My friend has a miniature mare who started developing signs of founder during a heat cycle and she was being bred. We have found some information that suggests that estrus can sometimes bring on founder. The vet has just put the mare on a regimen of Bute for a week and told her to soak the mare's feet in ice water for 20 minutes twice a day. On X-ray it showed that the coffin bone had rotated 2-3 degrees. The mare has been on the regimen of Bute and has been doing the ice soaks for a week now and isn't showing any improvement. All the vet says is that he's doing everything he can and sometimes they just don't pull out of it. What my friend wants to know is if there are any other alternatives to Bute, preferably homeopathic, to give this mare in the event she is pregnant? Has anyone ever tried Laminae Saver and have you had success with it? This is her favorite mare and she is a young mare also, so she wants to do everything she can for her to get her out of this pain. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Do you get RFD TV? There was a segment on founder. The farrier affixed 3 inch thick styrofoam to the underside of the hooves. When these compressed down he added another 3 inch thick piece of styrofoam. This was all attached with duct tape, being careful to not catch any hair under the tape, and just to the hoof. It made an amazing difference on the horse's ability to move. Hope you can find this segment and that this helps. Sandy
Hi Sandy, Yes, a horse can founder for just about any reason. Any kind of stress, birth, shipping, alergic reaction to meds, change in feed, hay--if not done properly, spring grass. My farrier has a few mares that he does that founders every year that they foal. My farrier too uses the foam thing--you can use the vet rap instead of the duct tape without removing any hair too, my vet recommends them to be on sand as it forms to their feet-you can keep sand wet and cool-will help the temp of their feet. Keep their feet cool too, my farrier likes to see the horse standing in mud as it keept the hoof cool.We always try to keep a mud puddle around the watering tanks durning the summer. I had a horse foundered due to a alergic reaction to penicillian. She pulled through it and does ok. A big thing to is the underside of the foot grows quicker than the nail does., so it is very important to keep the frog and surrounding tissue cleaned out and not grow past the nail-- this will make the foot very sore. Also we have found that by trimming off the toe allows for the horse to roll of its foot easier and takes the pressure off. Trimming weekly may be necessaray after the founder begins to heal due to rapid growth. If abcesses form make sure that they are draining and a soak in a drawing agent is good for this once a day. My farrier likes to use formaldihyde another farrier likes to use epsion salt. A good way to soak a horses hoof when needed take a freezer ziploc type bag. Notice I said freezer--they are stronger bags. Put a couple of handfuls of cotton balls--not cosmetic balls as they dont hold much liquid, in the bag and then put your soaking substance in the bag. Put the hoof in the bag and then take vetrap and rap the bag on to the horses hoof and leg, let them walk around in it. This works great and is easy to do. If anyone has tried to soak a hoof in a bucket knows it is hard !!LOL As far as the bute thing, my mare that foundered was on a bute regiume for about 9 months out of her preg. and the baby is fine, he is actually 12 years old now. It is important to keep pain to a min. because if you don't their body will put its engergy into the pain and not the baby where you want it. If a horse is in too much pain thier other body parts will suffer. 90 percent of a horses body weight is on the front feet., so watch how much weight is on the horse. Don't starve the horse , but if the horse is in halter shape they can loose a few pounds and be better off. A weeks time is not enough to see a major difference in a foundering horse, it may take a few weeks to see a change. Remember it takes a year for a new hoof to totally regrow so expect it to take some time. As well as to how severe the horse has foundered too. There are some that would want to shoe a foundered horse, just remember that they are hurting and will continue to hurt and to drive nails into their foot is sortta insane to us.Keeping the foot trimmed is really the best thing. It is really better to get a good healthy foot under the horse before doing any corrective work with shoes. That can be done at a later time, after knowing the horse is making good progress. A good quality grain too, can help if it contains products for hoof and hair development-- a major difference can be seen Sure hope this helps- It is not fun seeing a horse founder and there are no quarentees
DMSO I.V. at the first signs can help prevent further deterioration.
Working with the vet and farrier (using the x-rays) can help build the ideal angle and padding for her particular founder problem. Shoes are a great help in many situations, and in some, the only answer.
