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Founder is a complicated systemic disease that severely affects a horse’s feet.
As David Jolly, a veterinarian from Arkansas, stated in the July/August, 1986, issue of American Farriers Journal, “Any farrier or veterinari an who decides to tackle founder alone, without the cooperation of the other, does not have the best interest of the animal nor the owner in mind.”
To have a successful outcome, the horse owner must become your ally when treating founder. The information in this article is designed for use by farriers and veterinarians in helping clients understand the severity of founder and how important it is to use a proven mechanical as well as a medical treatment regimen. Animals treated with less attention to detail may not recover due to pain or infection.
Dr. Chris Colles of England says (Equine Veterinary Journal, 23:4, 1991), “There seems to be little doubt that a heart bar shoe, correctly fitted by a skilled farrier, is a great help in treating founder ... However, shoeing can’t cure a systemic disease ... Veterinarians seem to be opting out of treating laminitis/founder and delegating or abrogating their responsibilities to the farrier. Many farriers, perhaps unwisely are rising to the challenge. A joint approach by professionals with mutually synergistic talents must give the horse its best chance of recovery.”
Both medical and mechanical treatments are necessary to solve a horse’s problem when it’s foundered. The bone column must be supported while the horse grows a new…