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Panto 11-08-2012 12:31 PM

Help! Bought my first horse and 7 days later he has Laminitis!
I'm new to this board. I just bought my first horse, 13 yo paint gelding, 15hh.

I was told he has been very healthy the last 7 years, no isses at all except one abcess 4 years ago.

7 days after getting him home I go to ride him and he can hardly walk. I called the vet and the diagnosis is Laminitis. Vet says its most likely something he's always had and is now flaring up from the stress of moving.

I went back to the previous owner and nicely asked him to take him back. He became extremely defensive and told me I caused this and he will not take the horse back or refund anything.

He has been on the exact same diet he has been fed for the last 7 years, he was turned out to pasture during the work week but there is hardly a blade of grass in it. I should be able to buy a horse and move it home without it going completely lame to the point where he can hardly stand up.

My question is, do I have the worst luck in the world and bought a completely healthy horse that suddenly showed up with this condition after I moved him home, or did he have this before I purchased him? What would you do? I now own a sick horse that will need to be micromanaged and I was told he was as easy as can be with absolutely no health issues. My first horse cannot be on and off lame and difficult to keep, I didn't sign up for that.

Any insight will be helpful.


poppy1356 11-08-2012 12:42 PM

laminitis is completely manageable. It is likely that the previous owner had no clue. Or the stress alone caused it. Different grass. Anything really. Biggest thing is no sugars. So no grass to graze on. Put the horse in a dry lot and feed only hay, preferably some with low sugar content.

In the horse world you always get what you aren't expecting. Always plan for the worst.

I have a horse that is prone to laminitis. She has been sound all except for two weeks when I discovered this fact. She gets ridden on 25 mile trail rides without a problem. You just need to learn to manage it.

But if the horse can't walk I suspect founder which is much more serious and you will need to make sure the horse has a nicely bedded stall or put pads on the feet if no stall.

Speed Racer 11-08-2012 12:45 PM

I take it you didn't have a PPE done before you brought him home. If he's chronically laminitic, a vet would have been able to see that on a pre-purchase exam. Even a farrier would have been able to see the signs, as well as an experienced horse person.

Unless you got a signed contract that you could return the horse within a certain time with a full refund, you're out of luck unless you want to take him to court.

I'm sorry that the seller may have been dishonest, but horses are sold 'as is', and unfortunately you now have a laminitic horse. As Poppy stated though, laminitis is manageable and the horse can come back to soundness if cared for properly.

BlueSpark 11-08-2012 12:49 PM

its very possible that the previous owner knew nothing about this.

by buying a horse you "signed up" for dealing with health issues, its just the nature of owning animals. Unfortunately it happened so soon after purchase.

I bought a mare from a seller I trusted. he said she had never bucked. The first ride out she bucked me off. I worked with her and in the years I owned her she never tried it again. Things happen with horses.

laminitis is relitively easy to manage.

crimsonsky 11-08-2012 12:51 PM

i'm curious - did you 1. have a pre-purchase exam? and 2. did a vet come out and actually see the horse to diagnose laminitis or was that just a general thought given over the phone?

Spotted 11-08-2012 12:59 PM

Is he sore on all feet or just one?

Panto 11-08-2012 01:07 PM

Thanks for your replies.

He is sore on all 4 but mostly the front.

No PPE was done, I had two experienced horse people assess him and give me the go ahead.

My Vet confirmed Laminitis and most likely chronic, this being a flare up. She said she may not have caught it if she did a PPE.

I realize this is something I "signed up" for in horse ownership, but having a horse thats sick this soon is unacceptable. Its my first horse and the entire experience has been a nightmare.

poppy1356 11-08-2012 01:21 PM

I don't see how this is unacceptable? The previous owner may not have had any idea. Animals get sick, we can't control when they do. Laminitis is really not that hard to manage at all.

How much grain is this horse getting? They should be getting none.

My first horse, who I got this January, was a sick emaciated rescue. I was lied to constantly by the rescue but guess what, I did what I had to do to get her better.

Would you be upset if you had a kid that got sick shortly after being born? Would you want to trade for a different one? Same thing here, the horse is dependant on you to take care of it.

Vet only said most likely chronic, that doesn't mean it is. Instead of getting angry why not work on making your horse better?

Panto 11-08-2012 01:23 PM

So... If this was your first horse, would you sell/donate him?

Being that I bought what was described as a sound and healthy horse, and now it seems he has was not, do you think the previous owner should take him back and refund me? Its only been a week.

Thanks for all your help

poppy1356 11-08-2012 01:26 PM

No. I went through this. I adopted what was told to me as a rescue but that the vet gave her the ok that all she needed was weight, nothing wrong. That was all lies. I still have her and I have encountered several special needs she has but she is with me for life.

You didn't get a PPE so you have no leg to stand on accusing the previous owner of anything. But even then it would be hard to prove the horse had laminitis at previous owners if the vet check was clear.

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