Laminitis ~ commonly called 'Founder'


In the Member's section you will find much information on the dreaded 'F' word, including;

First Aid Care   

Treatment for Mechanical Laminitis

Managing Metabolic / Systemic Laminitis  

When Enough Is Enough

Definitions & Terminology

It depends on where you're from, who you talk to, as to your distinction between the terms 'Laminitis' and 'Founder'. They can be used interchangeably, but commonly 'Laminitis' is thought of as the initial inflammation(itis), while 'Founder' is more commonly used to describe the (clinical) lameness & generally the mechanical changes, the distortion within the foot. Further to this confusion, I've heard that some don't think of it as 'founder' unless the pedal bone has gone so far as to penetrate the sole(!!) and others call sole penetration 'sinkers'.


I will use the terms 'Laminitis' and 'Founder' interchangeably, will distinguish between Sub Clinical Laminitis, Acute Laminitis and Chronic Laminitis with or without Mechanical changes... And to me, neither 'founder' or 'sinking' necessarily means there is sole penetration(which is just about as bad as it sounds), but I will call that what it is – sole penetration.

Laminitis is essentially inflammation and damage to the laminae(connective tissue) of the hoof, which if untreated/catastrophic, can cause extreme pain and damage to the feet. It is about the number one cause of premature death in domestic horses and, if we include 'sub clinical' laminitis, is extremely common.

The 'big 3' factors as I see it, which I go into details on in the Member's section are;

Dietary & Metabolic problems, Mechanical Issues and Recognition of 'SCL' or 'mild' signs.

Evidence of 'Sub Clinical' Laminitis

Evidence of Chronic Laminitis / Founder


Avoiding Laminitis

So you learned that Laminitis is literally inflammation, causing damage, to the laminae, the connective tissue of the hoof wall. You learned there are all kinds of causes and triggers. So how do you avoid them??

I do not believe it is realistic to think we can avoid every single instance - triggers such as reaction to necessary drugs, poisons, diseases such as Lymes Disease for eg, and minor 'stresses' from feed change, bruises... whatever, are often unavoidable and usually 'no biggie'... unless they're just 'one more straw on the camel's back'.


But I believe if we only managed accordingly, and recognise minor issues, we could indeed avoid perhaps 90% of significant cases and greatly minimise the repercussions of unavoidable or 'accidental' causes, and the suffering of the horse and expense in money, time and heartache for the owner!

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