Veresdale Equine Veterinary Services


  • You guys are awesome, thank you so much for looking after Taruni. - Sue from Greenbank

  • Amazing staff & services!- Susan from Beaudesert

  • Thank you so much for coming out to stitch my poor horse up this morning! It is the second time that I have had to call and get someone out and the service has been wonderful...and my horse is looking and feeling a lot better. - Jennie from Cedar Grove

  • Dr David Barthomomuez is brilliant. Yes I am totally biased but it is based on my experience over the last 6 wks with my mare Rivver. Treatment is still on going and I get the pleasure of picking David's brain for lots of horsey info when he does his weekly visit! I am very impressed with the way David handles and treats my mare, he genuinely cares. The girls in the office have also been wonderful to deal with. Keep up the great work team Vevs! - Cindi from Tamborine Village

  • "Thank you for your after-care service, I am very very impressed to say the least. The phone call from you today following up on my horses progress has won my business."

    - Sue from Gardenvale Stud

  • "Thanks to Dr David for helping my old man feel better... I would recommend this veterinary clinic to anyone, and I wouldn't use any other vet."

    -Nelly from Munruben

  • "I cannot fault their willingness to assist you as soon as possible, their capacity to prioritise so the most urgent animals are attended to quickly, their gentle way with horses, their knowledge and their reasonable prices..." - Sharon from Cedar Grove

  • "Thanks so much to Dr Dave and the team for all your hard work with getting Karrie in foal!!! We are very grateful and couldn't have done it without you guys!" - Lynette from Logan Village
  • "Your patience and gentle nature were greatly appreciated by both of us. Thank you." - Karen from Jimboomba

  • "Our family would like to give a big thank you and hug to Dr David, Kelly & all the team at Veresdale Equine Veterinary Services for saving our dog sid from a brown snake bite. Without their caring services I dont think sid would of made it, thanks guys. " - Hurchalla Family

  • "David and his team treat their client’s animals as if they were their own and have helped me and my horses in some very stressful situations over the years, thankfully, always with a excellent outcome!" - Toni from Jimboomba
  • "Thank you so much for the extra good care you took of Lilly ... I’ve always been extremely happy with Dave as our vet, I think he truly does a wonderful job, and you can really see how much he cares.” - Tania Banek

  • "The fact that Dave has been my vet for many years speaks volumes.  Dave has a very nice manner and deals with the horses in a calm and kind way.  He always takes time to explain options and procedures and to advise on what he considers to be the best course of treatment." - Gillian Coote
  • "Although we may have moved, we would not consider using any other veterinarian other than David to care for our horses." – Brett and Danielle from Wonglepong

  • "David has been my vet now for several years. Over that time with the highs and lows of my veterinary needs, David has always been compassionate, caring and friendly." - Marnie Wilmott

  • "We really appreciate David's practical, no-nonsense approach to everything, his vast knowledge and his abilities."

    – Marty & Danielle at North Maclean

  • "We feel that the care David shows our horses is the same as if they were his own."

    Weownna Warmbloods

  • "We have been using Dr "Bart" since we bought our first two ponies for our girls 6 years ago. He has always given us great advice and service over the years." – B & G Russell

  • "At VEVS, I always get the right advice, which means I’ve always gotten the right result"

    – Peter @ Acton Classical Equitation

  • emergency
  • clock
    Clinic Hours
  • directions
    Find Us
  • news
  • news
    Horse Forms
  • news
    HENDRA Lookup

Founder and your horse's foot

Laminitis or Founder are among the words most-feared by every horse owner that has ever seen a case, and from a veterinary point of view can be one of the most frustrating and disappointing cases, and also some of the most uplifting and rewarding cases to deal with, depending on the end results. It is also one of the more mysterious of horse conditions, and we are still a long way from fully understanding the whole mechanism which creates the problem. What we do know is that the damage caused to the horse's foot can be permanent and even life threatening.

To try and explain the process in a nutshell (it is much more complicated than I have room to explain, and I haven't got all the answers either!), the horse stands on the edge of his middle finger's fingernail (the hoof). This is normally VERY strongly attached to the bone underneath (the Pedal bone) by a whole lot of meshed "fingers" which lace together in layers called "lamina". The term "Laminitis" refers to inflammation of these tissues. Then the "glue" that holds these together loosens and there is tearing apart of the laminae which is very painful. Imagine having someone tearing off your fingernail slowly, when you can't do a thing about it! This can continue to the degree that the pedal bone is torn from its connection with the hoof by a combination of the weight of the horse and the pressure of the deep digital flexor tendon pulling it downward and causing it to rotate the front downwards, or in some cases simply lose grip altogether and "sink" onto the top of the sole – an unfortunately incurable situation.

One of the most common causes of laminitis is a diet high in carbohydrate (for example grain or pellets). Of particular interest are "fructans" – plant sugars which are particularly high in fresh lush green grass, as we have seen over the last few months. There has also been a run of founder cases over the same period, which is the reason for this article.

One of the fallacies I want to explode is one that assumes founder only occurs in fat horses. Although It is certainly more common in these, I have seen founder in normal-conditioned horses that have had access to large amounts of carbohydrate – such as when they've broken into a feed shed or silo, or gone out into a lush green paddock for the first time. They can also founder from multiple other causes, such as fevers, severe infections, colic, surgery, pregnancy, concussion and stress.

With such a range of possible initiating causes, you can see how complex the problem is and that makes it just that much more difficult to deal with that poor unfortunate horse who is standing right back on his heels, with his hind legs forward under him to take his weight.

The problem with treating founder is:

  1. Not all fat horses get founder
  2. Not being fat doesn't guarantee not getting founder
  3. Some horses get very mild founder
  4. Some horses get very severe, Very Quickly!
  5.  Once they get founder they will be more likely to get founder again in the future
  6. The damage done to the foot – especially if there is some rotation of the pedal bone – is likely to be permanent and may cause other ancillary problems with the foot.

Diagnosis of founder is not usually very difficult, but judging the degree of change in the foot is altogether different. Horses have different pain tolerances and may have serious pathology of the foot but be less painful to outside observation than one with significantly less changes. Often Radiographs (X-rays) are required to assess the degree of changes in the foot, and therefore to guide the vet and the farrier in the ongoing management of the feet.

Treating the foundered horse is all about co-operation. The vet needs to accurately diagnose the extent of the problem, the farrier needs to treat the foot properly and the owner needs to do what is required to maintain the horse during the treatment period and afterwards to attempt to prevent another bout of founder.

The take-home message is "No Hoof – No Horse". Be aware of your horse's way of moving. If it begins shuffling or walking on its heels, or if it is lying down and reluctant to get up, do think of founder (laminitis) as a possibility, and remember, founder CAN mean the end of your horse's usefulness and possibly even its life. Leaving it for a "couple of days to see what happens" may be the difference between a good result and a bad one, so act early, and get a vet to it sooner rather than later. Your horse will thank you for it!


Back to Horses

Visitor Hits

This month2427


Friday, 15 December 2017