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  1. #1
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    Aug. 25, 2012
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    Default Update on Founder with Link to Pics and X-Rays- Update on Post 60

    Hi, just as a quick back story my gelding is 11 years old and what started in August as a little lame on his left front hoof has progressed to full blown founder in both front feet.

    In August my gelding came up a little lame in his left front hoof after a shoeing job so his discomfort was attributed to potentially be shod a little short. After trying a few things that did little to improve the lameness in his left front the vet and farrier both met to look at the horse September 15th. You can see in the link provided below what his feet looked like prior to this in the August 2012 album.

    The vet at the time also thought it might be a bruised sole but took x-rays to be on the safe side which came back that the horse had foundered. He and the farrier then decided how to shoe the horse again x-rays and pictures can be found in the link below.

    Despite the horse not being lame on his right front I did insist that the vet come back and go ahead and x-ray it as I know founder usually happens in both front and as it turned out he had foundered in that foot too. However, the vet said just to leave it since he was not lame and even though my gut feeling said it was the wrong decision I went with it. At this time I also had the left hoof re x-rayed. Again pictures and x-rays provided in the link below.

    Unfortunately, this past Friday the horse came up lame on his right front and upon the vet and farrier seeing him this past Monday (Oct 6) it was determined that it was time to treat the right hoof as well. I've been told that treating a club foot that is foundered is a little more difficult because if you drop the heel too fast it will pull the coffin bone down. I was able to get a x-ray from a previous owner from May 2008 of his right front to use as a baseline and upon seeing it in my opinion that hoof has never looked normal. I've also included that x-ray found in the link below.

    My biggest concerns are if we are taking the right steps. My farrier is new to us so I'm still feeling him out and although our vet is a nice guy he is a mixed animal vet who doesn't specialize in horses per se and I feel like I'm having to prod along to find answers and solutions.

    Does anyone have any thought or opinions on the progress so far as well as how it is being treated? Any suggestions?

    I'd also love to hear from anyone who has had some positive experience with this because as of right now my vet is of the opinion that founder is career ending for all horses.

    Currently he has been on stall rest since he became lame on his right front since Friday. Not lame at all on his left front anymore and barely lame on his right front at this point. Diet changes have also been made until we get to the bottom of what caused this. Thankfully he has been in great spirits the whole time and hasn't required much pain management.

    Sorry this is so long I really just want to learn and do the best I can for my horse.

    Here is the link to the pictures and x-rays (x-rays take with the hoof being x-rayed up on a block that 3-4 inches tall while the other front foot is held up by a person as if you were going to pick it)

    http://s1297.beta.photobucket.com/us...crae/library/#
    Last edited by jjgg24; Nov. 13, 2012 at 07:49 PM.



  2. #2
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    Feb. 19, 2006
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    Sevierville Tn
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    IMHO, you need a new vet and a new farrier who are experienced with rehabilitation. Sub par work here and IMO they are both lost as last years easter egg with your horses interesting feet. Too much toe still left, breakover too far forward, too much heel on the club that should be trimmed and fitted with a wedge as needed instead....just..sub par work IMO. Im sure they are trying but it just isnt good enough for me. One good shoeing by an amazing farrier/vet combo would make these feet looks tremendously better and the horse move better pretty quickly. I'm sure the resident farriers will chime in but that is my opinion.



  3. #3
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    Aug. 25, 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinity3205 View Post
    IMHO, you need a new vet and a new farrier who are experienced with rehabilitation. Sub par work here and IMO they are both lost as last years easter egg with your horses interesting feet. Too much toe still left, breakover too far forward, too much heel on the club that should be trimmed and fitted with a wedge as needed instead....just..sub par work IMO. Im sure they are trying but it just isnt good enough for me. One good shoeing by an amazing farrier/vet combo would make these feet looks tremendously better and the horse move better pretty quickly. I'm sure the resident farriers will chime in but that is my opinion.
    Thank you for the reply I appreciate it. I see you are in NC I'm located near Charlotte do you have any recommendations. I've struggled to find someone knowledgeable.

    His club foot anatomy makes me extremely nervous since it was explained that if the heel or toe were take down and back too quickly that it might make things worse.

    Outside of the work being sub-par in your opinion do you see any progress so far?

    This is all so new to me and I appreciate all the info. Thank you!



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwalker024 View Post
    Despite the horse not being lame on his right front I did insist that the vet come back and go ahead and x-ray it as I know founder usually happens in both front
    Good for you!

    and as it turned out he had foundered in that foot too. However, the vet said just to leave it since he was not lame and even though my gut feeling said it was the wrong decision I went with it.
    And this is where I would've fired this vet immediately. Founder is not something you just "leave." A lot of times when a horse founders in both fronts, one will seem to be more sore than the other, thus making the "less sore" foot seem just fine, in some cases. Leaving this foot alone because he seemed fine was not a good judgement call on the vet, especially since he had x-rays to prove the horse had also foundered in that foot.


