Our QH mare is at 260 days. We have been battling a split hoof issue and have been corrective shoeing for almost 1 year (since we couldn't ride her, I wanted 1 more foal and thought her hoof was on the mend). After this past re-set last week, our farrier thinks she may be laminitic.
Our vet is recommending to eliminate grain and only keep her on vits/minerals and free choice hay. I am a bit concerned as she is not an easy keeper when not if foal. Our free choice hay is predominately grass and we supplement the other horses with approx 1 pound grain because of this. I know it is harder to get weight back on once they lose it, the foal is born and sucking.
The mare has ALWAYS been "tender footed" and I call her a wimp (we have owned her for 7 years). She must have shoes on all year or can barely walk (like me trying to walk barefoot on gravel . Her first foal had "dumb foal" syndrome and the vet is fearful this could happen again - only more severe, or red bag.
If she was lamintic with the first foal - do you think it was the cause for "dumb foal" syndrome? Is this hereditary or an issue with only her feet? As much as I like her conformation (and she threw it well with her 1st foal) I am concerned about her passing on laminitic issues. Is the laminitis a greater concern or losing some weight? She is a strong body condition of 6. I know the last trimester is critical for additional feed to suppplement foal growth.
I'm not an expert here but I can tell you I have a mare that also has crappy feet also. She also splits her hooves . She is currently at day 276. Our farrier's opinion was that some just have crappy feet. I am more concerned with her having the weight & nutrients both she and baby will need. Penny sometimes limps a little( right front leg) no swelling or heat. I think the dumb foal syndrome is caused by lack of oxygen during birth.. So I dont think the laminitis was part of it.
Since this is my first foal & preg. I have done a lot of reading just in case . Praying for the best turnout but want to be prepared in the event of the worst
Hi Jane, Thanks for the input. My vet explained that laminitis is a restriction of blood flow to the foot. With that in mind, a restriction of blood flow is very possible in other areas we can not see - such as the placenta. Therefore causing a lack of oxygen during development.
I am nervous and continue to read more, too. I think I have Every subscription available for horse magazines and numerous books, too! I try to keep learning even though I have been around horses for 30+ years.
Will keep you posted. Looks like our mares are relatively close in expected due time
Hi Deb, I don't think the laminitis and the dummy foal syndrome are connected. Dummy foal syndrome is as a result or oedema (edema)/ haemorrhage in the brain tissues caused by a lack of oxygen during birth eg: dystocia, or septicemia (red bag foaling etc). Laminitis is caused by when the blood supply to the foot gets disturbed. An inflammation to the sensitive laminae results, the deep digital flexor tendon pulling on the pedal bone results in a rotation of the pedal bone.
I have a bit of experience of laminitis in pregnant mares. I have a mare that suffered a spinal injury in July of last year, she was 5 months pregnant at this stage. She was completly paralysed in one front and one hind leg. She was unable to put any weight through one front leg and therefore was fully weight bearing on the other leg. She developed laminitis in this foot. What we did for her was put her on a course of Trental 400 tablets (generic name Pentoxifylline) to increase the blood supply to the foot, the farrier cut her toe as short as possible and shod her backwards and put a frog support on her shoe. We restricted her turnout until she was reasonably sound. It has worked very well with her. She foaled a healthy good sized filly last month (check out her foal thread if you like, Wunder is her name)
I also have another 16 year old mare. When I bought her she had terrible feet, she had some very severe cracks that required intensive farrier work. The farrier put a transverse metal bar across the front wall of her foot to stick it back together. She was also laminitic, with a very flat sole. For three years she required shoes every summer and was very sore on uneven or pebbly ground. Finally this year she is fully sound all the time. It's taken 3 years, lots of shoeing and farrier work to get her right. She also required biotin in her feed and cornu cresent applied daily to her hoofs. The change in her is remarkable and it's great to see her sound for the first time in years.
Deb: I have a mare with Laminitis. I just went through some sheer exhaustion battling the problem this past summer.
Dummy Syndrome and Laminitis are not connected by any means that I am aware of. I also have a dummy foal and personally, I don't think its that bad...LOL...we love our little dummy foal. He developed this syndrome by hip-locking/shoulder locking during birth. He wasn't deprived of oxygen long, just long enough to make him a bit on the stupid side. If you or your vet thinks there is a connection to the dummy foal syndrome and the placenta regarding your mare, then you may have some issues.
I have to agree with your vet (and from my own previous experience with laminitis)...when you have a flare-up with it, you will need to drop off her grain. Good hay will help. (My laminitic mare is NOT an easy keeper either so I understand your concerns totally.)
The biggest advice I can give you, is your laminitis may raise its ugly head when weaning time comes. The risk of Mastitus during weaning may amplify your laminitis (fever laminitis). You may want to talk to your vet during the time to see if it would benefit your mare to be on a preventative antiobiotic program when its time to wean this foal.
I agree with all the others, there is no link between Dummy Foal Syndrome, and Laminities. Personally, I havn't had a laminetic mare foal, but know several people who have. Of course they will become more uncomfortable as they get heavier, you just have to work very closely with your vet/farrier (preferably having them both there at the same time).
I have a gelding that was a Dummy Foal when he was born, he was pretty bad. He couldn't nurse, would run into walls, had trouble walking, etc... He recovered and is now being started under saddle, and is exceptionally easy. He's awlays been a bit slow, but he is a Warmblood, and they are a bit slower than some other breeds in general.
To my knowledge, there is no genetic link with Laminitis. However, breeding a mare with awful feet... is genetic, so you can expect a foal with just as awful feet. Hooves are something I'm pretty picky about when breeding horses, no foot, no horse. Because your mare has bad hooves, you are very much likely to get foals with bad hooves, which leads to lameness/ possibly Laminetic issues in the future.
Thank you for your help and suggestions. You bring up good questions that I will raise with my vet.
Our foal (now 2 YO) only exhibited dumb foal with suckling the first 48 hours. We had to tube feed him. I must admit though, he is a very loving and easy going horse now due to the constant human companionship those early hours. Even in the halter show ring - not much fazes him. (time will tell with his training
The mares feet was a result of EXTREMELY poor judgement on a previous owner. She was purchased with the understanding they would take possesion within a month. Unfortunatly they did not and when they finally came to pick her up - her feet needed a serious trim job. The new owners wanted to show her "immediately" and sent her to a "hack job" farrier who took her feet to almost nothing as the QH halter was once looking for. This has completely affected her feet which we are trying to correct. Mind you we have had her since she was 3 and are still battling this issue. I do not think this is genetic as much as rotten care at an early age. Her 2 YO gelding has good feet.
I do appreciate your comments regarding the connection/lack there of of laminitis and dumb foal syndrome. It is always best to have more than one opinion on issues that are more serious.
My biggest concern is not getting enough nutrition these last months to the foal.
This is my "baby" from the first breeding. a full sibling is this year.
My b/w tobi mare is a former foundered mare with a huge degree of rotation in her front feet and had a flare up in the spring of last year, early in her pregnancy. We fed her carb gaurd during her pregnancy to keep weight on her. It is a Blue Seal feed and she also received free choice orchard grass hay. We were concerned that she may have a flare up with pain or retention of placenta but did very well.
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