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post #1 of 16 Old 04-26-2011, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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Severe Founder

Pickles is a pony my boss (owner of the stable I work at) bought at the auction on Good Friday. She felt bad for him because his feet hurt so bad he was laying down. He was originally in the kill pen, but she wasn't there early enough to buy him so we waited around until the guy who bought him showed up. She ended up getting him for $100.
Since we've brought him to stable, I haven't seen him lay down since. He was actually running around in the indoor arena! Very awkwardly, I might add...
The farrier came out yesterday, and he was surprised he could even walk let alone run. He said he has never seen a horse's feet that bad. He also said it'll probably take about 4 years until he'll walk normally again.
The stable has sand paddocks, and we've been feeding him only grass hay. So it's not a problem keeping him there, but I know some people would think it would be better to put him down. I just don't think he's at that point. Like I've said, I haven't seen him lay down since we've brought him to the stable. He's either been in the indoor or a heavily bedded stall since he's been here. You wouldn't even know he had a problem until you look at his feet. What would you do?

This picture was taken right after he got his feet trimmed. Sorry, it's a little blurry and at a weird angle, it was taken with a phone. Unfortunately, I don't have a before picture. I'll try to take better ones Wednesday, but you get an idea of what his hind feet look like. He pretty much walks on his heels.

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post #2 of 16 Old 04-26-2011, 01:55 AM
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I would find a competent barefoot trimmer that knew hoof function and how to achieve it.

I decided to learn about the hoof as much as I could until I felt satisfied. And I prefer Pete Ramey and what/how he teaches.

In one of his videos in the, "Under the Horse" set, he trims a foundered pony that has long ski like hooves similar to the ones in these youtube videos below. His site is Pete Ramey hoof care laminitis founder horse navicular disease thrush equine foot development farrier

Here's some videos of other people on youtube using various barefoot trims to rehabilitate foundered ponies.

Truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Second it is violently opposed. Third it is accepted as self evident.
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post #3 of 16 Old 04-26-2011, 11:00 AM
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If the pony is happy, eating well, and the farrier knows his stuff, then he should be able to recover fully, hopefully in less time than 4 years. You might think about putting him on a good hoof supplement and something like Quiessence to help him better utilize the sugars in his diet. Once they founder, they're more prone to it happening again.
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post #4 of 16 Old 04-26-2011, 11:05 AM
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If you don't have the considerable money and time it will take to rehab him, I would put him down now.

But if you want to go for it....

Get radiographs of his feet from a vet who specializes in lameness. Find what farrier the vet recommends--or have your farrier come along for the appointment. Do whatever sort of hoof thing they recommend, be it boots or pads or specialized shoeing or whatever. Manage his diet closely, too, and be prepared for lifelong maintenance. And schedule the vet exam sooner rather than later....time is of the essence in these things.
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post #5 of 16 Old 04-26-2011, 12:46 PM
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I found thid page interesting. It also made me sick a bit... Treating Founder (Chronic Laminitis) Without Shoes--Home Page

I have a pony like that, though it's not so bad as your bosses pony. Make sure he eats right kind of food, it helps if you wet his hay for few hours, that way sugars (that are so dangerous for him) go out. Make sure he has vitamins, minerals because he won't get them with hay... Supplements would be helpful, like luvstoride said. Farrier should trim him really often, radiographs would be very helpful for him, because farrier will see how pony's bone is rotated and he will be able to trim it best way. We didn't get radiographs for our little guy, because we don't need him to work, just to keep company to mare. But the progress would be much better if we did.
Soft surfaces are the best for foundered horses, there is a huge difference when mine is walking on hard or soft ground.
If farrier says he will be able to get him fine and if your boss has the time it will take, then keep him. Be careful that he won't get another laminitis attack. And don't hesitate to put him down if he will be in pain.


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post #6 of 16 Old 04-26-2011, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by bubba13 View Post
If you don't have the considerable money and time it will take to rehab him, I would put him down now.
Sadly, Bubba is right. If the owner isn't prepared to put the time and money into this rehab, the most humane thing to do would be to either put him down or go through the process of finding someone who WOULD rehab him.