Bute can be a life long medication when pain is an issue. Pain alone can induce founder. The correct amount of Bute per body weight can be giver long term.
If this mare is in severe pain, being bred is not in her best interest. I would consider the life of the mare first, and breed at a later date. The added weight of carring a foal could be problematic.
Her feed needs to be change. Grain is an issue, and should be curtailed.(if not stopped at once) Forage on lush pasture, should be curtailed.(if not stopped at once) A drop in weight would not be harmful, but helpfull to her recovery.
Because of the internal changes in the hoof, the sole can be more exposed than the wall of the hoof. Therefore, support to the outside and back of the hoof can ease much of the pain. (corrective shoeing )Even with that, the ground that she is on is a major factor.
Sand is the optimal choice. Mud may pack in the hoof and actually cause more pain. Sand can be kept moist and cushions the sole instead of packing. Pressure is the problem.
IT would benefit your friend to call around and find a vet that works closely with a farrier on founder problems. He may have one on a monthly schedule at his clinic.
Ponies and mini's are very susceptible to founder. Once they do founder, they are more likely to re founder. This is something that she should look into and find the vet/farrier team that can work together.
Shoes are sometimes the only answer but in many cases can be held off until there is some good hoof growth--you really don't want to be driving a nail into a hoof with abseces, Please be careful. If one can make good progress without them more power to them. Grain ?? in many cases when not formaulated correctly is not good, but when mixed correctly and given in the correct amounts per animal size and needs can provide the needed nutruients for a horse to grow a good hoof and provide the vitimans and nutriants one needs to stay healthy during stress and when being feed with other horses a small amount may be necessary as well as to put the bute in, I agree that green pasture should be eliminated and a moderate quality hay is the best. When sand is not available, the mud must due and one should continue to make sure the hoof is cleaned out on a daily basis if not more often. If a horse has foundered and is out in the turnout with a puddle of water , one will find the horse standing in the mud puddle because it keeps their feet cool.One must relize that they need to keep the feet cleaned out and packing can occur if kept unclean and the mud pack is left to dry in the hoof. Sometimes a monthly schedule is not adaquate for a quickly growing sole and a by weekly apt. may be needed in order to keep the horse walking and to help eliminate pain.
I am sure that a qualified vet/farrier team would not suggest nailing into an absessed hoof. You do have x-rays and will be using them. Do not be afraid of using shoes for a foundered horse. They will be able to tell you your best option. Most of the time, the cost factor can make corrective shoeing prohibitive.
Watch the protein content of any supplements as well. You will want to make use of them at the appropriate time.
After all, the primary issue is to first heal your mare and stop any further damage. Secondly, grow a new foot. Her condition must be stabalized before you consider introducing more feed or new supplements.
Kim k- The protein content of grain can be very harmful to a foundered animal. It has nothing to do with being mixed correctly. At the onset of severe founder, most horses will be taken off of all grain until improvement is evident. Even at that, many will have to watch the grain comsuption very closely and may not tolerate grain in the future. Bute can be given orally with a paste or syringe.
Tx breeder, I am aware of the protein content issue BUT it can be stablized with the correct fiber content as well. I am not suggesting feeding 20 pounds of grain a day with a protein level of 18 percent. When I talk about being mixed correctly, I am talking about having the correct fiber, protein, vitamins, so on and so forth. There is a big difference between a sweet feed(pre-mix) and one that is formulated for hair/hoof growth/stress/. We do not feed a high protien feed and never will. We feed a moderate feed with good rations and good suppliments in it. You can feed good forms of protien and not so good forms of protien you need to be careful in the forms in which you feed and you can achieve better results. Most people want to feed corn but that is not your best choice, although it is the least expensive, there are some much better forms of feed.
I am not suggesting that the owner go out and add a ton of new things to her horses feed. That is not advisable, what I am suggesting is that with some moderate changes positive things can happen. There are alot of natural grains that promote different growth in hair and nail. I would not go and start to top dress a ton of new items...
Bute paste can sometimes get costly as well, that is why most will use the tablets. The cheapest is injectable but who whats to be giving shots on a daily basis.
shoeing a foundered horse can get real costly especially when you are having to do them on a by weekly basis sometimes you can get alot done with different trimming techniques.