    I'd also love to hear from anyone who has had some positive experience with this because as of right now my vet is of the opinion that founder is career ending for all horses.
    If he is of this opinion, why didn't he take proactive steps when x-rays revealed the horse had foundered?! This would piss me off.

    Currently he has been on stall rest since he became lame on his right front since Friday. Not lame at all on his left front anymore and barely lame on his right front at this point. Diet changes have also been made until we get to the bottom of what caused this. Thankfully he has been in great spirits the whole time and hasn't required much pain management.
    I could be wrong (I'm not a vet) but even if he seems "fine" wtihout much pain management in the way of medications, I think you should still be giving him some sort of anti-inflammatory.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  5. #5
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    Aug. 25, 2012
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    Thanks for the responses. The more I learn the more annoyed with the vet I'm getting!

    Would it be recommended to continue on some low dose bute as an anti-inflammatory? I was giving him some when he was noticeably lame but didn't continue it when he wasn't as I worried about ulcers.

    I'm going to start the process of interviewing other vets at the very least a second opinion never hurts.

    Should I change anything care wise at the moment?

    He hasn't gone back outside at all since Friday so currently he is in a 12x12 stall. However we are about to take down a partition so his stall will be 12x24 by the end of the week.

    Anything else in the mean time?



  6. #6
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    Again, I'm not a vet, but I had a horse that foundered (I've had two actually, one was so bad we didn't even bother with xrays, he was leaning over his stall front on his neck to keep himself upright, and the other foundered in both fronts, coffin bone sank in both, and eventually the hoof started sloughing off from the leg no matter what we did).

    In the 2nd case we did try. I had her on banamine daily, as soft as bedding as possible, including using like pink board insulation cut to hoof shape and duct taped on, and in the very beginning when it was discovered, I was icing her hooves multiple times daily to get the inflammation down in the laminae.

    The first thing I would do, is contact a well-respected knowledgeable vet in your area, and get him/her out ASAP for the second opinion. With laminitis/founder, a day can mean a lifetime for a horse.

    If you're worried about ulcers, I would also put the horse on omeprazole (either the Abler product or UlcerGard paste) because even aside from bute, a horse in pain can develp ulcers just from the constant pain factor.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  7. #7
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    Mar. 9, 2006
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    Default NC

    OP, you might try Dave Richards in Southern Pines. Search for his info and equicast. He helped my horse get over a critical time and specializes in founder cases I think. He does like to use casts, which didn't work very well for my horse, but there are other options.



  8. #8
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    Aug. 25, 2012
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    Great advice! I'm going to go ahead and give him a small dose of bute for anti-inflammatory reasons as well as take him off his grain and put him on beet pulp that has been rinsed and soaked witha few supplements in it as this seems like a popular choice in situations like this.

    I've also put a call into a new vet to see what their experience is with metabolic conditions and founder so hopefully he is more knowledgeable.

    Just went out and saw my boy and turned him out into one of our small dirt lots so he could stretch his legs. He found a nice dust place and layed down and had a nice roll he must be feeling pretty food because as soon as he got up he kicked his back heels up like he felt good.

    Anyways again I appreciate all the advice and would love to hear from some of the farriers on here too!
    Last edited by jjgg24; Oct. 11, 2012 at 04:00 PM.



  9. #9
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    Apr. 12, 2006
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    I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Dr. Jim Meeker at Davie County Large Animal Hospital located in Mocksville, NC. He is a vet AND a farrier, and also works very closely with 2 or 3 farrriers. He has worked on countless founder cases, including one of my own who rotated 18+ degrees (yes, really!) in both fronts. After Dr. Meekers work, he trotted sound until the day he died (which was not from founder fwiw). He is a lameness guru with many recommendations.

    website is www.largeanimalhospital.com
    phone is (336) 998-7131



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serigraph View Post
    OP, you might try Dave Richards in Southern Pines. Search for his info and equicast. He helped my horse get over a critical time and specializes in founder cases I think. He does like to use casts, which didn't work very well for my horse, but there are other options.
    Does anyone have his number I'm having a hard time finding it!



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by D1nOnlyRocketPony View Post
    I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Dr. Jim Meeker at Davie County Large Animal Hospital located in Mocksville, NC. He is a vet AND a farrier, and also works very closely with 2 or 3 farrriers. He has worked on countless founder cases, including one of my own who rotated 18+ degrees (yes, really!) in both fronts. After Dr. Meekers work, he trotted sound until the day he died (which was not from founder fwiw). He is a lameness guru with many recommendations.

    website is www.largeanimalhospital.com
    phone is (336) 998-7131

    Thank you for the info I will call them too and talk!



