Looks like founder - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 07-16-2019, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Looks like founder

My life has been so difficult the last several years. First I went through a divorce and became a single mother. I never thought I'd regroup after that but I found a wonderful man and he and I recently married. The wedding planning was super stressful, and nine months ago my best friend had an aneurysm burst on the very trip my husband and I became engaged on (while we were all traveling internationally, no less!) He's basically a vegetable now. My family abandoned me in the divorce, but everything seemed to be looked up recently. Finally financially stable, on good footing with the ex, happy kids. I bought a house in the country, a wonderful horse, and a pony for the kids. Then we got into a custody battle. Going back to court in a few weeks. I sold the pony because I always worried about laminitis with him and it was too stressful. I needed something to give.

Well when we bought the horse, he was thin and we've been beefing him up with beets, senior pellets, canola oil, and a amino acid supplement. he's been gaining weight wonderfully. After parting ways with our old farrier who made me very uncomfortable, we found a great female farrier who confirmed what I suspected - Red has a bad case of thrush. His FL is especially bad. Fine. I've been treating it and seeing improvement. Yesterday when we got home we had an approval letter in the mail from a local horse rescue - pre approved to adopt from them. I felt good. Yesterday he had a lot more pep in his step and I thought we were making progress. (She also noted it looks like hes been shoed, and badly shoed, most of his life. He's 13. He has contracted heels and a poor frog but again, we've been working on it).

This morning when I went out to feed him, he was laying down about half way into the pasture. Normally he's waiting at the barn for his food. I called him and he got up, rocked back on his heels, and I thought "oh crap". He just stood there for a minute. I was frozen in place. I walked towards him but he still didn't move. He kept yawning, wouldnt moving his feet. Rocked back again. He stood still for about 5-7 minutes, then walked to his feed bowl and ate.

I immediately contacted the farrier, she thinks he foundered. Maybe it's just an abscess. I guess we will see. I feel like a failure. She's coming out in a bit. Trying to get in with the vet. This weekend we are supposed to take the kids on vacation. I am trying to keep my chin up, but I want to cry with the irony of the situation. (Selling pony and then the horse is the one who founders).

I know founder isn't a death sentence. I grew up with horses, but never my own, and while I was involved with the day to day care, they weren't mine and I never had to deal with illness like this. So I am scared. I had to come in to work for a few hours, but checked on him before I took the kids to daycare. He was walking around and eating, but definitely more slowly than he normally does.

I don't even know what I am looking for with this. Survival stories I guess? Tips? Thank you for reading, if you've made it this far.

Last edited by loosie; 07-16-2019 at 07:58 PM. Reason: paragraphs
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post #2 of 23 Old 07-16-2019, 11:17 AM
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Have you felt his hooves for heat? Looked over them and hi really good? Taken his temp, heart rate, respiration.. all of those things that could give you more info or at least give the vet a heads up. Hope this isn't anything serious. Let us know what the farrier and vet say.



No not a death sentence. There are several here that manage horses with all sorts of illness including those that make a horse prone to founder. You'll get good advice and lots of support.



Sorry you are dealing with all that is on your plate. Hoping for a good outcome all the way around.
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post #3 of 23 Old 07-16-2019, 11:18 AM
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Founder is something that can be managed with a strict diet and a great, not good, shoer. The first thing that you need to do is get xrays to see if there is any rotation.
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post #4 of 23 Old 07-16-2019, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Here is a link to a video of him walking after he got up. He’s definitely sensitive on his feet. https://youtu.be/RfxugBW9iI8
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post #5 of 23 Old 07-16-2019, 11:57 AM
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I would say that yes - he is foundering. He is not "limping" but favoring his feet. First thing is stop the grain and beet pulp and limit his grass. Not sure where live but grass founder can happen when grass is stressed.

We have a mare that was previously foundered in all 4's. We watch her carefully and she wears a grazing muzzle when on pasture. She does great! Keep up the good work and keep us posted.
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post #6 of 23 Old 07-16-2019, 12:02 PM
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I could be wrong but I am not so sure you're dealing with founder.