There are many different things that can be done. I have seen the opinion of many differnt vets and farriers , and no one seems to ever be able agree with the same. I know what worked for us. A feed founder is alot differnt too from a founder that happens for another reason. I have seen many that feed founder and then have trouble with grain, the others that founder from another cause normally seem to do ok staying or going back on grain. Its not good to push a horse on grain anyways. I know of many horses that were pushed as yearlings and two years old and are no longer around , just because they needed more weight for the show. Sad.
Sorry that you have taken my post personally Kim. I am not saying that you are uninformed, but there is a big connection between feed and founder. The protein can not be stablized by fiber as you contend in the above post. This may be very harmful to a foundered horse and because of this, I hope that you understand my intent.
At the onset, when the condition is at it worst, and time is of the essence, the first thing that most all vets will do is cut out the grain.
I feed a very good pre mix by Acco called Superior. I feed the 10/8 up to the 12/8. Depending on the activity of the horse, I may feed up to a 14% or more. It has nothing to do with a pre mix or not. It has to do with what that horse can tolerate at that time, and what your exercise verses intake is. I never feed whole corn.
Just because a product may considered "natural" does not mean that it can be safe for a foundered horse.
For this particular post, I would stress quite strongly that the grain intake should be reduced if not stopped completely for a time. It matters not if it was or was not a feed induced founder. It has to do with internal change and temperature of the hoof. The ability to tolerate grain at a later date will have more to do with the severity of the founder as well as many other factors.
Well, what I have taken offense to is the fact that people seem to know what others have experienced and know and think that they know better than the other.I have experienced this from other posts as well. I am here for the learning experience and if I can learn from others experiences and misfortunes that is great. I can gain a few yrs on my life without actually having to age ! I do know from experience and seeing it happen -- having a feed rep changing and ommiting some fiber it altered the protien content, even though the actual protien was "the same" . I think one needs to treat all equally here on this board and not like inferiour people. Not giving one all options and all ways and reasons of helping each other, instead of playing it safe and giving them information for only less experienced people. We should all be here to learn and the only way to learn is with as much information as possible.
I still fell that a positive move with grain and its contents in the right quanities could be helpful. You need good productive hoof/sole growth. I have seen it accomplished in a good manner and timely fashion with a correct feed verses no feed (grain)at all with correct amounts}
TX B reeder (Unregistered Guest) Unregistered guest Posted From: 18.104.22.168
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 02:18 pm:
Yes, we are all learning, always. However, I find that with so many variables in the equine experience, I try to stick to the "tried and true" aspects. I understand that there are many different experiences.
I would hate for any horse to be injured by any opinion that I would post. Therefore, you are right,I try to stick to the "safest" remedy. Not all options are viable for all situations. So... I guess that my suggestion is for her to ask her vet about the immediate grain concerns. First, do no harm.
Well, this is what I know about the situation. This is a miniature mare, so shoes definitely are not an option. She developed the founder during breeding, the owner was covering the mare every day during her cycle and the mare came up lame the last day of her cycle and the lameness progressed rather quickly. The mare has not returned to heat, so we're assuming she is in foal. There was no change in diet at the time, the only thing that was different in this mare's routine was the breeding. The owner had actually wondered if the mare had been injured by the breeding process rather than a hoof or leg problem. But when the lameness persisted and then progressed, that's when it became evident it wasn't just strained or bruised muscles or something. I do know that the mare's diet consists of grass hay only, no grain, and I believe 2 hours of pasture a day. She has had her feet trimmed by a farrier who deals with foundered horses, he took off a lot of her heel and squared the toe, this was prior to her being seen by the vet. She was seen by the vet approx. 4 days after the farrier visit and the vet took off more heel, recommended ice soaks twice a day for 20 minutes and a regimen of Bute once a day for 7 days. After the 7 day regimen of Bute and the ice soaks, the mare is not showing any signs of improvement. As I said, x-rays showed the coffin bone rotation at approx. 2-3 degrees. This mare's stall is thickly bedded with shavings and when she isn't in her stall she is in the pasture on soft ground. So, it seems as though my friend is definitely doing everything she can for her mare, but she can't help but think that there has to be something out there that can do better. Thanks for all of the input
Hi Sandy, It seems like your friend may be doing all that she can. With the sawdust, may I suggest that she makes sure it is pine and best to make sure it is kiln dried if she is going to use it. Hardwoods are very hard on their feet, and stuff that is not kilndried is even worse. We have seen horses founder on Hardwood sawdust, it seems to heat the foot up. Make sure that the stall is kept really dry , most will leave some wet stuff in the stall. This will cause bacteria to build up and even though the barnyard is full stuff, a sawdust stall can harbor many pathagons--which could in turn promote infection in the foot.
