Founder and donkey question - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-27-2011, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Founder and donkey question

Because of the crazy rainy season this year the horses did not have the usual gradual lead in to pasture. They had some but not as much as I would like. What should I look for as far and foundering? I am checking their feet daily.

The two baby donkeys (9mos) have had the same issue. When I checked their feet I was surprised to see that they had lost all the fir off the bottom 3inches of the legs!!! Is this from the wet ground or foundering? The paddock is being redone while they are at pasture so I don't have a lot of options. I gave them some hay in the field last night to try and help reduce the grass they are eating...
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-27-2011, 10:27 AM
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Check them for heat in the hooves, fast/strong digital pulses, rapid breathing, apparently lethargy, lameness in the fronts or all four, or a rocked back/toe-pointing stance.

Losing the feathering on the lower legs has nothing to do with founder. They don't have scratches or something, though, do they?
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-27-2011, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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thanks bubba. It is really hard to tell how the feet are doing because they are in a wet field. Its going to be hot this week so It starting the dry out. Both the gelding and the mare let us clean the feet and the frog doesn't seem swollen at all. Its a little warmer than I would like on heel(?) (the section of foot just above the back of the hoof). The mare will often stand with her one foot on her toe, but she isn't rocking back and forth on them.

The scratches.. still no clue though..
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-27-2011, 02:55 PM
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Do they stand like this?:

That stance is a tell-tale sign of founder/laminitis. If so, you should really have a qualified farrier come and look at them.

Are the patches of hair on the legs scabby? Given the rainy weather you have had, I would guess it is some type of fungal infection - scratches or mud fever There are many treatments available for this, Novalsan and MTG are some of the more popular ones.

If it's just the hair missing with no scabs or oozing, it may be that they have just shed their winter hair on their legs.

...Kind of hard to diagnose without a picture

Justin (qh/tb)
Boo (asb)
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post #5 of 6 Old 05-29-2011, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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I think you were right about the mud fever. I took some pics today and the fur is growing back. All the rain we had this spring has NOT been good for equine feet! the day I originally posted this there was NO fur at all!
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-29-2011, 11:11 PM
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Just quick reply cos gotta go & to a trim...

Rich pasture, muddy/soft environs are even more problematic to donks as to horses. They are really desert animals. You're already aware of the dangers of rich pasture obviously, which is great. Be aware that sugars build in grass during daylight hours, so it's safer to allow them night/early morning grazing & restrict them in the arvo where possible. Make sure they are getting low grade/low sugar hay, to reduce their grazing and make sure they aren't getting fat.

As for signs of laminitis, early signs may be subtle & go unrecognised, so it's important to manage to avoid it, rather than waiting to see what may. Signs such as hoof changes, stance, etc, mean the 'disease' has already progressed to a chronic & generally severe stage.

Loss of hair is likely mudfever. This is generally a fungal thing & you can reduce susceptibility by ensuring the donks are adequately supplemented for well balanced nutrition & their diet is low sugar/carbs.
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