dealing with founder


dbfarm@...
 

Here's something I found helped my horse:
I made him a temporary "sandbox" which was just a folded tarp on the
ground, anchored on the edges by fenceposts 4" square (which allowed
the sand to be deep enough for his hoofs) - the tarp allowed the
sand to stay damp with very occasional watering, and the rectangular
shape of the whole thing encouraged the horse to be led into it, like
a straight stall (he wasn't too keen on standing in buckets or in my
kid's sandbox) . And needless to say I covered all traces of the
plastic so nothing rustled or was an unexpected color. (My guy is not
a good patient).
At first we used this method, standing with hooves packed in sand,
several times a day, for at least 15 minutes or so at a time, to keep
the feet cool and give some relief. The packing was less of a shock
than ice water, apparently. We put a "hay chair" in the front so he
would stand very still (food!) and free us up from having to hold
him. (The vet liked this if she had to stop by when we weren't home
to help)
As his condition improved, we only had to pack his feet whenever any
were warm (and you may find that the heat moves from foot to foot,
especially if this is cushing's related), and over time that abated.
If I had a sand arena I could have flooded a corner of it to the same
end, but our treatment lasted throughout the winter and we needed to
keep the sand workable, so the 2'x5' "sandbox" had to stay in the
barn. (A word of caution: if you steal the sand from your kid's
sandbox, as I did, don't let 'em see you!)
I'm not sure this will help make her more comfortable per se but it
really helps with the heat- my guy seemed to like it.
We also had good luck with modified egg bars and then balanced trims
on this horse,(he's been barefoot ever since) since his rotation was
minor (less than 5 degrees), but the shoes are not comfortable, for
all they're therapeutic, and you and your farrier may decide to just
go with the trims if your pony is that uncomfortable. I would
reconsider just trims if this happens again to my "old one". I am not
sure this is encouraging, but I found that for all the fear and
stress of dealing with founder, dealing with Cushing's has been
worse.
Wish you luck with your very special pony. You've helped so many of
us with our horses with your great articles, especially us worry-
warts - I hope you can quickly find everything you need, treatment
and support, for your equine family now. (I just read the "treats"
article, and am glad to know I'm not the only one with a mare who
gets put out if the boys are fed first....)

VA at DBF


Makyla Waters <twolegged@...>
 

Karen - I just read an article in Hoofcare & Lameness about what two
holistic vets (Dr. Joyce Harman, VA & Dr. Madalyn Ward, TX) are doing for
laminitis. It was VERY interesting! Their approach is to "provide
nutritional support to prevent and reverse damage from circulating free
radicals, prevent further damage to and encourage healthy laminar
attachments and to return the horse's metabolism to proper balance". (The
Horse, June 2000, did several articles about alternative medicine and
discussed this other article and used it as an example of the alternative
approach. There was an excellent article in it called Alternative
Therapies: Quality or Quackery that discussed the left-wing and right-wing
factions in this debate and how some experts are attempting to find common
ground. I was amazed that several vet schools are now including
chiropractic and acupuncture training.)

Their approach is different from conventional medicine and they recommend no
bute, but to bed the horse deeply to allow the horse to comfortably lay down
to take the pressure off their feet (and maybe prevent or minimize
rotation). They use antioxidants among other things to help at this stage.

I also just had a phone consultation with Dr. Harman regarding my horse
(Cushings, no laminitis...yet). We discussed what to do if he should show
any signs of laminitis and she's going to send me a list of homeopathic
remedies to use in addition to CoQ10. In our discussion, she noted that she
is hearing of many more conventional vets who are also not using bute.
Regarding my horse, she expects to get my horse completely off his thyroid
and Permax. I'll keep the list up-to-date on his progress.

Now, I have been a strong proponent of a holistic approach to health, so it
may be easier for me to accept these concepts and to use it for my horse.
Up until reading her article though I had thought I would use bute too, but
now am building up my knowledge of my options...just in case... And I just
didn't jump into holistic health approaches 100%, I had to try some things
and reject others along the way. Some things were just too scary for me to
reject the conventional approach. But as my own health has improved and my
animals have improved with a holistic approach, I am more and more
comfortable with that approach. All this to say... laminitis is a scary
thing and you have to be comfortable with any approach you use (so you don't
blame yourself later! among other things). But I wanted to just bring this
up in case it caught your interest and you want to check it out. Dr. Joyce
Harman # 540-675-1855. Dr. Madalyn Ward # 512-288-0428. It is very
important, any time you choose a practitioner, conventional or holistic, to
see what their experience has been in dealing with the issues you are
facing.

