THE FIRST SIGNS OF FOUNDER

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Tim Pruitt, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. Tim Pruitt

    Tim Pruitt New Member

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    Having had goats to founder before, I only discovered it after the fact. I would like to be able to recognize a problem quickly enough to treat it if possible. What are the early signs of founder?
     

  2. Ashley

    Ashley New Member

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    In horses, once there is any signs of founder, the damage has already taken place. The inflamation that results shows up later. In horses, trimming the hoof wall with a strong bevel and keeping the hoof short prevents further rotation, I don't know if that translates to goats.
     
  3. MF-Alpines

    MF-Alpines New Member

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    It's not the early signs of founder that you should worry about; it's management.

    I, too, have worried about founder in my goats. I have a VERY, VERY rich pasture with mostly clovers. Our horses are on it, but we limit them depending on the amount of sun, rain, etc. AND their weight.

    They are very fat (horses). We've taken them off pasture and put them on very poor alfalfa (not take off, but lessened.

    I would assume that the very thing that causes founder in horses causes founder in goats. Yet, when I asked "someone I trust" about this, they said no, goats don't founder. I can't believe this.

    Tim: Since you asked, I'll bet they do. And aside from not raiding the feed bin, I would limit pasture, especially in early spring and fall, until they were used to it, and even then, I would not give a free pass.

    This is just me with lots of experience many years ago with horses and ponies that foundered. I lived and "rode" the consequenses, and even now, I do NOT want to relive it. My horses still are limited on pasture. And since my fences are not goat friendly, they are also limited to what I can watch them at.

    Ugh. I think I've floundered (Ha! Not foundered).

    Hope ya'll understand this.
     
  4. stoneyheightsfarm

    stoneyheightsfarm New Member

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    http://www.tennesseemeatgoats.com/articles2/founderingoats.html

    Another good article. What hit me in that one is that founder in goats is not always a direct result of improper feeding, but can also come from kidding complications, retained placenta, uterine infection, pneumonia, or mastitis.... so, it seems preventing those issues are key as well.

    Tim, how did you treat the founder after you discovered it? Seems the dietary needs of lactating goats make it a bit tricky.
     
  5. MF-Alpines

    MF-Alpines New Member

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    Good one, Billie, you're right.

    Founder comes not only from food (although most often, it does). As you said, other issues cause founder (and not just in goats).
     
  6. dragonlair

    dragonlair New Member

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    I rescued a doe who had foundered, yes goats founder. The signs usually show up after the animal is fairly far along with laminitis. Strong, fast, hard pulse in the feet, severe pain in the hooves, they lay down and refuse to get up, a lot of heat in the lower legs and hoofs, rocking horse gaits as they try to keep their weight off the effected feet, since it's more common for them to founder in either the front or the rear. My doe and colt (both rescued and came that way) were unlucky had had laminitis and then founder in all 4.

    The causes of founder in goats are about the same ones as founder in horses, anything that upsets the balance in the body.

    One of the best things to do is to soak the feet in ice cold water as often and long as possible. Get some baking soda into them to get the rumen back to where it needs to be. No grain, or anything high in protein until they are out of the active phase, grass hay would be best. Banamine/steroids for pain and to help relieve the inflammation. Its that inflammation that is going to cause the damage to the feet. If it's bad enough the hoofs can actually slough off. The bone in the hoof can rotate and poke out thru the bottom of the hoof. Keeping the hoofs short and at the proper angle/shape will help.

    It is said that once an animal founders they will do so again. Neither my doe (who turned out to be a very heavy milker) nor my colt ever ever had it again. Both returned to a balanced grain/hay diet. The doe milked and had several successful kiddings. The colt grew up to be a top sire and multi-purpose riding/working horse. However, I always made sure they had a balanced diet.
     
  7. Ashley

    Ashley New Member

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    You can give antiinflammatories to prevent damage if you expect an animal may founder.