  12. #12
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    Sep. 7, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwalker024 View Post
    Just went out and saw my boy and turned him out into one of our small dirt lots so he could stretch his legs.
    If your horse is still in an active laminitic phase, this is a Bad Thing To Do. I realize that owners hate seeing their horses cooped up, and that the horses want to get out, BUT... Exercise is hard on laminitic feet. Any exercise. Period. Just because the horse 'seems better' doesn't mean that it needs to go out and destroy a days/weeks worth of healing.

    I know I sound horrible, but I see and hear this so often....

    And yes, the club is too high, the toes are too long, and you need a vet and a farrier specializing in laminitis.
    Matthew Kiwala
    Foothill Farriers
    (530) 870-4390



  13. #13
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    I agree if he had continued to act rowdy I was going to bring him in but I've been told that free choice exercise is important too as long as they remain calm as it helps with circulation in their feet is that incorrect?

    He was maybe out for an hour total yesterday mainly just walking around or standing.

    Thank you for the reply and help!



  14. #14
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    I think the walking itself can cause stress on an already inflammed foot, which is why its best to keep the horse immobile with excellent foot support (hence the pink board duct taped to the foot, it acts as a cushion).

    I really think you need to involve a vet, like yesterday, that is how important this is. Trust me, you do not want to take founder lightly or you won't have a horse to worry about. There is nothing worse than seeing a horse barely be able to stand because of the pain, or to see the coronary bands oozing and the hoof literally separating from the leg. With founder, a moments delay in treatment can sometimes be a moment too long.

    For the sake of the horse, get another vet out ASAP.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  15. #15
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    Exercise of any sort, whether free or forced, is not a good idea if the horse is actively laminitic. Mine was initially in a very soft bedded 12x12 stall and only came out (matted crosstie area right in front of stall) when i changed his foam pads on his feet. I agree with the others that you need to have a competent vet involved. I hope the suggested names from those in the area work out for you.



  16. #16
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    I've got calls out to a few vets and am waiting to hear back. Unfortunately Davie County Equine Hospital is too far for them to come to me and I'd really hate to put him on a trailer and potentially make it worse. Hopefully, one of the vets that is closer will get back to me ASAP.



  17. #17
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    Also, this might be a dumb question but will he be considered actively laminitic until the rotation is returned to normal or just when the rotation is occurring?



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwalker024 View Post
    but I've been told that free choice exercise is important too as long as they remain calm as it helps with circulation in their feet is that incorrect?
    I can understand the logic behind that argument, but...

    You've got a partially detached hoof wall, (depending on how bad the laminitic event is/was) and now you're putting stress on the coffin bone and hoof wall attachment with every step the horse takes. In my experience, it's worse to let the horse move about, than it is to not encourage circulation.

    Think of it this way: If you'd wacked your thumb so badly that you thought you might lose the nail, would you be using that nail to pop open your sodas a week later just because it didn't hurt as much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kwalker024 View Post
    Also, this might be a dumb question but will he be considered actively laminitic until the rotation is returned to normal or just when the rotation is occurring?
    From a medical standpoint, the horse is actively laminitic while there is inflammation in the hoof. The horse has foundered, when the coffin bone has rotated or sunk.
    You can have laminitis without founder, but you can't have founder without laminitis.
    Matthew Kiwala
    Foothill Farriers
    (530) 870-4390



  19. #19
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    You're assuming at this point that the rotation can be returned to normal. With the level of vet care up to this point, I wouldn't count your chickens before they hatch.

    He's needed treatment on the second foundering foot for 6 days now...and who knows how long before that...

    If it were my horse, I would have considered the evidence of foundering 6 days ago an emergency, and I wouldn't be waiting for anybody to take their time getting back to me. I'd be finding a vet to treat the horse ASAP, as an emergency visit.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
    You're assuming at this point that the rotation can be returned to normal. With the level of vet care up to this point, I wouldn't count your chickens before they hatch.

    He's needed treatment on the second foundering foot for 6 days now...and who knows how long before that...

    If it were my horse, I would have considered the evidence of foundering 6 days ago an emergency, and I wouldn't be waiting for anybody to take their time getting back to me. I'd be finding a vet to treat the horse ASAP, as an emergency visit.
    I'm aware that it may never be normal again I meant it more as a general question of when do you consider a horse to no longer be laminitic.

    Also, I'm not sure if there is confusion but currently both front feet have been treated for founder by our current farrier now I'm not sure if it is being done correctly or not but it has been done as of Monday.

    I just got off the phone with one vet who I spent about 20 minutes talking to and he fortunately sounded very very knowledgable. He is going to work us in ASAP between today and tomorrow but did say that since his lameness has improved that he at least sounds stable so that was nice to hear.

    In the mean time I will keep him in his stall as he is content there I'm glad he is used to being stalled as a show horse and thankfully doesn't get worked up about it. I had thought of putting him in a 12x24 stall as opposed to 12x12 would that be ok?

    Again thank you guys I'm learning so much!



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