I wish you and your pony the best.

Take care, Makyla & 4-legged friends


Robin <Eclectk1@...>
 

Karen, I don't know if this will help... but when Tina foundered out
of the blue last fall (she was 28 at the time), the vet popped these
styrofoam things on, taped on, and she was almost IMMEDIATELY
tremendously more comfortable. She could walk around in them, and
kept them on for several days before he'd come out, cut the frog
impression out, tape it to the next set and tape those on... perhaps
the 'slippers' you mention are like those, I'm not familiar with
them... But they helped a lot. You may want to ask your vet about
them if they don't sound like what you are using -- no nails, no foot
prep to speak of, just a couple of inches of very dense styrofoam
shaped about like the horses hoof... Best of luck and very sorry you
are having to go thru this...

Robin
Eclectk1@...
Desert Springs Sport Horses
http://www.Sportshorses.homestead.com
(best viewed in explorer 4.x or newer)


LNGERZ@...
 

Sue, I lit a candle last night for Darby and you and she are in my prayers.
This has to be so very painful for you, but know you are not alone. We are
all here with you and we all know that we too may have to travel this path
one day. As so many have said, whisper to Darby that you love her, remind
her of all you have shared and tell her to head down the trail to the Rainbow
Bridge and wait for you there. She will understand! I do believe this!
Kay, who is holding you and Darby close to her heart today


Susan Laflamme <f4mlatir@...>
 

Hi Karen,
Try rubbing his withers, I know it's a small thing but it relaxes them and
releases some chemicals.
I actually signed on tonight to ask all of you to think of my Darby a
bit.....I think she may decide to leave us tonight.
She doesn't seem to be in pain just tired. The vet was out today and we
know it is close to the time we may have to say goodbye......I think Darby
might be making that decision on her own, she has been laying quietly a lot
today although she has gone out to poop and she has been eating her meals.
Give all your ponies extra hugs from us.
Sue


Barbara P. <MorganPinesFarm@...>
 

Sue,
You and Darby have been through a lot together.She's a real trouper.
I'll be thinking of both of you tonight.
Barbara


Xhltsalute@...
 

Sue,

My heart aches for you tonight. It was almost a year ago that Delight left
and I'm so sad knowing what you're going through. It's been a long tough
fight for Darby, as it was for Delight, but when it was time, I
knew...................she told me. Love & {{{{{hugs}}}}}} to you both. Give
her a kiss on that warm soft nose and take in her wonderful breaths as you
do. Sit with her, stroke her, talk about the good old days and tell it's OK.

Marie


Jackie Rice <jrice@...>
 

My vet said that one of the latest treatments is ice (similar effect to mud I think). I have used empty small Strongid C 2X buckets, put sterofoam in the bottom for cushioning, and then fill with ice water. My horse stood in them OK, but you have to stay around in case they step out.

----- Original Message -----
From: apschrock@...
To: EquineCushings@...
Sent: Wednesday, July 19, 2000 8:26 AM
Subject: Re: [EquineCushings] dealing with founder


In a message dated 00-07-19 11:15:59 EDT, you write:

<< Those of you who've had experience with founder ... suggestions please.
What else could I be doing to make him less unhappy? >>

This is more red-neck-tech than high-tech, but, sometimes it helps to make
them a mud-hole to stand in. We have done that before. (Along with all the
obvious things like ace and bute at on-set, and so on.) It's soft and cool
and if you stand with them and talk things over they like the attention, too.
I think it depends on the horse how quickly they bounce back. This is such an
upsetting situation. My first horse was named "Pokey," too, so we're thinking
of you -- good luck!

