An approach to acute laminitis and founder (rotation)
Nancy Collins <threecatfarm@...>
Walt F, Co-moderator of the barefoothorsecare list - recently put this
message up. I thought it would be a good addition here and he has given
permission to cross post. I've also invited Walt and Claire to join ECHoof
and, I hope, provide some input from their experiences.
Please bare in mind that this email below is information that Walt has
learned from his experiences working with lots of foundered horses.
Nancy C and Beau and Gabe in NH
Hi, Kelly, thanks for the input. It's a very important subject, and
needs to be revisited frequently, to make sure anyone here who's facing
a founder has some practical information to refer to.
When I took those first tentative steps treating a founder some years
back, I used two-inch styrofoam, as recommended by Gene O. I found just
what you did -- they crushed flat under the weight of the horse, but
they did it in less than a day. While crushing down, they did assume the
contour of the hoof bottom, but they also ended up almost hard as a
rock. No flexibility. And because they lost most of their two-inch
thickness but the duct tape holding them on did not, the fit became
totally sloppy. They would not "stay put" so the contour form they had
developed no longer was of any value.
There had to be a better way.
So I spent Deity knows how long seeking out a better material. Finally
came across the interlocking floor padding sold by Lowe's and other,
similar retailers. It comes in four-packs, where each section is two
feet square and the edges are scalloped so they interlock when spread on
a flat surface. They're on the order of 1/2 to 5/8 inch thick, and the
best feature: they are flexible but far from soft. After a day, they'll
be compressed down some, but they will still be flexible, and while the
duct taping still becomes loose like it does with the two-inch
styrofoam, it is much less so and tends to hold things together much better.
I've found that they'll stay put up to two days, but I prefer to change
them every 24 hours or so. A little more work, but worth it for the
A final point of major importance: when combined with instituting a
program of dosing with jiaogulan, after one to two weeks, the padding
can be discontinued because the horse is "over the hump" as far as early
pain is concerned. The padding makes standing, even walking, feasible
for the newly-foundered, and the jiaogulan seems to take almost
immediate action to start easing internal pain.
Turns out that a four-pack of what I've come to call Lowe's Padding is
about enough. When cut so there's minimum waste, that will be about all
that's needed, and the pack costs, I think, about $15. Pretty much an
Lest one gets the impression that padding and jiaogulan are some kind of
magic total "fix" for founder -- IT IS NOT. It's important to bear in
mind that founder is detachment between toe wall and coffin bone,
meaning there is no longer a bond, and because of the horse's weight,
the wall is easily, repeatedly pulled away from the coffin bone with
every step. That means that those molecules of new wall and laminae that
are constantly being born and developing at the wall corium are torn
away immediately with any movement of the fores at all. The trick is to
get the walls completely out of ground contact so the horse can take
steps without the walls being pulled away from the coffin bone, and
those new-growth molecules can multiply and begin to take hold. That's
where the founder trim comes in -- it takes the wall completely out of
ground contact from just in front of the heel buttresses all the way
around the toe. It means the sole has to bear virtually the entire load.
It can do that just fine, provided it's not forever and that there is
little movement during the early founder recovery phase. Continuing to
pad the hooves may help, but is not always necessary. The horse should
not be stalled, it needs freedom of movement AS IT CHOOSES TO DO -- but
there's little concern that there will be too much because it hurts.
It's a huge relief, the first time you notice the "Bob Hope Nose"
developing just below the coronary -- it means new wall tissue is
growing in, attached to the coffin bone by new laminae. As soon as
there's 3/4 to one inch of such new growth, I recommend starting a
program of controlled exercise for the horse, which I will describe to
anyone who so requests.
Overall, the concept of padding a newly-foundered horse is FAR SUPERIOR
than having some farrier apply egg-bar shoes. Shoeing a founder has
never yet fixed a founder, but padding, jiaogulan, and the founder trim
have -- most definitely.
I want to say when Gacy foundered in May 06 and after my vet had her stalled at the clinic for several weeks in Redden's Ultimates and after she was brought home to be stalled with no turnout, she became much worse to the point she could barely walk. This is when I went on a search for help for her with the support of the equine founder group. I found an AANHCPT trimmer and between the 2 of us, I padded her front feet exactly as Walt describes below with the same product and til I purchased a pair of Deluxe Equine Slippers, I used duct tape and elasticon tape and I let her decide when she wanted to move around. My trimmer came from 116 miles one way every 2 wks to trim her feet exactly as Walt described. It was a very rough time for several months, she progressed steadily, never a set back except when diagnosed as IR in Sept 06 and she has done well ever since. She is muzzled and I let her out with the other horses on the pasture for up to 8hrs/day, she carries on like normal, she has stiff muscles which I'm working on, her hooves are almost grown out, her weight is at 930#. I was not familar with Walt during the crucial time but after reading this post, I had to let everyone know that it worked for Gacy.
Nancy Collins wrote:
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