Glad to see that the farrier trimmed the toe off. We seen a major difference with the mare that we worked with. She could at least walk once this was done--it took alot of pressure off. Form a water puddle by the water tank too. I too would continue to do the soaks or puddles trying to keep her feet cool and contunie to bute her, and take her off the pasture grass. Your friend will probablly see that she will need to do this every year espically in the spring time when the grass is young and green. It will have a effect on a foundered horse and they may refounder on spring grass. Once spring grass gets done you can try to slowly introduce the mare back to grass. Our old pony was a magical pony and was able to always get out of his stall and find a way to the grain He foundered naturally and spring grass was a problem, he would become ouchy in the spring of the year if left on grass, once the spring grass was grown, he was fine. With age, it was best to keep him in a dry lot with moderate (or less) hay quality.
Best of luck to your friend, it is sometimes hard to go through Kim
Why can't you shoe a mini? I don't have them so I don't know, but was curious as I know there are glue-on shoes available, we were considering using them on our foal who has a right hind varus angulus. Also while on the subject of laminitis, I know what the immediate signs are, but I have a mare who I suspect may have foundered slightly (she is ouchy and flat-footed), but am not sure if she foundered a little and became flat-footed from it, or if she's always been flat-footed and that's why she's ouchy. My farrier thinks no, because she doesn't have any white line separation, but I am suspicious. I will have the vet check her eventually, but she's been like this since shortly after she was weaned.
Laminitis is not founder, it allows the horse to founder. Laminitis is an inflammatory condition of the laminae. I am sure that with the medibolic change in a mare during weaning that she could show some laminitis which could lead to founder.
Rooty- There does not have to be any separation of the hoof wall present. Most horses have gone through a slight "founder", it just may not be obviously appearant.Any elevation of temperature could effect the hoof and many times it goes un noticed.
Your mare could be thin soled which may be helped with shoes. I have one stallion which we keep in shoes longer than 7 weeks, because he becomes ouchy if shod earlier along with the others.It took awhile to figure out the timing, but he is never sore after shoes any more. I also put him on sand, which seemed to stimulate the sole of the hoof. I think the support helped to stimulate without undue pressure.
Speaking of sand, Sandy's friend may want to bed her pony's stall with sand instead of the shavings. She may want keep her off of the pasture for awhile.(especially if green grass is still present). A turnout with sand would be better at this time. (portable panels?) Also, if she does use sand, I would suggest that she has a raised feeder that is off of the ground to assure that she does not inadvertantly lip up the sand.
As Kim pointed out, this is something that she will have to watch every year when the grass is lush. Ponies are especially prone to feed founder.
As Kim found out, there are those equine friends of ours that can escape from about anything! I strongly encourage that all feed is in a secure container, even if behind a locked door. That way, if a door is left opened, the feed is still out of reach. A simple wooden box with a top and a snap latch can divert a disaster.
Great suggestions guys... I will pass on the phone number and let her know about the sand. I too have suggested that she completely take the mare off pasture, but the vet has said that he can't see that it should be doing any further harm to the situation..... The little mare does seem to be walking better than what she was, so maybe it's just going to take some time. We have heard that supplementing with Vitamin C can help, does anyone know about that? I know that she has stopped giving the Bute and is now currently giving a product called Finish Line. It is a glucosamine, Vitamin C, MSM, liquid supplement that she is administering in a handful of grain per day. (It's the only way she can think of to give it to her.) I have used this product before on a mare of mine that was diagnosed with arthritis and it seemed to do wonders for her. But, is this a type of product that can help with founder?
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