Has my new horse foundered? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 44 Old 04-06-2011, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Has my new horse foundered?

Purchased a mare, Bailey, in December in seemingly good health and a copy of a pre-purchase exam was given to me by the previous owner. She was somewhat underweight, so I went to the local feed store where they suggested feeding her Purina Strategy and Amplify. I followed the feeding directions as per package suggestions. In addition to the Purina feed, I've been giving her 1 green scoop Stablemix and 2 flakes of hay per day (1 3-way and 1 grass). I've already checked with Purina to make sure I didn't over feed and they don't think I did...but thought I'd provide all the details as someone else might see a mistake that I haven't! Lastly, she broke out in hives about a week or so after we brought her home. Our vet came out and said it wasn't really hives, but an allergic reaction to Oakmites. He gave her a shot to relieve the itching and also a rabies shot. I bring this up as I've read that there may be a link to vaccinations and founder. On to the symptoms...within a month (January) she was showing signs of tenderness in her front hooves...mostly when she moves from standing still. Her steps are short and it looks like it hurts when she turns left or right. Kinda like an old woman getting out of bed. Once she's moving, she looks fine. Oh and when she's standing still she will occasionally shift her weight back and forth on her front legs..she'll also stand with one leg forward, but her rear legs are not tucked under like the classic founder pose. I've had a trainer and a vet look at her casually(the vet just happened to be there and kindly took a quick look at her) and use a hoof tester on her and she showed only mild tenderness in her heel. They both felt it could be the beginning of Navicular and not Founder. They suggested Natural Balance Shoes which I had our farrier put on her about 3 weeks ago. At this time he noticed a few fever rings on her front hooves, but couldn't really determine the cause. At the time, he didn't think she'd foundered either. She's been off and on with this for the last 3 months. I've ridden her and she always seems fine, however I've noticed that she'd prefer to lope than trot which is odd, but I don't know her that well which is making this even harder. In the meantime I'm waiting for the vet to call so that we can x-ray for Founder, but I just don't know if I'm wasting my time going in this direction...Any ideas? One last tidbit, I have given her Butte on her bad days...which seems to really help her.
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post #2 of 44 Old 04-06-2011, 08:46 PM
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first i HATE HATE HATE ALL purina products.
next, i'd have a vet out to look at her and xray her if this has gone on long term before it becomes acute. sounds now like it could be chronic laminitis rather than an acute founder.

rings on the hooves are like rings on a tree - not JUST because of fevers or founder but can be from stress, diet change, weather/footing change, shoeing change, etc.

it sounds to me like your mare is uncomfortable - i'd talk to a vet about xrays and changing your feed regimen ASAP to a better feed (done gradually under the advice of a vet).

trust me - we had to do a hoof resection on a severe founder case at the rescue and the horse didn't make it - his chronic laminitis (that we were taking measures to treat already!) went acute and from there, it's a whole slew of complications.

good luck and please let us know what your vet says.

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post #3 of 44 Old 04-06-2011, 08:55 PM
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If the x-rays due come back as founder, here is a resource for corrective trimming.
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post #4 of 44 Old 04-06-2011, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks CJ --- This is helpful. You know I've always just used Stablemix and grass hay for the most part, but trusted my feed store as they've been pretty good about steering me in the right direction. I'll pull her off the Strategy right away. I had already taken her off the Amplify as she'd gained enough weight. No one has mentioned that these feeds could be an issue. I'm keeping her in a dry pasture too as I was just starting to let her graze on rye grass for about an hour a day, but I don't want to take chances until I know for sure. I'll post again once I see our vet...geez I wish they'd call!!!
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post #5 of 44 Old 04-06-2011, 09:41 PM
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Hmm, she tested positive for heel pain? Does she have contracted heels? thrush? Was she shod the whole time you have had her so far? That would be my first and foremost check. That is where id look first and get a second farriers opinion probably along with a real complete vet check and some X rays.

Id suspect greening up grass and low grade laminitus first and foremost at this time of the year. Eliminate that completely first and see if she gets better in a few days before you scrap your whole feed program that was working since you said she was back to proper weight no?

Purina is not terrible (sure its not the best you can buy but it definately isnt terrible) and I seriously doubt has anything to do with this from the description unless she got into the feed room and gorged which isnt the case...Some horses do fabulous on it and they have several brands of feed that are actually really good. Ultium being one.

Last edited by Trinity3205; 04-06-2011 at 09:48 PM.
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post #6 of 44 Old 04-06-2011, 11:41 PM
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Well, I sure hope she's ok. We feed strategy, as in my area it's some of the better food I can put my hands on, and my guys look and do awesome.
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post #7 of 44 Old 04-07-2011, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Trinity, thx for your input. She has been shod the whole time and it was only mild tenderness in her heels and no thrush. I'm taking her into the vet on Tuesday for x-rays to determine if there's been any rotation and the he is going to do an exam as well. This is the same vet that took a look at her for me in February. This way, we have a baseline to work with. Should have taken her in sooner, but we pretty much had ruled out founder our laminitis. For now I've pulled her off the Strategy and am sticking to grass hay and Stablemix. I contacted the previous owner, who got in contact with the woman who owned her before her and she said that she could not feed Bailey straight alfalfa...never heard of any problems with lameness associated with alfalfa before. We did have a couple of bales of straight alfalfa here, but we mixed them with the grass and oat...I'm not big on alfalfa. If you've heard anything about alfalfa causing founder or laminitis, please let me know!!
Your advice was helpful and this will give me piece of mind one way or the other.
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post #8 of 44 Old 04-07-2011, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks cakemom---Bailey looks fabulous, so I know the Strategy worked for her, but maybe her system is fragile and I've been killing her with kindness. Now that she has enough weight, I'll keep her off of Strategy until we get x-rays next week.
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post #9 of 44 Old 04-08-2011, 02:52 AM
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I'd check out some info on natural barefoot hoofcare. diet plays a part but all these hoof issues can be fixed and much easier than most people think. horse shoes and the "corrective" shoeing that leave a tall heel force the coffin bone down into the foot and cause a lot of problems for many horses. the short steps and tender hoofs make me think i'd look there first. You seem very aware of your horse i don't see how she would have foundered and you wouldn't know... i think it's pretty obvious when that happens.....
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post #10 of 44 Old 04-08-2011, 02:55 AM
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PS i feed Strategy and a sweet feed mixed plus pasture and my girls are doing great on it. My arab was 200lb underweight when i bought her and shes looking really great now after 4 months on the strategy /sweetfeed mix. I was under the impression it ws a good feed strange since i don't like Purina products for my dogs at all....
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