There is a difference between laminitis and founder – Laminitis is inflammation of the laminae (which is the tissue that attaches the coffin bone to the hoof wall). Founder, is where the laminae have let go allowing the coffin bone to ‘sink’ within the hoof capsule.
Laminitis nearly always precedes founder.
Laminitis is a CHEMISTRY problem, which is relatively easy to rectify if action is taken early enough. However, once the laminae have ‘let go’, it is now a PHYSICAL injury or a mechanical problem which is a whole different kettle of fish to recover from.
To rehabilitate a foundered horse, the coffin bone, and everything above it, has to be artificially supported while the new hoof capsule grows down with brand new connection. There are various ways of accomplishing this and rehabilitation of a foundered horse can be done but is not an easy task because it takes the best part of a year for the new hoof capsule to grow down and take over the job of support.
Every time you see the rings on the hoof wall, there has been corresponding damage to the laminae. The rings are caused by a sudden change in the diet as in new Spring or Autumn growth or some other stress to their metabolism.
The major point here is that prevention is the way to go! Horses can get footy (be foot sore) or have mild laminitic episodes and fully recover but these are the individuals who could founder overnight if you are not diligent about what goes in their mouth!
The first signs of laminitis can be any or all of the following…
· A stiffening of the gait
· Slow walking or a reluctance to walk
· Shifting the weight from foot to foot
· The crest going hard
Do not ignore any of these signs, you have very little time to avert an emergency!!.
Take the horse off all green, soak your hay before feeding for at least an hour, give 2 small feeds a day (Copra, oaten chaff with Supreme Australian Horse vitamin & minerals (maintains good health), salt, GrazeEzy and SOS). The last three can also be mixed with water and syringed in orally, at least 6 times per day. This regime has worked wonders for many horses.
The vigilance of his carer saved this little guy! He made an overnight recovery on the above regime after he suddenly developed laminitis last Autumn.
He was in real trouble at 3pm on the Friday, rocked back on his heels and unable to walk at all but after only 2 syringes (3pm and midnight) of a mix of GrazeEzy and SOS, by the next morning he was completely sound and feeling so good he was able drag Jenny out of the stable across the stones and around the paddock!
Even we couldn’t believe he’d made such a remarkable turnaround within 24 hours!