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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Horse Veterinarian
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1204
Experience:  Board Certified Equine Surgeon, Lameness and Sports Medicine Specialist DVM, BSc
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I have a miniature horse who is 2 years old. He is walking gingerly o

Customer Question

I have a miniature horse who is 2 years old. He is walking gingerly on his feet. Farrier sees nothing wrong-he is not overweight and we have raised him from birth. His mother (age 15) last winter began the same way and got progressively worse until she appeared to be in severe pain just walking. Feet were not hot, she wasn't walking on the posterior of hooves, but was wearing the front of her hooves down. We did not do a lot of testing due to her age-vet did not think it was founder-so we put her down.
Really would hate to loose this young horse. What kind of tests should we have run?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Horse Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Linda replied 1 year ago.
Hello, this is Dr. Linda. I hope I can help with your question today.I am sorry for your concerns about Dillon, & the loss of his mother. You're description is one of a horse that is affected by laminitis, or founder. The most common cause of this condition is the feeding of foodstuffs too high in carbohydrates, or complex sugars, this being, for the most part, good grass pastures. The concentrates you are feeding, such as sweet feed, can contribute to this.There is a condition called Metabolic Syndrome that may contribute to this. A blood test is a good place to start in trying to diagnose Metabolic Syndrome. We look at a blood panel consisting of a complete blood count, serum chemistry analysis, electrolytes (sodium, potassium & chloride), & total T4 ( thyroid ). Then, we may also want to rule out Cushings Disease, an endocrine condition that may make a horse very prone to developing laminitis. X-rays of the feet would also tell you if anything has changed in feet to show if there is any rotation of P3 & founder has occurred.In the mean time, you have to remove, or significantly limit, Dillon's access to pasture. Either feed him a good grass hay, or attach a grazing muzzle to his halter. Ask your veterinarian about treating Dillon now for possible founder. At the very least, he needs an antiinflammatory like bute to make him more comfortable.Feed him a low carbohydrate feed. I like Nutrena's Special Care.I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns.Thank you.