Founder|treating laminitis the practical way


Spring time is unfortunately a time for treating laminitis. Also known as founder, or foundering, it’s when the soft tissue that attaches the coffin of the foot to the footwall becomes inflamed. That inflammation, and possible damage leads to a lot of pain for your horse and instability in the coffin bone. At its absolute worst, laminitis can lead to a separation and/or rotation of the bone within the hoof wall. Obviously, something we don’t want to happen to our horses but treating laminitis can be practical.

Causes of Founder

One of the triggers that can cause foundering is a sudden change from an all-hay diet to an all new grass diet. It’s tempting to take your horse off their hay and toss them out into the pasture with all that beautiful green grass, but unfortunately, that beautiful green grass is high in sugar and low in minerals. You should slowly wean your horse off their hay and slowly give them more grass, balancing their sugar intake. You could supplement their forage with some magnesium to help.

Typical stance foundering horse

Typical stance foundering horse


Treating Laminitis

If your horse founders, you should call in your veterinarian as soon as possible. In the meantime, practical solutions for treating laminitis include bathing the hoof in cold water to reduce inflammation, having your farrier trim the hoof, so it results in a coffin bone that is parallel to the ground, taking away sweet feed and sugar dense grasses and avoid steroids. Your vet will probably recommend phenylbutazone to help with the swelling and pain management. If your horse has trouble keeping weight on, it’s safe to add beet pulp to their diet but keep the molasses out of the mix. You’ll also want to add in a probiotic to help deal with all that sugar fermenting in your horse’s digestive system.

Bed rest is a must

Your horse should be kept in their stall as they heal, preferably with a thick bedding of shavings, so they give their damaged hoof a rest. You’ll want to pick out the hoof of any obstructions or debris regularly. While they’re in recovery, make sure they can still interact with other horses. Horses are social animals and do best when they can be social.

Practical and affordable solution fo treating laminitis

Abler offers AbButazone as an NSAID (non-steroid anti-inflammatory) to help with the inflammation and pain management as well as AbActive to help your horse’s digestive system recover. Both are available in easy to give and monitor doses. A healthy horse is a happy horse!

Abler Watermark - Since 2008




About Author

Betsy OReilly, Managing Editor of Blog Abler dedicated to Equine Ulcers. Born and bred in country Victoria, Australia, is a lifelong horse owner who has dabbled in Pony Club and Horse Racing. Enjoys hearing and writing about Equine Ulcers.

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