What is foundering in a horse?

Laminitis (also termed founder) is inflammation of the laminae of the foot – the soft tissue structures that attach the coffin or pedal bone of the foot to the hoof wall. The inflammation and damage to the laminae causes extreme pain and leads to instability of the coffin bone in the hoof.

What causes a horse to founder?

Causes of Founder (laminitis) in Horses

Feeding your horse a large amount of soluble carbohydrates causes an overload of undigested sugars and starches. High fever or illness causing equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) Severe cases of colic. Stress such as travelling, foaling, or changes in the environment.

Can horses recover from founder?

Many do get healthy and back to work. “You can see a practically full recovery in many horses, provided you get the underlying condition under control,” McGowan says. “Even if the coffin bone rotates, the prognosis can still be good.” That infamous rotating bone won’t rotate back, she adds.

What does Founder look like in a horse?

Observant horse people recognize the appearance of a “foundered hoof”. These feet typically show several signs in combination: a dished dorsal hoof wall, dropped or flat sole, a widened white line and obvious growth rings or lines on the hoof wall. These lines are usually spaced wider apart at the heel.

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How do you prevent a horse from foundering?

To avoid grass founder:

  1. Allow the horse to fill up on hay before turning out on grass for a few hours.
  2. Place a grazing muzzle on horses predisposed to foundering to limit their forage intake. Grazing muzzles limit grass intake but allow the horse to exercise throughout the day.

What can I do if my horse is foundering?


  1. Call the veterinarian. While waiting; attempt to get your horse to walk. This helps to increase circulation and relieve some of the pain. Walk him on very soft ground. …
  2. If veterinary help is not immediately available give bute (2 gm./1000 lbs twice daily) or aspirin.

Can horses founder on hay?

Horses can founder even though they are on a senior feed diet. A simple grass hay diet is recommended for horses at risk of foundering. Senior feeds are made with ingredients that are typically high quality and easy to eat; however, horses susceptible to founder may continue to have problems.

What do you feed a foundered horse?

Horses require a minimum of 1.5% of their bodyweight in roughage per day for optimal health and wellbeing. For a laminitic prone horse/pony, low sugar roughage sources may include Teff hay, Rhodes grass hay, lucerne hay, beet pulp or soaked grass hay.

What does the term foundering mean?

: a person who creates or establishes something the country’s founders. founder. verb. foun·​der | ˈfau̇n-dər foundered; foundering.

Can a foundered horse be cured?

Laminitis is a crippling condition which can be fatal in severe cases. Once a horse has had an episode of laminitis, they are particularly susceptible to future episodes. Laminitis can be managed but not cured which is why prevention is so important.

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What is the difference between foundering and floundering?

‘Founder’ means “to sink” or “to collapse” or “to fail.” ‘Flounder’ means “to struggle to move” or “to proceed clumsily.”

How long does it take to founder?

You can founder a horse by putting them on an insulin drip for 48 hours, or simply by turning them out onto the equine version of a Snicker’s bar — a green spring pasture. The high sugar content of the grass signals the body to produce even more insulin. Take a look around the dry lot.

Can a foundered horse eat grass?

There is no fructan in warm-season grasses, yet horses can still founder on them. Since the same environmental conditions that create high fructan concentrations also increase sugar and starch levels, it’s best to just limit all NSCs.

What is big lick?

Under normal circumstances, “big lick” action is created by horseshoes that have added pads and weight (sometimes called “stacks”), usually combined with additional weighted chains or rollers placed around the pasterns to create dramatic, high-stepping flashy action of the horse’s front legs, desired in the horse show …

How does Founder Guard work?

Prevents build-up of lactic acid – when excess carbohydrates are consumed, bacteria multiply rapidly in the hindgut. FOUNDERGUARD controls the build-up of lactic acid from this fermentation process, preventing damage to the gut lining and therefore laminitis.