A year after foundering...
It has been exactly one year since my boy Joe foundered. He had rotation of both front coffin bones, the left was 7 degrees the right was 6 degrees. He could barely stand, his food was kept near his head so that he wouldn't have to stand to eat. I really wasn't sure what to expect. The only other experience I had with foundering and laminitis was with a horse that had to be euthanized after the coffin bone came through the hoof.
I took to doing everything in power to keep that fate from not coming to Joe. Little by little Joe started improving. Two months ago I took him in to the indoor to walk him and he started making steps on his own. He had walked before but always with my prodding. This was all him. I started to cry I was so happy. He is still sore, some days more than others. He still gets Previcox every other day to help with that. All x-rays taken after the first ones have shown improvement. The bony column is stable, no further rotation, everything is looking good. He walks fairly well now, on his own he takes smaller, more hesitant steps, when I have him in a lead rope he takes much larger faster steps. Any ideas as to why that would be? My other question is, if everything is healing and looking good, why is he still sore? These may be stupid questions but any advice is very much welcomed! Thanks!
Oh and my vet came and looked at the sore I posted about the other day. It was just a bad hard scab that has been preventing the sore from healing. After nursing the sore and softening the scab I've got almost all new healthy healing taking place :)
has he derotated, or rather, regrew his foot in normally to his coffin bone? What do his feet look like? Angles? do his feet look mostly normal now? Stabilized and properly/comfortably trimmed are two separate things often times in founder cases. Show us the feet.
I will have to take a picture of his feet tomorrow out at the barn. They look normal to me, the same as they always have at least. I'd be interested in what someone else thinks when seeing them though. The farrier trims his feet about every 6 weeks and he does wear backward shoes. I'll be honest, I'm not sure if he derotated or grew new hoof to the coffin bone. My vet has said that the laminae is growing back, the bony column has stabilized and they hasn't been any more rotation. Can you tell me the difference? I feel silly not knowing now...
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He may be sore in the body as well from compensating with his sore feet. Can you afford to have an equine chiropractor look at him?
well I'm glad he is doing better. I have been there and done that. It's been about 7yrs now and my old man is doing great. I was away for a few days and when I went down to the barn he was standing in mud and would not move. The barn owner came out and said he has been like that for two days. Well a phone call would have been nice. Anyway I had no idea what it was and at the time he was 27yrs old. I had to coax him to walk out of the mud and he was not picking up his feet for anything. When the vet got there he knew right away what it was and said this may be it for him. He said laminitis and founder, I almost threw up on his feet. He said if the bone breaks through that's it. So after another day or two I called the vet for "the final visit". I got to the barn that morning and he was in his stall eating like...well a horse and nickered hello. I couldn't believe it!! He was still sore but he was showing strong signs of recovering. The vet came and said the bone has not moved more and the farrier should be able to deal with the rest. He thinks standing in the mud all that time may have been what helped him. So now his feet are dished a little but with careful trimming by my most awesome farrier who put his shoes on backwards for a few weeks, you can hardly tell anything happened. My horse did some leadline classes with my son and he was fine.
Sorry so long but I wanted you to know not all is lost, he may be fine after some time.
Here are the pictures of Joes feet from this morning.
He's really x-raying with no rotation/bone problems with heels that tall? Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't that indicate that he's still having a blood flow problem? Maybe a venogram would be a good idea. You could also ask your farrier to try to get those heels shorter (slowly!).
Correction: I see you said no further rotation, not no rotation. I think you're still having a problem with blood flow, like I said. That is part of what causes the uneven hoof growth. There are a couple of different schools of thought on how to help that. Maybe have a chat with your vet about some options.
It's hard to know how he really is looking at the photos. What really matters is how the foot is growing based on the angle of the coffin bone. If this hoof is completely aligned with the coffin bone then great.
I have a mare that foundered 7 years ago. 9 and 11 degrees. (Bad) she has been sound for 6.5 years. I reshoe every 5 to six weeks. 5 in summer, six in winter. Never do I go longer. Long toes are painful. My farrier does not reverse the shoe but he does use a pad to protect the sole and compression material (similar to silly putty) to increase blood flow. My horse has since derotated and angles are normal. I do X-ray every spring so my farrier had a glimpse inside to be sure he has the angles correct. This has worked for me.
I'm not a farrier but I feel with so little rotation, your horse should be feeling better. I would suggest you get X-rays and make sure you have your horses' angles correct. I feel by the photos, his toes are too short. Again, I'm not an expert. Maybe your horse would benefit from pads and compression material?
I know how stressful foundering is... Hang in there.
Thank you everybody for your responses! The farrier was out about 3 weeks ago and is coming back out on Oct. 1st. His heels are always stacked pretty high. We lower them every trim but he grows them pretty fast. My vet said after his last xrays that the coffin bone was aligned with his hoof. He actually walked really well today for me. Does the fact that his heels are growing more mean the blood flow is still off? Thank you for all the support. This has been such a battle.
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