Gas pockets? Haven't heard that description before. Tealamutt's right that 'founder' generally means 'rotation' of the bone inside the capsule - or the capsule around the bone, whichever way you want to look at it. It can also mean 'sinking' in the hoof - hence the term 'founder' - with or without rotation tho. This is far more common - eg 'flat footed' horses. Founder with rotation may be due to more mechanical effects such as high heels. The bottom of P3 should also be close to ground parallel.
The 'gas pockets' you're seeing are separation & likely infection between the wall & laminae. The wedge shaped solid section between the wall & P3(coffin bone) is lamellar wedge - laminar material which has filled in the void that's been created.
Rotation is definitely not likely to be irreversible, altho bone loss due to serious founder may be. Full rehabilitation is definitely possible in most cases, given the right care. As the cause of initial laminitis which can lead to the condition is metabolic - related to diet / nutrition problems, ensuring that is put right is no. 1 on the list. Trimming the horse so as to relieve the disconnected walls and allow strong connections to form & grow down without being torn is important, as is lowering heels to bring P3 more ground parallel, and providing *comfortable* support for the sole & frog(as with boots/pads, so that they can take a supporting role - actually they need to do more than that while the walls are too damaged to support anything. Free movement & lots of exercise are other important factors.
I do not *generally* agree with giving horses grain or starchy feeds, especially if they have or are prone to laminitis, especially if it can't be given over at least 3 or more feeds daily. But while grass/hay is great for providing the bulk, it's unlikely to provide necessary balanced nutrition. Therefore feeding a good quality complete supplement is important. Giving it to her in a little lucerne chaff or such won't hurt.
Last edited by loosie; 09-15-2009 at 11:02 AM.