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This is a discussion on founder? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    07-05-2010, 04:29 PM

Hi guys,
I recently just started my horses on pasture, about 5 hours a day for the past three days.. My 3 y/o before this has never been able to graze before this, and before I started putting them out I tried to slowly introduce him to it, first a half hour, then an hour over a period of a week before, being a worried mommy and all about him foundering.. Today I noticed a couple small bumps next to his coronary band, on all four feet. He wouldn't be starting to founder from only 5 hours of grazing would he? He's not standing back on his hinds, and I know that its in seldom cases that it occurs in the hind end as well, he dosn't look to have pain while walking, I lunged him last night and he was fine.. I could totally be overreacting, but in case it is something serious I want to be proactive.
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    07-05-2010, 07:37 PM
Is it bug bites on his legs? I don't think 5 hours could cause foundering. But it is ALWAYS better to be safe then sorry so I would keep watching him closely and see if any symptoms come up.
    07-05-2010, 08:31 PM
I'm not trying to add to your worry, but I just wanted to add some knowledge which I learned from my dvd's that I ordered from Pete Ramey.

Someone was doing research on foundered horses and it may have been Dr. Robert Bowker, but I don't know who for sure. I would have to go find that segment. Loosie may know who it was exactly.

Anyhow. He was studying the seperation of the epidermal and dermal lamina from horses that were on feed that caused laminitis/founder. He would disect the hooves like a week after the horses were fed a diet that caused seperation. Then he would continue moving up the days and kept studying them sooner and sooner. I think it came down to where he could dissect a hoof something like an hour after they were given rich feed and he would find seperation.

I'm not all that great at conveying the details, but what I'm only trying to say is that laminitis can occur only hours after being on rich feed. It doesn't take lots of time for it to develop. I think there's a good article on it somewhere on the internet. I'll see if I can find it if I don't already have it saved.

Also I wouldn't really know if what you are describing is laminitis or not. It's possible though, especially considering that it's on all four hooves at the coronet band. But I honestly wouldn't know, though I also wouldn't rule it out. You can also educate yourself about when the best times to let your horse graze to help you with being proactive. Check out this site. Basically the sugar levels in grass climb with drought and with the sun. So there is more sugar in grass at 6pm than there is at 6am because the sun has been out all day. And if the suns been out all week and it's been hot and there's been very little moisture the sugar levels are going to be way up too.
    07-05-2010, 08:42 PM
Well this is the article I was thinking of.

But I didn't notice that story in there about disecting hooves an hour after they were on lush pasture. Though I wasn't very thorough in skimming it. And it could of been Dr. Chris Pollit that did the study and not Dr. Bowker. I don't remember at the moment. I've been kinda itching to watch my dvd's again so if I hear that story soon I'll make sure to let ya know who it was.
    07-06-2010, 09:11 AM
I know all about founder and its causes.. I tend to over obsess about things, but hooves have always fascinated me, so I've done quite a bit of research about disorders and such.

If it was a case where I had just stuck him out in a field for all day I would instantly think founder, but knowing this, I gradually introduced him to it..I've put them out between 12 and 1 to 5 or so, it dosn't get particularly hot here, and one of the days it had been couldy/rainy..
Founder usually only occurs in the front feet, in extreme cases its in the hind. Its only two small bumps, same size all around the hoof, I also read somewhere that the rings are usually bigger at the heel.

Its funny how my mare can have instant access to grass, be out there for a week if I let her and she'd never founder.

I'd like to add that theres not a whole lot of edible items in their pasture, this year there seems to be a lot more plants that they wont eat.
    07-06-2010, 10:22 AM
That's not founder. They don't get bumps on their legs/feet when they're foundering.

I'd say it's either bug bites or he's gotten infected with some sort of fungus, like ringworm.

My gray gelding gets a fungus almost every year when it gets warm, and it's not that hard to get rid of.
    07-06-2010, 05:43 PM
Rings do form on hooves when foundering?

Why would bug bites cause bumps to form on hooves?

He's been exposed to more bugs now than he has been at his breeders.. we tend to get ALOT of black of blackflies in the summer.
    07-06-2010, 05:51 PM
A sudden change in feed can also affect the appearence of the hoof, without it being laminitis. Is there heat in the area?
    07-07-2010, 11:18 AM
Not the last time I checked.. will again before I go back to work.

I did take him off hi fat hi fiber when I started putting them out on pasture, would that have made the difference?
    07-07-2010, 11:34 AM
Honestly I don't know exactly how much/ how long/ what type of feed switch will cause that, or how long it takes to show up in their hooves, but I have heard of that as a reason for founder like rings on non foundered feet. Hopefully it's no big deal. I think no heat is a good sign.

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