Foundered Feet - what can I do? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 05-11-2010, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2010
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Foundered Feet - what can I do?

A neighbor's friend gave us a Rocky Mountain mare, and her little buddy who is a 4 yo miniature donkey. He's great! But, he's foundered at some point in his short little life. His poor feet just look painful to me.

I was able to lift his feet this weekend and take a look, but I didn't want to hurt him and more or less just wanted to see if he'd let me lift them.

Is there anything a farrier can do for his feet? Does anyone have experience with this? I'm assuming a donkey's hooves aren't too different from horse's - but I could be wrong.

They are chipped badly and turned up on the ends. He doesn't seem like he's in pain, has a good temperment and is generally a happy donkey (as far as I can tell). I just want him to be as healthy as he can be.

Last edited by carrotsticks; 05-11-2010 at 11:40 PM. Reason: didn't finish post
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post #2 of 3 Old 05-12-2010, 12:05 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: North dakota
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It really depends on how old the horse is how severe the founder is and what caused the founder for one. But a knowledgable farrier can do wonders for him. One thig the farrier can do, is when trimming him to be shoed, the farrier should lower the heel as much as possible to balance the foot and take the weight off the toe, generally where separation starts. Lowering the toe will also put pressure on the deep flexor tendon, with pulls on the coffin bone, and will help reset the coffiing bone in place. The main factor when dealing with a foundered horse is to take the pressure off of the toe where the wall has begun to separate from the sensitive laminae.

As an ower a few rules to follow with a foundered horse is, don't allow them to eat lush grass if they aren't use to it, generally most horse do not need grain, but owners tend to think they do, and don't overwork the horse after they have been freshly trimmed or been off for a long time.

As to the difference in donkey feet as to horse feet. Donkeys and mules tend to have more club type feet then horses, so thhey do need to be treated different.

I wish you good luck with your horse/donkey! :)
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post #3 of 3 Old 05-12-2010, 09:45 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Gatesville, TX
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My Farrier has been working with my neighbors severely foundered mustang..her feet were pretty bad. Due to a injury of the owner, she was pretty much out to pasture 24/7 during his recovery and as a result severe founder of his mustang. My farrier took a different approach, the mustang has never had no shoes. Our farrier felt that would not help the healing process anyway if she were to recover. She trimmed her feet just like a normal barefoot trim..ensuring she did cut the toe back (foundered horses feet do tend to curl in the front and give them a snow shoe look as my farrier calls it) to a normal length/shape. And the mustangs toes were kept long as past farriers felt that it would help keep the pressure off her toes. It actually encourages them to rest on the heels more which my farrier felt was not a good thing. So after I think its 4 trims now...her founder is correcting itself. 2 hoofs are showing a almost total improvement and the other 2 are getting there. IN the beginning the farrier felt that the mustang was probably going to have to be put down because her Founder was so bad, but with keeping her on a normal trim schedule (8 weeks) and trimming her hooves with a normal barefoot trim..she was almost shocked when she came out last week to see how much improvement had been made. She feels that she has started to reverse the rotation of the coffin bone, and the mustang is feeling/looking better than ever. ALso after researching, I asked the owners to cut back on sweet feed(she isnt a hard keeper) and regulate her grazing time so she isnt out on pasture for long periods. This last trim was actually the first time she showed any real tenderness afterwards..I think when her feet were at their worst she had built up a tolerance for it. The tenderness only lasted a few days and now she is back to normal. Her owners are amazed, she actually runs in the pasture with mine now which in the past was a struggle for her. I think everyone has different approaches but this has worked out very well.
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