what causes founder where there is no fever, no hoof problems, only visible sign is puffy tendons in all four legs, showed possible leg stiffness on Sunday, rode in small pasture on Sunday for about 30 minutes..no lameness or problems evident, by Monday a.m., difficulty getting up and definite stiffness in all four legs, puffy tendons, vet administered iv bute, has been on 2 grams bute by mouth, twice/day since..by Monday evening no stiffness shown but still some puffiness, and now only a little puffiness just above fetlock in tendons. I want to avoid further occurence, regular vet was gone on Monday, alternate vet said a blood test not indicated but horse vet says if it happens again can do bloodwork looking for kidney or liver issues..what do you say.
Type of Animal: tennessee walker horse
Name of Horse: Lucy
only the bute...we live in central idaho, grass pasture, some white clover, recently hayed so only three inches high, all vaccines current, pasture 9 hours/day , small flake grass hay one hour before pasture time, two cups CarbSense in p.m., my vet say she is only a little overweight, has been ridden (pleasure, hilly) on a regular basis until last three weeks.
Welcome to Just Answer! I'm Dr. Hinson and I'd like to help you with your question.
I would do the bloodwork and also check for Cushing's disease.
Unfortunately, sometimes we never find an underlying cause in some cases of founder.
How was the founder diagnosed? Positive to hoof testers? What you are describing doesn't sound like founder and it is VERY rare to founder in all 4 feet.
My vet says wait and see if it happens again because since the symptoms have abated bloodwork now would show nothing...hoof tester was used on one foot did not indicate problem with hoof,diagnosis was only the puffy tendons...she also said she had seen some other weird founders around here...did not descibe symptons othe than weird
Well I have to agree that it doesn't sound like founder. Could be related to a weed or something in the pasture. Seems more likely. It is not always true that the bloodwork wouldn't show anything since the symptoms abated. If there were kidney or liver issues that would show up on the bloodwork no matter when you took it.
current horse only vet back in town and he thinks it could be a toxin related or something affecting kidneys or liver
Then I would do the bloodwork.
It's not that expensive and it would give you some peace of mind.
I'm big a weed control, know most about toxic to horses am aware...none found but am looking for someone who can check hair or blood and see if it has been an ongoing thing (weed not listed as toxic) or a ugly neighbor throwing something over fence because he hates animal...we live in country he came for city
Almost all toxins will cause liver damage. So if you run the bloodwork and there is no elevation of liver enzymes then that can be ruled out.
so you are saying go ahead and do bloodwork now just to check out liver and kidneys
Yes, I would
Does the horse have a negative Coggins test?
Any travel history?
is there any way to identify toxin if it show it and she was born in south Idaho and moved to central idaho...has no history or indication of any sickness...seems perfectly healthy, hair, feet etc....no coggins ever test never been bred either
No there isn't. When you talk about trying to have hair, etc tested that is almost impossible unless you know exactly what toxin you are looking for.
But you can treat the liver to "repair" it.
How do I avoid this from happening in future?
I can't tell you that because we don't know what caused it.
It could be a fluke thing and it may never happen again.
Sometimes we get sick or stiff and we don't find out exactly why. Same thing goes for them.
that's why vet says wait and see if happens again...I know what to look for now....thank you for your help
You are welcome. I do think the bloodwork is a good idea. If you do some now and then this does happen again, you can repeat the bloodwork and look for any changes. Wouldn't be bad to have.
Just my opinion.....
I agree and will do
Sounds great. I wish you and Lucy all the best!
should I do a coggins at the same time...what would that tell me
It would tell you if she has Equine Infectious Anemia. It can cause the unknown leg swelling but usually they have a fever (can be waxing and waning fever). It would be worth it.
If for nothing but peace of mind.
You are welcome!
11+ years experience in the veterinary field. Former trainer of show and race horses.
Hi Cathy,I'm just following up on our conversation about Lucy. How is everything going?Dr. Hinson
She is much better...swelling gone...vet coming out Tuesday to do labs. Thanks for the interest
Great! I hope she continues to do well! Dr. Hinson41114.6079391551