Help! My horse has Foundered!
by Yvonne Welz ©2006
Your horse has just been diagnosed with Founder. What can you do?
Note: Please consult with your veterinarian. Founder is a serious health problem. Your veterinarian should always be part of your horse's hoof care program, and should be working cooperatively with your hoofcare professional.
Founder means that your horse a mechanical problem with the hoof: due to poor hoof form, the laminae of the hoof capsule degenerated to the point where they could no longer hold their connection to the coffin bone (often showing up after a bout of laminitis, which can also be triggered by the mechanical founder). Your horse's coffin bone then rotated, and the degree of rotation is determined by x-rays from your veterinarian. A mild rotation of 5 degrees is considered possible to fix even by traditional standards, while rotations of 10 degrees and above (some horses can be 20 or 30 degrees rotated) are considered much more difficult, as the hoof is so severely damaged. However, horses have been brought back to health from serious rotation, though it will take considerable effort to do so (and the horse may need to be placed in a specialized hoof care clinic).
If your horse has foundered, the first thing you need to do
is educate yourself. This very expansive site is an excellent resource for
anyone wanting to learn more about laminitis and founder:
Website from researcher Kathryn Watts, presents information
on the current research and prevention of grass founder in horses.
Click here to read Dr. Robert Bowker's recommendations for a barefoot trim.
Click here for barefoot trimming instructions on Marjorie Smith's website, Barefoot for Soundness.
(An important book to read about Founder is Dr. Strasser's
"Whos Afraid of Founder" which is available from
The Horse's Hoof store.)
©2006 by The Horse's Hoof. All rights reserved. No part of these publications may be reproduced by any means whatsoever without the written permission of the publisher and/or authors. The information contained within these articles is intended for educational purposes only, and not for diagnosing or medicinally prescribing in any way. Readers are cautioned to seek expert advice from a qualified health professional before pursuing any form of treatment on their animals. Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher.
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