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Your horse has been diagnosed with Founder. CALL 911 NOW!Your horse has been diagnosed with Founder. CALL 911 NOW!

If you have ever owned a horse diagnosed with laminitis, founder, navicular syndrome or any other type of hoof problem you know how devastating it can be. Even with advances in modern technology some horses are still diagnosed incorrectly and inadequately leaving the owner helpless and the horse in pain.

Most diagnosed cases start out with strict regimens of prescription medications including steroids, pain killers and other anti-inflammatory medications. This is then followed by costly farrier bills, stall rest, more vet bills and a horse still in pain.

Preventing hoof problems in a horse is a great stress on a horse owner and with all of the different variables to consider from footing, shoeing, conditioning, diet and nutrition, to genetics, even the best cared for equines on the planet could still be plagued.

So what do you do if your horse is having lameness issues or has been diagnosed with a hoof condition such as navicular? Get your facts and know you options. Prescription medications have long lists of side effects. Prescribing a medication like a steroid to “see how your horse looks” after a certain period, may do more harm than good. This is not a good way to try to diagnose a hoof condition and could even make the situation worse.

Most importantly, preventative maintenance is key. Good nutrition goes straight to the hoof and so does bad nutrition. Keeping our horse away from artificial products, sugars and starches that they are incapable of processing will ensure less risk of laminitis and founder. Navicular syndrome can be more mechanical yet just as hard to diagnose or treat and painful just the same. The main goals in getting your horse comfortable in any situation would be to reduce inflammation in joints/joint capsules and tissues and allow for improved blood flow to the hoof for optimum recovery.

This tip was brought to you by Amanda McNally of Emerald Valley Natural Health and KAM Animal Services, home of KAM’s “Equine Learning Circle” FREE webinars, which will take place twice a month starting in January. Go to www.kamanimalservices.com  to sign up for the January 10th and January 31st webinars. These FREE webinars will conclude with a question and answer session, so be ready with your nutrition questions.