I have an 11yr old paint/quarter mare. She is really overweight and she stays in the field 24/7. I do not feed her anything, just a sulfur & mineral Block. I have noticed that in the past couple of months she will not run or trot. There are time when she and the other horses think that i am going to feed them, when all i have is a carrot or another mineral block. However, she will not come running or trotting, she'll start out to and then she'll immediatley go back to a fast walk. Her feet are not the best in the world, her soles are a little flat, hoof walls are cracked and flare easily, and she tends to get abcesses really easily, and a few months ago she had an abcess out of her coronet. Could she be close to foundering? She doesn't seem to limp, or do the foundered stances she'll only do a small limp on one of her front feet, but only is she is turning. The other two horses, never have abcesses or any other problems with their feet and they are all on the same field, and diet. I have a round pen and i have thought about putting her in it at night so that she'll have to stay off the grass, but will this really help?
Keeping her off the wet grass does help. With that said if it rains move her from round pen to a dry stall. I keep all 3 of my bad footed mares inside at night. A few things you mention are signs of potential founder, the overweight and the flat foot. Have your vet x-ray the feet just to make sure and if she is have you blacksmith put shoes on her and be religious about keeping her feet done. I do my bad mares every 4 weeks.
Founder is likely. It would be the cause of the abcesses as well as the flarring. The issue of other horses being in the same field and not having issue just means that they are not insulin resistant like she is( also the cause of her obesity). She needs to be removed from the pasture and put in a dry lot and fed grass hay that is low in sugar content. I very much disagree with the shoes, she needs a correct barefoot trim to help rehabilatate her. Get her X rayed to find out were you are starting with her coffin bone.I have reahabed and returned 3 horses foundered and headed to the killers with these methods. It is not so much a "bad foot" issue as a whole horse, diet, hoof care, and lifestyle issue. Here are some great websites to begin your education on caring for an insulin resistant horse. Treat the cause not put a bandaid on!
Hi,I have really rich pasture and even though it dries out in the summer, it can still cause founder. Even horses with good feet can founder. I try to prevent founder by rotating my horses through the pastures. I only leave them in (the ones that get fat fast) about 3-4 days at a time. I check their necks, if they're starting to get fat necked, it's time to pull them out and put them in a dry turnout and feed hay. Then we rotate again a few days later. So far I've had good luck doing that. The only one who stays out 24/7 is my older gelding who is 23, I'd be hard pressed to founder him!
I think i'm going to put her in a roundpen, but what would be the best time of day to do this. I hear a lot of people put there horses up at night, so should i keep mine up at night and if so what should i feed. I can't really feed grain cause it makes her really mooody and somewhat mean, i have hay but right now it's a really good bermuda grass hay, is that the type of hay that i should feed or should i feed a mixed grass or should i give her anything at all since the whole point is for her to loose some weight. I have no idea, but i know i need to do something. thanks
Another great thing to do is keep her in a grazing muzzle while turned out. I have a haflinger gelding who, when not exercised enough, gets very fat even though he only gets pasture and/or grass hay. He lives in a muzzle throughout the spring/summer/fall while turned out. He's turned out all day and stalled at night with only 2-3 flakes of hay to help keep weight down. This works great because he can still graze, but it really limits him from overeating!
Another thing... Check her feet for a pulse. If she's got a strong pulse, she's definitely got some laminitis issues going on (which it sounds like she does if she's sore), and if so, you want to pull her off ALL grass right away. Things can get really bad, really quick with founder, so be careful! FYI, the best time to turnout foundered horses is in the morning. It has to do with the sugars/starches in the grass not being so rich. Hope that helps!
I have put her in a roundpen, and she has been there for 2 whole days now, I have also put a buddy in there with her to keep her company. She is still sore on one of her front feet, but it's only noticable when she turns a certain way, I was just wondering how long does one have to be kept up, I have just been feeding her hay after soakin it in water for about and hr. (heard that soaking was supposed to help).
Depends on the degree of founder. You definitely want to keep her off grass until she no longer has a strong pulse on that leg, indicating a decrease in inflammation. Exercise would be helpful for her and it'll probably be atleast a couple weeks that she'll need to be off grass completely. When she does have access to grass again, I recommend using a gazing muzzle and building her back up to grass slowly.
Is there anything wrong with feeding her alfalfa cubes and bermuda grass hay? Today she seems to be doing worse, she is taking small steps and prefers not to move, however she still isn't in the founder stance, nor does her feet tend to be pushing out through the bottoms. Also i was wondering about how strong a pulse should be, and how hot her feet will be if she is foundering compared to being normal. Her feet do not seem to be any warmer than the other horses. It seems that sense i have put her in the round pen she has gotten worse.
I guess I would consider abscess, sole bruises, thrush or navicular disease (which is common in flat footed horses)or joint issues whether from a arthritis/tendonitis, or from a disease like lyme disease. Most horses who are foundering will stand with front hooves extended out in front, this stance takes the pressure off the coffin bone, if the horse isnt doing that I would look into the other things listed, either start with the farrier who can do a hoof test and try to determine if it is in the hoof and where, or call the vet who can do a stress test on the leg and see if he/she can isolate the area of pain. I had a mare that we thought was either foundering or had lyme disease, after having the vet out checking her soles for abscesses and haveing her legs looked at and doing nerve block on the hoof and we found nothing except that she was sore on turns but was ok with a nerve block, so we waited till the lyme test was negative, by then it was time to have her feet done, while paring away the sole the source of the problem was found.... she had an abscess in deep, it wasnt able to be seen when her sole was origionally looked at because it didnt originate there, it came through a sand crack on the front of her hoof, and imbedded and caused a pus pocket.... so....like i said i would beging to look into other reasons for the pain, especially if she isnt standing leaning back and if the hooves are not hotter than normal. good luck and I hope you are able to locate the problem... if she is sore on turns to one side and not the other that should help to determine which foot, (will usually be more limpy on the side that the sore leg is on the inside of the turn)and if she is sore both ways then its hard to say.... but good luck to you!!!
Depending on the degree of founder, horses won't always have the "founder stance". If it's still early in developing and there's only been a slight amount of rotation of the coffin bone, she probably wouldn't have that stance. I've dealt with quite a few foundered horses through a vet clinic and with some of the horses, their only symptom was that they were "not quite themselves" or "slighty hestitant to move forward". Quite a few of these horses were still almost 100% sound, but yet were still foundering. So of course I can't say whether for sure your horse is foundering or not, but don't rule it out completely just based on the fact that she doesn't have a "foundered stance", but do check her for other things such as abscesses, etc. as others have pointed out. Good luck!
Ok, I just came inside from checking her. I cleaned all of her feet out, and i didn't notice anything unusual, the only thing was a little thrush, However she didn't really want to pick her front feet up, but she finally did. I have noticed that when i pick up her right front leg she'll bring her back ones up underneath her, especially the right hind. Also in her right hind she's been resting it more often. She prefers not to move, especially turn, when she turns she'll bring both hinds up underneath her and step across. Also if you walk her forward i noticed that her back feet do not come up underneath her as much as the other horses. (THe other horses will place their hind foot where their fronts were) However when she walks she'll lift her hind feet somewhat higher instead of draging them, and it's like she sets them down and places them carefully, I'm startin to wonder if its her joints, cause i can't find anything wrong with her feet. I don't think that she has an absess because she's had them befor and this is way different.
I am not sure where you are from, but if you have deer ticks which carry lyme disease I would have a blood draw done. good luck.
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