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Ugg .. my horse has laminitis!

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  • #41
    Your blog suggests some seriously muddy pastures. Can he be moved to a pasture /paddock with better drainage?
    Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

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    • Original Poster

      #42
      Originally posted by J-Lu View Post
      Your blog suggests some seriously muddy pastures. Can he be moved to a pasture /paddock with better drainage?
      I did. And this year was worse that years past due to more rain that normal. But much to the annoyance of the barn manager I insisted that he be moved and have been a pain in the ass about not moving him back.
      https://fearlessriderreturns.blogspot.com/

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      • Original Poster

        #43
        [QUOTE=walkinthewalk;n10442070]-----



        -----[/QUOTE

        She only keeps a small amount of hay on hand. TH BM said that each pen goes through 2-3 round bales a month and she keeps maybe a months worth on hand.
        https://fearlessriderreturns.blogspot.com/

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        • Original Poster

          #44
          Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

          Laminitis switches to founder at the moment the coffin bone is displaced relative to the hoof capsule.

          It is possible for a horse to have a laminitis episode, and if the hoof balance is good and the episode is treated promptly, for instance icing, soft boots, etc., to have no resulting founder. The inflammation just subsides.

          Thank you for the explanation.

          It is absolutely possible for a horse to founder from hay. Around here, the typical first cut local grass hay can easily be 25% NSC. The hay looks like coarse "pony hay" and is low protein, low minerals, but it is high sugar and I have seen someone founder a pony on that hay.

          The problem is that he is round bales and she only gets about a months worth at a time. It is another reason to switch him to a stall. I could probably have the hay soaked then. She feeds a grass/ alfalfa mix.

          A horse that has had a previous laminitis episode that has triggered structural changes to the foot can have those structural changes get worse and worse without a new active laminitis attack, especially if the hoof is in poor balance. Founder will cause the whole hoof capsule to slip forward on the coffen bone, and that will in turn put more pressure on the structures and make things worse. So yes, a horse with a certain degree of founder (sinking or rotation) can absolutely get worse without a new laminitis outbreak.

          ​​​​​​​Thank you for that explanation.

          OP, note also that founder hurts. The coffin bone is closer to the sole and the foot is sore and tender. In worst case scenario the coffin bone will penetrate the sole (that's game over typically). So a horse can have worsening founder and more foot pain over time even without a fresh bout of acute laminitis.

          Thankfully that has not happened yet.

          OP, did you get any PPE or rads on this horse when you acquired him? I seem to remember he was a freebie or a rescue or something like that, so perhaps you didn't look closely at his feet? Did he have founder rings on his feet when you first got him?

          Good memory! He is a rescue with no history. He did have founder rings, although the farrier was unsure if they were from over grown hooves or founder. He had no idea what his feet had looked like prior to me.

          If you look at the wall of the hoof, it is a good road map to what has happened to the horse over the last year.

          We did look closely, and this feet were getting better. They were going out really nicely.

          Pethaps we need to see hoof photos here. That could help determine if the problems started before or after you got him.

          I posted a pic of his hooves, and both radio graphs above.

          I really do recommend the online sites i mentioned above.They will help solve some of your confusion here.

          Also, any owner with a horse showing laminitis or founder has to do a lot of self education fast to get up te speed on the issues. Unless you know a lot, you cannot be a good advocate for your horse. The solution is multi modal, so to speak. It will involve nutrition, hoof balance, hoof protection, medical testing, medical intervention, and rad diagnosis. You will need to be the central person assimilating all this information and getting the various practitioners to pay attention to each other. You can't expect just your vet or just your farrier to guide you through this. No one practitioner has all the answers.
          Thank you SO much for taking the time to explain all that to me. I am big into research, my past year as been PPID/ IR now I will switch to founder. I completely agree that we are the only person who will advocate for our horses. I am frustrated because I am in a boarding situation and don't have 100% control of the environment he is in. For the fist year I was there for every vet appt, every farrier appt. but I switched jobs and have had to had the barn hold him for some of these visits and it has been frustrating! I am going to have to start scheduling things so that I can talk to these people. This happened when I was having a hard time getting out to the barn as often as I wanted to, and to this day this BM swears up and down that she never saw him take a lame step!