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Barbara P. <MorganPinesFarm@...>
 

Karen,
When Majestad foundered 2 years ago my vet took very agressive
action. In addition to bute, she used nitroglycerin to help the blood
flow. You need an Rx and it comes as an ointment that is applied to
the area of the ankle where you feel the digital pulse. We had taken
x-rays and there was less than 5 degrees rotation but as a preventive
measure we padded his feet with builder's styrofoam insulation taped
on with duct tape. Once the initial pain subsided he was allowed out
of his stall into a little paddock area because it would help his
circulation.
Did your vet take x-rays? She doesn't sound like she has your pony's
best interest at heart. My vet was in touch with me either in person
or on the phone almost every other day. As the pulse decreased, we
decreased the nitro and bute. I do remember that it took him a while
to stop being sore but it was only a few days before he no longer
stood in the typical foundered stance.
Once his feet no longer hurt he was shod with frog pads and egg bar
shoes. Then went to a natural balance shoe which he has been in since
then-and has been sound ever since. I know there are differences of
opinion as to whether to shoe or leave barefoot-but this worked for my
guy and I'm not going to change things at this point.
If you want specifics as to how to do the styrofoam ( it's not hard)
you can email me at MorganPinesFarm@...
Saying a prayer for your little pony.
Barbara


Karen Briggs <briggs@...>
 

Hi folks,

I'm going to come out of lurkdom once again with an issue far more serious
than copyright. My 29-year-old pony, Pokey, foundered last Friday ... I
don't *think* it's Cushing's-related, because I've seen no other signs, but
I'm not ruling it out (if I can ever get my vet out here, we'll run the
panels and see if that's a possibility). The really frustrating thing is
that there are no other obvious triggers -- no gorgeing on grain, no sudden
introduction to rich grass, no walnut shavings, no nothing -- so I'm
stumped as to why it could have happened. He is hypothyroid, and has been
on Thyro-L for the past three years, and my vet does have some suspicion
that the new jar I started him on about a week and a half ago may have been
more potent than the old batch and thrown his system out of whack -- it's a
stretch, I think, but the only half-way plausible theory we've got.

Anyway, it's been six days now and he's still quite uncomfortable -- and
that's on 4g of bute a day. As founders go, I'm told it's not severe (he
will walk around on soft ground, if slowly; he's not rooted to the spot
and groaning), but that's small comfort to him and me right now! My vet
seems to think there's little chance he'll drop or rotate, but I'm not so
sure (I keep feeling his coronets for mushiness; so far, nothing, thank
the deities.) I've stopped soaking his feet in ice water because it seems
to me the acute inflammatory stage must be over by now, but I feel like I
should be seeing *something* -- improvement, changes, some sign his body is
coping with the damage. There's been very little heat in his feet from the
start, and almost no digital pulse, so I don't know what else to go on!

Those of you who've had experience with founder ... suggestions please.
What else could I be doing to make him less unhappy? (I'm putting
diaper-slippers on his feet but they don't seem to be making much
difference.) Should I be investigating therapeutic shoeing yet? This pony
is very, very dear to me -- he was my first horse when I was a kid and I
owe him the world. My vet's been too busy to call me back (I think she's
fired over that, actually), and I'm feeling a bit frantic here.

Thanks,
Karen.


****************************************************************
KAREN BRIGGS, freelance journalist
.... specializing in equine subjects ....
1998 American Horse Publications award winner
Author of "Understanding Equine Nutrition" and "Crazy for Horses"

briggs@... briggs@...
RR #2, Orangeville, Ontario L9W 2Y9 Canada.
phone (519) 942-4649 / fax (519) 942-0454

"Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other.
Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then."
-- Katharine Hepburn
****************************************************************


apschrock@...
 

In a message dated 00-07-19 11:15:59 EDT, you write:

<< Those of you who've had experience with founder ... suggestions please.
What else could I be doing to make him less unhappy? >>

This is more red-neck-tech than high-tech, but, sometimes it helps to make
them a mud-hole to stand in. We have done that before. (Along with all the
obvious things like ace and bute at on-set, and so on.) It's soft and cool
and if you stand with them and talk things over they like the attention, too.
I think it depends on the horse how quickly they bounce back. This is such an
upsetting situation. My first horse was named "Pokey," too, so we're thinking
of you -- good luck!