    Founder in horses is totally curable as long as the cause is relieved and there is a correct trim and no permanent tissue loss from chronic founder etc. Usually, in horses, the horse has had subclinical laminitis for many years before they actually founder. Most horses go around with some degree of wall detachment (flares) because they basically eat too much and exercise too little. Over time, this actually permanently weakens lamina, part of why it's so important to keep foals trimmed regularly so they don't flare and have leverage on those flares.

    I have a horse that is sitting in my round pen right now because he nearly foundered this spring. He is one a diet. Since sugar is lowest in the morning, he's out in the morning (after a little hay to put something in his belly first) until about noon and then give hay after that, in limited amounts fluffed and spread in several piles to slow him down.

    The more exercise the animal gets the more he can handle sugar better.. I've often wondered how this relates to lactation, does lactating make the cells responsible for milk production more sensitive to sugar like muscle cells become more sensitive when worked?
     
  8. hammerithot

    hammerithot New Member

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    I wonder if the same thing happens in goats that happens in horses to cause the acute laminitis. In horses, due to whatever has caused a problem (and retained placenta and mastitis can cause it, too), blood supply to the hoof is shunted off. The theory is this is to allow the blood to be used to help fix whatever the problem is. Well, cut off blood supply, completely or partially, and you get swelling. Unfortunately, this symptom is, in and of itself, a very devastating problem!
     
  9. Hollybrook

    Hollybrook New Member

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    Billie

    It said giving bi-carb can help
     
  10. stoneyheightsfarm

    stoneyheightsfarm New Member

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    Hey Dave! :) I saw that, but I wondered if Tim did anything else. Good to get information from people that have been there and done that. :)

    We do so much talk about protein and calcium in a doe's diet... do these relate to founder? Or what is it in the feed that makes it too rich and leads to founder? Sugars?
     
  11. Ashley

    Ashley New Member

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    Yes, sugars are the main culprit, but any toxin that stresses the system can do it too. The hoof is basically in the skin hair and nails category to the body. One of the first thing to let go of to save things like internal organs in a crisis situation.

    And excessive sugars do damage long before they founder horses or cause diabetes in humans. Sugar causes high insulin which is inflammatory. High sugar in the blood starves cells as well, though it seems backwards. Also feeds cancer.
     
  12. Tim Pruitt

    Tim Pruitt New Member

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    I have only had success with one doe who had founder. Honeysuckle foundered after hogging the alfalfa pellets. I did not recognize it when she got ill - but only after she started with hoof problems and getting down on her knees. I started twice daily giving her 30 ML of milk of magnesia. I did this for a couple of months. I finally gave up and put her with the yearlings on grass and a little grain each day with no medications. She continued on her knees for the next 3 months. Frequent hoof trimmings were required during this time.

    Of course, I prayed for her but one day in a desperate and sincere prayer Timothy and I layed hands on her and prayed fervently for her. Within 3 days she quit walking on her knees and to this day continues to walk normally. I just trimmed her hooves yesterday. Her hooves are now soft - not hard like founder. She appraised 92EEEE AFTER this incident.
     
  13. stoneyheightsfarm

    stoneyheightsfarm New Member

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    Well, Tim, you have me teary-eyed! God is good! :)
     
  14. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Tim two times I have seen this my first inkling of a problem was both animals walking gingerly. So although your first signs would be heat in the hooves and legs, by the time I knew what was going on, it was well overwith. I did use banamine and antihitimines for the antiinflammatories in them, and banamines abilitly to bring down fever, none of the two were really ill with it. Both, a buck and a doe became hoof maintenence issues and eventually put down for that, although the doe if she had not come here with mastitis I would have kept her. The doe I ruined by adding more grain to her diet for a show, the buck was sold and was fed as much grain as he wanted and was brought back and dropped off here foundered.

    There is chronic and acute founder. Vicki
     
  15. feistymomma

    feistymomma New Member

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    Tim- That is awesome about laying hands on your doe!! It's nice to know those gifts of the Holy Spirit will work on goats!!!!.

    I know in horses if we think they are starting to founder we quickly put their feet in water to keep them cool. My wise ole' granny has saved many horses by doing this, but I don't know if it would work on goats..hmmmm...