This Article is About
founder in horses
horses hooves
chronic laminitis
coffin bone
hoof wall
mild cases
farrier
blood flow
pasture
inflammation
Founder In Horses
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Founder in horses happens after the horse has had laminitis. It is a direct result of laminitis. Many people use the terms "founder" and "laminitis" interchangeably, but they are different ailments that are related to each other. If a horse has laminitis and is not treated immediately, founder can set in. If founder does set in, the horse has a new set of problems. This is why it is so important to help your horse immediately if you suspect laminitis.

Starting at the beginning, laminitis is when the laminae tissue become inflamed. The laminae tissue are an intricate network of tissue that attach the coffin bone to the hoof wall. The hoof is a hard shell, so when inflammation happens there is no room for the swelling or blood flow. The blood flow is eventually slowed or cut off, and the laminae tissue begins to die.

Laminitis can set in very quickly. Mild cases can go undetected and horses have been known to recover on their own, although oftentimes the laminitis turns to the acute phase very fast. Once symptoms set in and the horse shows signs of distress, it has progressed to the acute phase and can be very dangerous. The horses hooves are usually permanently damaged. There will always be a weakness there and the horse will be prone to chronic laminitis. This is also when founder can set in.

Founder is when the laminae tissue have been affected by laminitis enough that the tissue cannot support the coffin bone any longer. Because there is no support, the coffin bone will rotate out of position, and can actually drop down into, and through, the sole of the hoof. It is extremely painful and most times the owner will have to decide to humanely put the horse down. There is no cure for founder. A good farrier can deal with laminitis, but most times when it gets so bad as to go to founder, the horse will be in too much pain and cannot even be pasture sound.

The best defence against founder is a good offense. Be proactive and educate yourself on laminitis so if your horse does get it, you can deal with it and know what to do. There are many different causes of laminitis, and they don't always seem to be related. Because the horses hoof is so sensitive, a number of different outside factors can lead to laminitis and ultimately founder. As an educated horse owner you can make sure your horse is well protected against this deadly disease.


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