What is Founder in Horses?

Horse founder, which is a later stage of laminitis, is an acutely painful swelling of the horse's foot. It takes place usually in the front feet, however, it can take place in the hind feet as well. The reason the word founder is used to say a horse has founder is because the term Founder is the tissue that has been affected by the condition of acute laminitis. A horse that has founder can have complications subsequent to a single or a set of acute attacks of laminitis and so sometimes the term "a horse has been foundered" is used.

Founder Conditions

In the most severe of cases, irreversible damage to the laminae can occur and the link of the coffin bone to the hoof wall collapses. The entire weight of the horse puts pressure down on the coffin bone, and without the link to the hoof wall, the bone swivels down and can actually be shoved right through the sole to the floor. It is so important to treat a horse that has laminitis or founder as soon as possible to prevent unnecessary damage.

Understanding Horse Founder

Horse founder, also referred to as laminitis, is an acutely painful swelling of the foot. It takes place usually in the front feet, however, it can take place in the hind feet as well. Founder is the term used for the tissue that has been affected by the condition, as well as the complications subsequent to a single or a set of acute attacks of laminitis.

What Happens With Founder

In the most severe of cases, irreversible damage to the laminae can occur and the link of the coffin bone to the hoof wall collapses. The entire weight of the horse puts pressure down on the coffin bone, and without the link to the hoof wall, the bone swivels down and can actually be shoved right through the sole to the floor.


The Outlaw shoe is an emergency aid can greatly reduce or prevent displacement (rotation and/or sinking) of the coffin bone. Enhancing blood flow to compromised feet is the first step to enhancing the healing environment. Time is always of the essence. For best results, always consider acute laminitis an emergency, regardless of how quickly the horse responds to medication.


Evaluation at time of onset should include initial x-rays. Further x-rays should be used to monitor initial progress or digression of disease for the first 15-35 days. Increase mechanics when damage and/or chronic of the disease exceeds the limitations of the emergency device. Maximum stabilization of the third phalanx while maintaining mobility. Easily adaptable load bearing surface to unload pained toe areas as it protects the sole area from ground forces. Maximum reduction of shear and bending forces to dorsal and palmar laminae while maintaining mobility of horse. several days to weeks and there is no noticeable increase in digital pulse. Reducing the DDF tension should be considered once the sole growth is steadily increasing, the horse is sound, no anti-inflammatory medication has been needed.

Features

  • One piece open toe cuff and base wedge.
  • Efficient mechanical break over that can be further enhanced if necessary with rasp to the toe.
  • Strong, thick base with wedge pad insert.
  • Self-adjusting break over and arch support.
  • Shifts load from apex of frog to heel area.
  • Magnetic pads with 21.2 pound of pull force per foot to increase healing and sole growth.
  • The only therapeutic shoe with magnetic therapy built in and 21.2 pounds of magnetic pull force per foot.

Treatments for laminitis vary according to the severity of the condition

  • Use of the Outlaw shoe to relieve pressure on the hoof/hooves.
  • Imposing dietary restrictions to prevent overeating and obesity.
  • Treating with mineral oil via a nasogastric tube to purge the horse's digestive tract. This will limit the absorption of bacterial toxins, especially if the horse has overeaten.
  • Administering fluids if the horse is ill or dehydrated.
  • Administering drugs and/or natural medicines, such as antibiotics to fight infection, anti-endotoxins to reduce bacterial toxicity, anticoagulants and vasodilators to improve blood flow to the feet. (Corticosteroids are contraindicated for laminitis as they can cause it to worsen.)
  • Administration of painkillers. Since moderate to intense pain often accompanies laminitis and founder, prescribe painkillers and/or anti-inflammatories for the horse. These may include NSAIDs.
  • Use of a magnetic hoof pad found in the Outlaw shoe 21.2 pounds. This recently introduced treatment is believed to increase local circulation and help relieve pain.
  • Stabling the horse on soft ground, such as sand or shavings.
  • Opening and draining of any abscesses that may develop.
  • Co-operation with the horse's farrier.
  • Early treatment of the primary problem. (A delay of even a few hours can literally be the difference between continued healthy living and euthanasia so keep the Outlaw shoe Kit on hand.)

Application Options

Remember that for best results, strict stall rest is indicated when using Outlaw shoe. The goal is to quickly enhance circulation. The proper medications should be used to further the healing and soundness.

  1. Bandage or tape on when it is necessary to monitor the case closely with x-rays for the first 15-35 days following onset.
  2. Glue on for low scale damage cases. If the x-rays taken every two weeks show sole growth.