Unfortunately founder, also known as laminitis, is a more common problem in the horse world than we would like. Time is crucial with a horse that is foundering. We need to try to stop the laminitic episode as quickly as possible, as well as determine if any rotation has occurred. So if you think your horse is foundering call us immediately at 303-841-6006. We will want to come see your horse within 12-24 hours, but here are some things to do before your appointment.
– IMMEDIATELY remove your horse from pasture. This is vital. We do not want your horse eating any more sugar from the field!
– Stop feeding any and all grain. Even if the bag says “low starch” do not feed it. All grain has sugar and if your horse is having a laminitic flare we need to significantly reduce their sugar.
– If you feed grass hay soak it for 30 minutes, drain the water, then feed it. Again, this is all about sugar. By soaking the hay we remove water soluble sugars.
– Confine your horse to a small area with lots of soft bedding (like 6-8″ lots). This will help alleviate some of the pressure your horse is feeling when standing. We want them to be as comfortable as possible
– If you have Bute on hand let your veterinarian know when you talk to them. Do not administer it without their direction however, as they may want to give something when they come out that Bute may limit their ability to give. Laminitis is an inflammatory disease, so if we can reduce the inflammation we can help them stay more comfortable.
– There is a high likelihood we will need to take some radiographs to determine the severity of the laminitis in your horse. We need electricity, so plan for us needing to use an outlet of some sort and let us know where that will be. Ideally we want to stay as close to your horse’s stall as possible, since they are probably pretty unwilling to move.
There are a lot of ways we can help a horse recover from a laminitic episode, even severe ones, but it is important to get it handled as quickly as possible. Make sure to call us at 303-841-6006 as soon as you suspect a problem!