I am a barefoot trimmer and have worked on hooves like this. I have a client with a pony who appears to be in the same boat as this one. The mare foundered several years ago but her feet were never properly cared for. She is way past the episode, but has severe hoof deformities (extremely stretched white line, flat soles and heels that grow very rapidly). The owner is unable to have me out to trim the every 2-3 weeks that this pony needs, and she wants to give her away.

It's great that he is moving -- this is the first step to healing. An experienced, reputable barefoot trimmer will do a lot to help this little guy out. A horse replaces the entire hoof capsule with new growth every nine months to one year, so with proper trimming and care he will definitely not take four years to grow a nice foot.

There's a list here, but as I live in Canada I can't vouch for anyone in your area. Perhaps someone on here knows a trimmer in Indiana?

The Horse's Hoof: Professional Trimmers List

Last edited by Magaidh; 04-26-2011 at 12:50 PM.
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post #7 of 16 Old 04-26-2011, 12:54 PM
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post #8 of 16 Old 04-26-2011, 01:39 PM
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A lot of ponies have this issue because they are "cute" people feed them.

These horses can not tolerate any concentrated feed as they need so little to keep them going. 2% of their body weight is maybe 5lbs - which is about one feeding for a "regular" horse - this is all they eat in a day.
It is important to restrict their grazing (dirt pens are nice) and have turnout with a buddy (goat, pig, pony, etc..) to keep them active.

We "re-habbed" a pony like this over winter. Veterinary supervision is a must, and a good farrier. She probably wont ever be sound for riding, but is broke to drive and overall is a very good pony.

Good luck!

They say money doesn't buy happiness -- well happiness doesn't buy horses!
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post #9 of 16 Old 04-26-2011, 02:13 PM
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My mare recently foundered..but caught it very early so was able to start correcting immediately. Its been 8 months and I would say she is 95 percent back to having her feet sound again. Vet felt it was a pretty severe founder. I was going to the vet/farrier pretty much every 5 weeks..xrays and then a process of chopping the toe and taking down the heels(based on the xrays). First couple months it was a matter of keeping her in a stall area with sand(sand is great for foundered horses feet, especially if wanting to correct as much as possible barefoot) and watching her diet (I think what caused it was I changed her feed and the extreme heat we had last summer). I also put her on a smartpak hoof supplement asap with her MSM supplement. In the last 2 months she was put on a heartbar shoes (fronts only, only foundered in the front) with some gel packing...last visit she made such a huge improvement they put the heartbars back on minus the gel..and hopefully will only need one more set of heartbars with the improvement shes showing.
Now for my other experience with founder, neighbors mustang, shes 20 plus years old and she foundered severely...her feet basically looked like ski shoes as my farrier called it. Neighbors are very nice and love her to pieces, but lack of reliable farrier and just not know where to go from there took its toll. My farrier took over her too when I made the suggestion that she just get done when mine are trimmed. Result: My farrier immediately put back the foot in as natural a shape/trim as she could...yes she was sore, but she was even more sore by the walking on the heels all the time. Had the neighbor keep her up for a few days with some occational bute as needed..and when she started feeling a bit more mobile, let her out to graze with my horses again. Also determined she had cushings so suggested to him to start her with the chasteberry and order Smart MSM (some stiffness due to age). Also suggested to cut her grain to basically nothing. Its probably been a little over a year now...but what a improvement just keeping her feet trimmed every 8 weeks (not keeping her toes long either) and the supplements have made. Im sure if a vet took xrays she would show alot of deteriation of her coffin bone..but honestly my farrier felt in the beginning it was a matter of time before it rotated thru her sole anyway. But it didnt...and her feet almost amazing in the change now. The white line is almost gone..the bruising has pretty much disappeared...and she has been known to run with my horses now. She travels so much better now that the farrier is keeping her hooves in its natural shape. Also suggested that the neighbor keep her up in the evenings like I do since she really didnt need to be out grazing 24/7...its crazy how some people think they will starve without grass for a few hours:) Told him to give her a leaf of hay and leave her in at night. She has perked up just in attitude could just tell she was miserable in the whole process prior to all this. Course shes in love with my gelding that has helped too:)
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post #10 of 16 Old 04-26-2011, 02:30 PM
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Katy Watts |

Good link to learn about horse nutrition and what to feed em to avoid founder/laminitis.

Truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Second it is violently opposed. Third it is accepted as self evident.
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