Morgan's horse, Punkin, started limping and walking stiffly last week. It has progressively worsened, so we called the vet yesterday and she came out to the barn today. It was the one thing we feared - she has foundered. Basically, it is a condition that occurs in conjunction with laminitis and is the most common cause of lameness in a horse. We caught it early, mainly because Punkin has foundered before and we do watch her closely.
There are many things that predispose a horse to laminitis, but the vet believes hers to be a metabolic founder, more specifically she suspects Peripheral Cushing's disease.
The vet gave her IV fluids, three different medications to help decrease the pulses in her legs and improve circulation, and padded her feet. I'll have to give her injections three times a day for the next few days in addition to her other medication. I've never given a horse injections before. This should be a new experience.
Joshua and Punkin went to the American Quarter Horse Youth World Championship when they were both 16. Now Punkin is a senior horse, being 19 years old, and she may be done with competition. She has been a great horse for Morgan, too. We still love her very much and we're going to work hard to get her sound again, regardless of whether or not she can compete.