My insulin resistant horse foundered pretty bad and also has a fractured sacrum. He never walked like your horse from the founder but he does walk like that from his sacrum issues and he will plant his hooves in a founder stance --- maybe that is something he learned to do from when he had foundered, to bring himself some relief. I noticed your horse ever-so-slightly "scrunching down" on the back end, which is what Joker does when his pelvis hurts.

I am not saying your horse has sacrum issues but he could have put something out of place --- OR --- you could be looking at a neurological issue.

Please make an appointment with a good vet "five minutes ago". I feel like this is not something Cyber World has any business making a diagnosis on. Helping you we certainly can do, once a vet sees him, draws blood and makes a diagnosis:)

I am so sorry you are dealing with so much grief. Best wishes and please update after the vet has seen him:). He's a handsome fella -- my favorite color:)
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Last edited by walkinthewalk; 07-16-2019 at 12:11 PM.
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post #7 of 23 Old 07-16-2019, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walkinthewalk View Post
I could be wrong but I am not so sure you're dealing with founder.

My insulin resistant horse foundered pretty bad and also has a fractured sacrum. He never walked like your horse from the founder but he does walk like that from his sacrum issues and he will plant his hooves in a founder stance --- maybe that is something he learned to do from when he had foundered, to bring himself some relief. I noticed your horse ever-so-slightly "scrunching down" on the back end, which is what Joker does when his pelvis hurts.

I am not saying your horse has sacrum issues but he could have put something out of place --- OR --- you could be looking at a neurological issue.

Please make an appointment with a good vet "five minutes ago". I feel like this is not something Cyber World has any business making a diagnosis on. Helping you we certainly can do, once a vet sees him, draws blood and makes a diagnosis:)

I am so sorry you are dealing with so much grief. Best wishes and please update after the vet has seen him:). He's a handsome fella -- my favorite color:)
He does look like he's drunk, doesn't he? Vet coming out this afternoon!
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post #8 of 23 Old 07-16-2019, 12:33 PM
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He doesn't look "foundered" to me either...
He is sore and looks like he is uncoordinated...
A back injury....something twisted or moved out of align.
The fact you found him laying down as you did makes me think more a possible injury...
When the farrier was there did she remove and make large changes to each hoof when trimming him?
That big a change is not something most well-trained and intuitive farriers do for this exact reason...
Hoof changes are made over several trimmings if they are "grand" in gesture not in one fell swoop normally.

While waiting for the vet...
Sending good vibes and thoughts...
...
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post #9 of 23 Old 07-16-2019, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
He doesn't look "foundered" to me either...
He is sore and looks like he is uncoordinated...
A back injury....something twisted or moved out of align.
The fact you found him laying down as you did makes me think more a possible injury...
When the farrier was there did she remove and make large changes to each hoof when trimming him?
That big a change is not something most well-trained and intuitive farriers do for this exact reason...
Hoof changes are made over several trimmings if they are "grand" in gesture not in one fell swoop normally.

While waiting for the vet...
Sending good vibes and thoughts...
...
she did not, she is working on him very gradually and we have him on a 5-6 week schedule.

ETA: my first thought was that he stepped in a gopher hole and hurt himself
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post #10 of 23 Old 07-16-2019, 01:56 PM
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He looks more wobbly and uncoordinated than he looks like a horse with laminitis.
Iím British and to me founder is when the pedal/coffin bone has started to shift under the pressure of the inflammation, laminitis is the inflammation.
Horses with laminitis tend to not want to put weight on their toes so they do this over exaggerated leg stretch so they can put more weight on the heel and then rather than roll over onto the toe they do a weird flipping action.
Your horse looks more like heís staggering about.
He could have sore feet all round and not know which one to put where first, or it could be related to some other injury or a neurological thing going on

Hopefully your vet can get out asap

Just winging it is not a plan
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