Are these drugs safe for foundered minis?

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Well-Known Member
Oct 20, 2005
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Bradenton, FL
Has anyone given their mini horse Doxyclycline for founder? My 19 yr old mini mare pulled her stifle muscles which caused her to tie up which then caused her to mildly founder in the front. The vet said it is not that bad and she should recover fine. We put foam on her feet and wrapped them and she gets cold packs put on her feet twice a day as well. The vet has us giving her banamine twice a day with ulcerguard and 8 pills of Isoxsuprine Hydrochloride twice a day which she says will help with circulation. Now another vet told me I should put her on Robaxin which is a muscle relaxer and Doxycycline which is an antibiotic/anti inflammatory twice a day. But from what I read online, Doxycycline is commonly used for upper respiratory infections and lyme disease. So I am hoping someone can give me an insight to this drug in regards to minis and if I should put her on it or not.
JMO here.

Doxy yes it is great for foundered horses. Ulcerguard yes. Iso Hydro IDK as I have never used it. Robaxin I also have never used. I personally would lower the banamine as soon as possible until they were off as I believe it actually slows the healing process. If you take away all the pain they will use the feet more than they should. The pain is what is telling them how much they should or should not be doing on their compromised feet. Like I mentioned above this is just my opinion and I am not a vet.
My gelding injured a stifle, and ended up with slight founder in one front and rear hoof. My vet recommended 1/2 gram of bute once a day and wanted his feet to have a playdoe type cushion that was wrapped and then held on with duck tape. My farrier told me not to use that stuff but to keep lots of shavings for him to stand on. My guy has been on stall rest since then. So far he hasn't asked to go out, he just seems to understand that he isn't up to it. Seven also can't have grain anymore. Did you have exrays? Seven should a little rotation in both foundered feet.
We have foam on her feet and then wrapped with duct tape. Today we took her out to let her stand in her cold ice for an hour and I saw significant improvement just from taking her out of the stall, she actually walking almost normal. The vet does not think she is in the founder stage yet where there would be any rotation. She said she is "trying" to founder and that we caught it early enough that she should recover fine. I don't like bute as I know it has been known to cause ulcers in minis. She has a very sensitive stomach so I am hesitant to use bute. I am giving her a low dose of banamine with the ulcerguard. The Isoxsuprine hydrochloride pills our vet has her on must be doing some good as I already see improvement. I am hoping this is a good sign and that she continues to improve. I am hesitant to try the Dozycycline tablets as I don't know the effects of using it.
Doxycycline is an antibiotic. I think it would be safe to give a foundered horse, but I don't know why you would. I'll have to poll my brain trust (the five equine veterinarians I work with) ;)
Yes please let me know what the vets you have near you say about that drug. I am not sure how an antibiotic would help??
Doxycycline is a relatively safe (no drug is 100% safe) and is used by some Vets to treat laminitis (founder). Although it does have anti inflammatory properties and would appear to be beneficial, I know of no research proving its efficacy for this purpose. As such, it's use should not replace generally regarded standards of care.

Banamine is no safer than Bute, although both drugs are relatively safe. A given individual might react more, less, or the same to each drug, but each drug has similar safety data across all horses.

Because laminitis cases can be frustrating and no 1 treatment regimen works consistently well, then Vets have many different opinions on what to do and any second opinion will always have more, different choices.

Dr. Taylor
I have always used Bute for founder- it does have slightly better anti inflammatory and pain killing effects than banamine, and if used sensibly will do no more harm. There is always a risk of problems with any pain killer used with any animal, humans included. I have never wrapped or padded, and I have always left the horse out where possible, to mooch around and use the feet as much as possible to help the circulation.
Because you are giving the omeprazole to protect the stomach, I would not over stress using the pain meds at this moment as keeping your horse comfortable right now is important. Every horse reacts differently to meds and every case of founder is different. Where it is always good to get second opinions, I would recommend following the advice of the vet currently treating your horse so as to optimize successful treatment. Good luck, hope your horse feels better soon and please keep us posted on her recovery.

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