Laminitis and Founder

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Laminitis and Founder

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  • Wrapping hooves for laminits
  • Horses with laminitis should the be stall bound

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    06-20-2008, 12:06 PM
Laminitis and Founder

Gem had a vet appointment at 9am today. There was heat in both front feet and a lot of sensitivity in his left hoof. He wouldn't pick up either of his front feet. Last time the vet was out, it was only his right front. So the vet thinks that he has some form of laminitis :( We're going to be taking radiographs on Monday when the farrier comes out so we can have a game plan on how to trim his feet. The vet also said that his coffin bone could either be rotating or sinking

So until then, he's on stall rest with no grain and only hay. We are going to hose his two hooves for about 20 minutes each to try and alleviate the heat and hopefully the pain too.

I brought up barefoot trimming yesterday to Tom and he wasn't really all for it, but after doing some research, he says that's the way to go (Yay!) So we're looking into getting a barefoot trimmer for Gem and Vega, but mostly Gem for right now.

I don't know if i'm more upset that he may have laminitis and may founder, or the fact that before we bought Gem, Spring Valley did absolutely nothing for him!

If anyone has had a horse that had laminitis and/or founder, can you please share you experience? Thanks so much
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    06-20-2008, 12:18 PM
I'll keep my fingers crossed for you...I've only had first-hand experience with one mare who had chronic laminitis and it was not fun. At all.
    06-20-2008, 12:27 PM
Thanks Sara :)

This morning was not fun at all. Hopefully though we'll get him to start feeling better, and then just take it day by day. Even if he's only comfortable with just walking around, we'll be fine with it.

*sigh* Poor Gem :(
    06-20-2008, 02:38 PM
Green Broke
Aww poor gemmy :( I hope he feels better. Give him a hug for me
    06-20-2008, 02:44 PM
If you could let him move around and not be stall bound, that would really help, believe it or not. Don't force him to exercise, but just let him decide where he wants to go, if at all. Spread his hay around where he has to move more, but sharp turns will be the most painful, another reason to let him out of the stall. Soft footing would be most comfortable.

Since you can't get the farrier out until next Monday, do you have any kind of foam cushion you could sacrifice? Like a garening knee pad...cut it to the shape of your horse's feet, and set it back just behind the toe of the hoof and use vet wrap/ and duct tape the heck out of it and see if that doesn't make a big difference in comfort. If nothing else, it won't hurt anything. It will take the pressure off that sensitive white line and distribute the weight in the rest of his foot, and help minimize rotation of the coffin bone. And let him have turn out! If he's comfortable enough to move..esp with the pads, let him.

If he has shoes on now..PULL THEM OFF! If you can. Even just getting those off will take the some of the stress off his white line (which is what is compromised and will "let go" of the coffine bone). Then pad his feet as mentioned. The sooner they are trimmed short on the toe, the better. Trimming it all the way to sole level with a strong bevel will take the stress off that white line and minimize damage and best of all, make him more comfortable.

Your vet is SURE it's laminitis, right? So the pulling shoes and padding WILL help in the meantime. Acute phase laminitis (the most intensly painful part) lasts 24-72 hours from onset, and that's when the bone starts to rotate. (the latent stage (period from exposure to cause to onset of pain) can last 24-72 hours) so figuring out what cuased it can be the hardest. After the acute phase is the recovery, where the bounding pulse and heat is gone, but he residual pain of a rotated bone is present. So being proactive NOW is most important, Monday will be too late to prevent much, it will be all corrective work at that point.

Also, (in my experience) keeping the foundered horse on a 2 week trim cycle for a little while will help. As the wall grows out, the leverage force can encourage the bone to keep rotating. But if you keep that leverage in check, the bone reattatches as the hoof grows down, and essentially re-rotates back. It's a bit more specific than that, but there's a very good chance you can fix any founder, espcially if you act quickly. I have worked on a BUNCH of foundered horses from freshly rotated to years of problems and all were helped.
    06-20-2008, 03:04 PM
The vet isn't 100% sure that it's laminitis but that is what he's leaning towards. He said he'll need radiographs to determine (i'm assuming he's talking about the location of the coffin bone)

The pads seem like a great idea, but he refuses to let you pick up his front hooves.
He reared up and got out of his halter somehow when the vet tried to pick up his leg. It was rather scary.