          I have looked into getting him into a different place, but unfortunately, my search has not yielded any good result. I have one place in mind that would put him closer to me, but the turn out is over crowded and on a slope. Other places do minimal turn out, or are further away so I would have an even more difficult time getting out to see him. He is already 45 mins away.
          https://fearlessriderreturns.blogspot.com/

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          • #45
            If a horse is severely lame on one leg, especially one front leg, you will see the characteristic head bob when he moves. That's all most people look for to gauge "a lame step." This is typical of hoof abscess and accidental injury to soft tissues or joints, which affect only one leg.

            If a horse is lame on both front feet, you won't see a head bob (this is typical of founder, laminitis, and also of navicular syndrome, which all tend to be bilateral conditions). You will see a horse that is "going short" on both front legs, or that is reluctant to move out nicely, or seems "lazy" or sucked back. If a horse is lame on both hind legs, for instance both the hocks are hurting, again you will see short strides behind and if it's the hocks, the leg travelling straight without articulating the hock much (hock arthritis also tends to develop bilaterally). But in neither case will you see a distinct head bob.

            I've spent hours of quality time with my trainer who is also a trained farrier/ barefoot trimmer and has a good eye for horse biomechanics, and have learned to see lameness in horses when the owners/riders are oblivious.

            So it is perfectly possible that your horse was sore on both front feet, was moving slow or moving short, but did not present anything that your barn manager recognized as "a lame step," especially if it is mud season and the kind of barn where horses stand in the mud and eat a random round bale, i.e. your horse is not in rigorous training program where everyone is looking for his gaits to lengthen and improve week over week.

            If the laminitis episodes are past, and there is some rotation, the task now is how to try to reverse that rotation. A really experienced top trimmer like Pete Ramey can do this with trims, with soft boots or glueons if necessary, and with some changes in nutrition. The idea is to manage the trim so that the new hoof grows out in correct relation to the coffin bone, since the coffin bone doesn't really rotate, rather it is the hoof capsule that rotates. This growing out will take at least a year.

            Though I have never been caretaker of a horse with founder, I went to his hoof rehab lecture/clinic last summer out of general interest in hooves, and watched him work on a number of local horses that were in recovery from varying degrees of founder, and we got to see the radiographs plus his work.

            He also recommends therapeutic doses of copper and zinc, as in California Trace brand minerals. I really recommend his website. He impressed me as someone who is continually learning, does not have a one size fits all approach, and is actively involved in university level research in collaboration with animal scientists. He also runs a Hoof Rehab FB group where you could discuss these things.

            Of course another piece of the puzzle is making sure the laminitis does not re-occur. That's where figuring out what triggered it is so important. Note that most horses do not have problems even on high sugar hay, unless they have underlying metabolic problems or they are allowed to get obese. But I understand that once they founder from feed problems, they remain susceptible to it, just like once people get diabetes they have to manage their sugars for life.

            Horses can also get laminitis and founder from fever following infectious diseases, from overuse on hard roads, from very bad trims or shoeing, or from a one-off raid on the grain room.

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            • Original Poster

              #46
              Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

              So it is perfectly possible that your horse was sore on both front feet, was moving slow or moving short, but did not present anything that your barn manager recognized as "a lame step," especially if it is mud season and the kind of barn where horses stand in the mud and eat a random round bale, i.e. your horse is not in rigorous training program where everyone is looking for his gaits to lengthen and improve week over week.
              He was completely lame on his right front. You couldn't not see that he was lame. Even my hubby with no horse experience would have seen that he was lame.
              https://fearlessriderreturns.blogspot.com/

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              • #47
                Originally posted by Hopeless View Post

                He was completely lame on his right front. You couldn't not see that he was lame. Even my hubby with no horse experience would have seen that he was lame.
                One foot would make me think abscess or something else before laminitis.

