What is founder?

Founder is a serious disease of hooved animals that involves the inflammation of the laminae in the feet. The front hooves are the most likely to be affected than the back feet, and the animal will display severe lameness as a result.

Founder is triggered by a number of factors, including overeating, switching diets too quickly, rich pasture (esp. with horses), feed high in carbohydrates and starches, poor feet conformation (see discussion page for more), excessive concussion if animal has been traveling on hard ground excessively, obesity in horses and ponies, etc. In cattle, acidosis will always cause an animal to founder.