Founder & Laminitis (Under Construction)

The following diagram comes from the May ’99 issue of Practical Horseman:


This is a good depiction showing the progression from a healthy foot to a rotated one.  However, the heels which give us most of the information about the possibility of rotation, have been obscured.

The important information with respect to rotation, laminitis, and founder can be found in the thickness of the sensitive laminae, as well as the orientation of the coffin bone relative to them.  

laminitis3a.jpg                 sunny3.jpg

1.  Healthy Foot.  The sensitive laminae (pink) are close, tight, and parallel to the insensitive laminae (white line).  The actual foot resembles the shape of the healthy, diagrammed one.  With its low heel, the coffin bone is parallel to the toe wall which is the surest way to ensure a healthy white line and healthy, tight, laminae that can solidly suspend the coffin bone and prevent founder espisode.

laminitis4a.jpg                   logan2.JPG

2.  Mildly Pathological Foot.  The wall of the coffin bone is no longer parallel to the hoof wall which causes the laminae to stretch at the bottom and begin to adopt a ‘wedge-shape’: narrower at the top at wider at the bottom. This puts constant stress on the overstretched laminae towards the bottom.

laminitis5a.jpg                   crimmy2.JPG

3.  Severe Pathology. Founder – Rotation with Separation.  The ‘wedge’ is extreme now, with the laminae much longer at the bottom than the top.  The bone is far out of parallel with the hoof wall.  The constant downward stress and pull on the lower part of the laminae has caused them to fail, allowing the suspension of the bone to the inside of the hoof wall to be lost and the bone to rotate.