                It could be both - e.g. a horse with an abscess can also have laminitis.

                I can't find the xrays….maybe it's just too early for me?

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                • #48
                  Originally posted by S1969 View Post

                  One foot would make me think abscess or something else before laminitis.

                  It could be both - e.g. a horse with an abscess can also have laminitis.

                  I can't find the xrays….maybe it's just too early for me?
                  My mare showed up lame one day in just one foot. No sign of anything wrong. Wasn't getting better so I took her into the equine hospital where I was working at the time. We did xrays and that's where we saw the rotation so yes it is possible, while rare, to have laminitis in just one foot. She had none of the typical laminitis signs and my first thought was abscess too.
                  "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England

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                  • #49
                    OP, when *you* first noticed the lameness, was the hoof hot or cold?

                    If hot, then you intervened in a current state of acute laminitis.

                    If cold, you are dealing with older chronic founder (rotation or sinking) that has either progressively gotten worse, or started to hurt for whatever reason,

                    It would be useful to have photos showing the hoof and pastern. Often if horses have asymmetric front hooves, for instance if one hoof/pastern is naturally more upright (what is called a club foot, but nothing like club foot in humans), that foot is more susceptible to mechanically induced laminitis and then founder. Not connected to the diet, just to stress on the hoof.

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      Originally posted by ryansgirl View Post

                      My mare showed up lame one day in just one foot. No sign of anything wrong. Wasn't getting better so I took her into the equine hospital where I was working at the time. We did xrays and that's where we saw the rotation so yes it is possible, while rare, to have laminitis in just one foot. She had none of the typical laminitis signs and my first thought was abscess too.
                      And you know that there was no rotation prior to that?

                      So what was the cause - was there a mechanical reason for only one foot being affected?

                      (As the owner of a Cushings pony, I've seen serious laminitis - it doesn't always even look like lameness because all the feet were sore. )

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        Jingles & AO ~ during this difficult time period ~

                        Never an easy assignment ~ IMHO

                        ((hugs)) of support laced with strength and patience ~

                        Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by S1969 View Post

                          And you know that there was no rotation prior to that?

                          So what was the cause - was there a mechanical reason for only one foot being affected?

                          (As the owner of a Cushings pony, I've seen serious laminitis - it doesn't always even look like lameness because all the feet were sore. )
                          No rotation prior - in fact never a single day of being lame since I had her (9 yrs at that point). Vetted clean at the track (she's an OTTB and now 20). Vet said mechanical so I switched farriers to one that works in conjunction with my vet. My previous farrier was more old-school and wanted to do the opposite of what the hospital vet wanted (current vet worked there too so we all know each other).

                          I have seen plenty of full-blown laminitis cases when I worked at the hospital. From ponies to warmbloods. I've also seen farrier work that is just horrific for laminitis cases yet trying to get the owners to understand they were doing more harm than good wasn't easy.

                          Having a vet and farrier willing to work together is huge.
                          "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #53
                            Originally posted by S1969 View Post

                            And you know that there was no rotation prior to that?

                            So what was the cause - was there a mechanical reason for only one foot being affected?

                            (As the owner of a Cushings pony, I've seen serious laminitis - it doesn't always even look like lameness because all the feet were sore. )
                            No, I do not know that that there was no rotation prior to this episode. It would be entirely possible that an abscess lead me to get radio graphs and then notice the rotation.

                            Photos are on page 2.

                            His feet were looking better though, and then we had new growth rings. So ... that is why my farrier and I thought there was another episode. My vet thought that his left was worse that his right, but actually the right had more rotation.
                            https://fearlessriderreturns.blogspot.com/

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                            • #54
                              Originally posted by Hopeless View Post

                              Photos are on page 2.
                              I do not know if your photos show up for anyone else but they do not show for me.

