:53 PM
Exclamation Founder??

This morning I had the farrier out to trim my girls feet,I had noticed a change in my little mustangs attitude,she had been laying around alot and staying by herself,so I had him check and sure enough he said she has possible begining of founder or laminitis and she's sore on all four feet. He did her trim and she was a little lame the first few steps then was better but didnt want to walk but would with encouragement. I have her in a pen with no grass and only hay and her water bucket and her friends. Are there any other steps I can take to help her recover and make her as comfy and in as little pain as possible? This is my first real problem I've ever delt with with any of my horses so I just want her to feel better as fast as possible. I know this can be a long process but any suggestions or help would be great. Thanks
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    09-23-2012, 06:59 PM
I had to put shoes in my mustangs front feet to make her more comfy after she foundered and my farrier said she will need them at least six more months ( she foundered before I got her ) but if she is in alot of pain I would call a vet for x rays to see the degree of founder and most likely pain meds
    09-23-2012, 07:26 PM
Super Moderator
Have you called a Vet out?

Is she obese?

Did she get laminitis on grass, eating grain or just plain getting too fat?

If she is lame on all 4, you may have more going on than simple laminitis.

Are her feet hot now? If so, most Vets would prescribe Bute as an anti-inflamatory to help limit the permanent damage. Again, a Vet should be involved as this can be a life-threatening condition.
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    09-23-2012, 07:49 PM
Originally Posted by Cherie    
Have you called a Vet out?

Is she obese?

Did she get laminitis on grass, eating grain or just plain getting too fat?

If she is lame on all 4, you may have more going on than simple laminitis.

Are her feet hot now? If so, most Vets would prescribe Bute as an anti-inflamatory to help limit the permanent damage. Again, a Vet should be involved as this can be a life-threatening condition.
Shes not obese but she could lose some weight she came to me overweight. She got it from being on pasture 24-7 while we are building our barn. She's not lame on all 4 yet just sore. And her feet don't feel hot maybe a few degrees more than her body but not anything major. Im planning on calling the vet tomorrow to see how severe everything is and what they recommend.
    09-23-2012, 07:53 PM
Green Broke
Oopsie to the OP, you were posting while I was typing so some of what I said is redundant:)

Ditto having the vet evaluate her. If you can afford the X-rays, get her X-rayed.

If she foundered on grass, it's a sure bet she is headed for insulin resistance. Blood tests to show her insulin and glucose levels should be helpful in that regard.

Regardless of whether the founder is grain, mechanical, or grass induced she needs to be taken completely off grain due to the high starch content of grain.

Bute does help on the short-term but IMO, it is not the answer past ten days as it can cause ulcers, like others have stated.

One of my horses foundered in early March because I didn't get the grazing muzzle on him in time. He was diagnosed as insulin resistant two years ago and has "toyed" with laminitis every spring and fall since then.

He rotated 5 degrees on the RF and 8 - 9 on the LF. I turn him out every day in a grazing muzzle and EasyCare's Boa trail riding boots, with lily pads that I make from 1/2" thick work out mats.

He's been wearing those boots on his front end every day since March, without issue. However I am retired, therefore home to watch him in case he would flip a boot but he hasn't yet.

My vet approved the boots and lily pads which is another reason why it might be best to get your vet involved. Plus, if you do blood work, all these things will give you a baseline in case there are future events.

As far as something for the feed pan -- again absolutely no grain. Ration Balancers are great as they will give her all the vitamins/minerals she needs. You can buy Standlees timothy hay pellets for treats instead of horse cookies, etc.

Good luck:)
    09-23-2012, 08:54 PM
For some reason the formatting's gone funny on this site for me, so I can't 'like' Cherie's & Walkin's advice. But agree. Except that if she's lame in all 4 not likely just laminitis. To clarify... Metabolic/systemic laminitis doesn't discriminate between the feet & does indeed affect all four. But mechanical laminitis(from physical stress, etc) can affect only fronts, and commonly back feet are much healthier, fronts already compromised, which is why the symptoms are commonly worse in front feet.

Sounds like it's quite acute, but hopefully you've caught it early & her feet are otherwise in good nick so she hasn't/won't actually founder(as in mechanical changes that can follow the inflammation).

Yes OP, the first thing I'd do is ring a good equine vet. When they x-ray her, get them to mark her feet, particularly point of frog & dorsal wall.

In the meantime, I would ensure she has soft/yielding footing, or tape foam or polystyrene to her feet, to provide further comfort. Do not try to force her to walk anywhere unless absolutely necessary at the moment. Hosing her feet if they're still hot/inflamed can help her comfort & reduce the damage. I'd also feed her only soaked & drained(to leach out sugars, if it isn't low NSC grass) hay for now & treat her as an insulin resistant horse, at least until proven otherwise. Because unfortunately sugars are not lower in hay than they are in grass.

I would definitely not shoe a laminitic/foundered horse. Peripherally loading the hoof walls when the laminae are already so stressed/compromised is not a good idea. The walls need to be relieved from pressure, not put under more. But the horse may need protection/support for her feet once she gets over the acute stage. I would suggest boots with foam pads, Vettec Sole Guard or casting(Trinity seems to be quite experienced in that) as 3 good options. Of course, there are a couple of different schools of thought & many vets will recommend shoes. So it's a matter of doing your homework & learning about the different options & what theories are behind them(eg. Shoeing does usually have a quick palliative effect)

Some sources for further info...
    09-24-2012, 12:37 AM
The best advice on founder I've found is here...
Also don't hesitate to get the vet - founder is EXTREMELY painful and serious. Make sure she's getting plenty of SALT in her diet and NOT JUST A SALT LICK. 3tb a day for average size hack.Good quality hay a must but make sure there is NO CLOVER or LUCERNE (alfalfa) in it. And absolutely DO NOT put shoes on her - get a good barefoot farrier. Hope this helps
    09-24-2012, 06:35 AM
I second Loosies suggestion of polystyrene. You can often see instant relief when you do this.
Here's a good article for you. Also investigate more of the articles on this site as it will help you avoid problems in the future.

Shoes can be applied but not until the initial inflamation has settled and only if the horse is still having pain problems. In that situation a bar shoe and pad or soft pour in can help immensly. Another alternative is boots. These can be a litte problematical in moist conditions though.
    09-24-2012, 12:41 PM
The first thing you need to do is pull her off any and all grass......put her in a gravel paddock and see if you can find some low sugar hay and get her to lose a bit of weight a horse that is foundering should be on the lean side...not on the chunky side. No grain, pellets or beet pulp.

Super Nova

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