He has a lot of shavings for padding in his stall. I understand what you mean by to let him out, but Tom isn't 100% willing to go against the doctor's advice.

Gem does not have shoes on. The vet first mentioned corrective shoeing so Tom read into it and told me it basically gives the horse a false sense of it being normal because of the shoe. That's why he decided to go with a barefoot trimmer.

We are going back up there to talk to the barn owner and to hose his hooves with cold water.

The only places to turn him out is the current one he lives in that is half dirt/half grass. It's pretty large. There are other smaller places but its all full of grass. And since the vet said no grass, we don't think those would be good.

Barefoothooves, why couldn't you live in NJ? I'd have you out today to help him
    06-20-2008, 03:31 PM
Well, the vet should be pretty sure if it's laminitis, that's just the inflammation part. Founder is when the rotation occurs, and that's probably what he's not sure about. You can have inflammation without significant rotation. Since he reared up over picking up his foot, I'd say that's a pretty good indicator of pain!

You're probably better off then keeping him up with no grass if you think it was a food issue. But TRY to get those pads on him. Just cut out a round 4 by 4 inches (two rounds, actually. LOL) and square off the end of one (that will be what goes across behind the toe area). This will sound hokey, but try it. First, get him out of the sawdust, if you can, so your tape doesn't get covered in it.

Fold some tape over on one of the rounds, so it's sticky on both sides. Then whichever foot is most "owey" try to pick THAT one up. If you get it up, just for a second, slap that sticky round on his sole, don't worry about accuracy! Let him have his foot back. Then see if he'll stand still and let you pick up the other foot. If he will, this one you don't have to double side tape , just place it where it needs to be and swoop swoop with vet wrap to hold it temporarily. (have you ever wrapped a foot before with guaze and vetwrap?) same method for securing this pad) . Let him rest.

You can either go ahead and work on the other foot now, and get the pad in it's proper place and temporarily secure it or continue on the same foot. Just let him have frequent breaks. Now you tape the crap out of it. The vetwrap can used underneath in a thin layer so the tape won't stick to him. That's all it's for, really. The duct tape does the holding and protecting. This won't hold for long if he gets really active or if it gets wet, just put them back on if they come off. Its' a temporary comfort measure, not permanant.

Key points: 1. Let him have his feet back as often as needed, even if it means you pick them up 100 times to get it all done. Switching sides helps.

2. The pad should be just beind the white line at the toe, so the toe isnt' bearing full weigth, the sole and rest of the foot is.

if he's comfy enough to move witht he pads on, and you can't turn him out in the pasture, try to let him in an arena or round pen for a little while (if there's minimum grass, of course). Could even try handwalking him some on dirt/grass. Let him go slow and try to keep turns wide and slow. You may have to readjust the pads after.

I wish I COULD come help!!!
    06-20-2008, 04:15 PM
I've never wrapped a hoof. Only a dog's paw and Vega's tail.

How do you wrap a hoof?

His hoof is inflamed, very sensitive and both are hot. I believe he did say he has some form of laminitis, but you are right about the coffin bone :) (it was very early and my brain was still half asleep)

We're not sure if it was a food issue. He's been like this for a while (since before we got him too) so it's probably been going on for some time, but we are thinking with the move and more room to run, it made it show more. Not sure if it's possible, but it's something that crossed our minds.

I'll see how he is when we go up there. Hopefully he'll be willing to pick up his feet just for a few seconds.

Thanks so much for all of this! It's better than any website I went on :)
    06-20-2008, 04:20 PM

There's a link to wrapping a hoof injury. I know you aren't covering a puncture, but same method basically, and this had pictures, that I don't .

Good luck with the hoof wrap!!

Edited for spelling and to add...just need to follow the vetwrapping steps/tape steps so you can see how to wrap it around the hoof.
    06-20-2008, 04:25 PM
Oooh, and use MORE duct tape than they show. LOL It will hold up a lot better. :roll: I'm getting spacey. LOL And I noticed my horrible grammar and spelling. Sheesh. Sorry about all the errors!

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