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                              • Original Poster

                                #55
                                Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                                I do not know if your photos show up for anyone else but they do not show for me.
                                Damn it! I will try and fix that.
                                https://fearlessriderreturns.blogspot.com/

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  yep couldnt see them either.

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                                  • Original Poster

                                    #57
                                    https://photos.app.goo.gl/bsG59Z1H2h2sB6Xt5

                                    Did that work?
                                    https://fearlessriderreturns.blogspot.com/

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      That is definitely a well established case of founder, visible even without the xrays.

                                      I'm curious, did his feet look more or less like this when you acquired him? This is a lot more than "a few rings" on his hooves, the capsule has visibly migrated forward on the hoof and the hoof has that crumpled or collapsed thing going on.

                                      Horses can have a few "incident rings" on their hooves that don't affect the structure, especially if they have been living through fluctuations in grass on a pasture. But this horse has clear signs of founder, which is much more than that.

                                      I went back to look at OP's earlier threads and blog to see what I could of the horse's feet when she acquired him a bit over a year ago, I think. There are no clear photos of the feet, but they do look a little foundered even back then at a distance. OP mentions early on that the horse appears to have foundered in the past, but didn't Xray him because that won't change how they manage his feet.

                                      Given that, I'm curious as to what kind of management and re-shaping of angles has been attempted in the past year? OP says last year that the hoof appears to be growing in straight, but looking at it now, it seems like the top inch is straight, but the hoof continues to flare out lower down. If anything, it looks like the feet are in worse shape now than a year ago? My reading of the situation is that the horse arrived with established founder, a bad coffin bone angle, and whatever farrier work has happened over the past year has not helped reverse this, so the coffin bone is slipping more and more.

                                      I myself would consider these feet to be emergency time in terms of getting a really good therapeutic farrier or trimmer onboard. If the coffin bone has continued to fall over the last year, even without a hot acute laminitis episode, the horse will eventually have the coffin bone rotate through the sole and need to be euthanized. In other words, getting this problem reversed is a life or death question for this horse, not just a quality of life question. It's not like an old soft tissue injury or arthritis where the horse can move stiffly around in the sunshine but live a long time. It needs active and intelligent intervention, and even so it may not work.
                                      Last edited by Scribbler; Aug. 11, 2019, 05:21 PM.

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
                                        I myself would consider these feet to be emergency time in terms of getting a really good therapeutic farrier or trimmer onboard. If the coffin bone has continued to fall over the last year, even without a hot acute laminitis episode, the horse will eventually have the coffin bone rotate through the sole and need to be euthanized. In other words, getting this problem reversed is a life or death question for this horse, not just a quality of life question. It's not like an old soft tissue injury or arthritis where the horse can move stiffly around in the sunshine but live a long time. It needs active and intelligent intervention, and even so it may not work.

                                        everything Scribbler said but especially ^^^THIS^^^. "Really good therapeutic farrier is Critical Path for those hooves. A lameness vet should be involved if at all possible.

                                        There re is no magic bullet for those hooves. Micro management of the hooves on the OP's part is also critical path. Do what the farrier and vet tell you to do and then some.

                                        As an FYI if orthotic shoes go on the horse instead of boots & pads:

                                        WLD can be an on-going issue with these hooves. I struggle with it to some degree with my foundered horse. The farrier hot shoes and cauterizes the hooves with the hot shoes --- it helps a lot. But not all horses will tolerate smoke rolling off their hooves. My horse's attitude is "meh, no big deal" but my other horse would go thru the barn roof if he had to have his hooves cauterized.

                                        Also, my farrier uses copper nails which are anti bacterial and MIGHT help some to reduce anaerobic issues in the nail holes. She said they are about the same price as standard nails and don't seem to be any more difficult to hammer in.

                                        Just some helpful info if you shoe the horse --- which to reiterate what Scribble said --- you need a farrier well versed and experienced in rehabbing foundered hooves because those hooves are in dire need of specialized help

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                                        • #60
                                          Agree with above. New farrier is necessary. This is not *just* a recent event.

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