We work on thousands of cases each year, but there are always a few that we document with pictures as we go. Here are some of our patients that we've worked on along the way!
Poor dentition, sinus infection, weight loss, lethargy
We were called out see Fortune, who was an underweight senior horse with chronic nasal discharge. His owner felt he was suffering too much and thought it would be best to euthanize him, but we convinced Fortune's mom to let us give him a try! Through feed changes, dentistry, and medications, we were able to get weight back on him and clear up his nasal discharge. He has since run off with his mom several times and is altogether a new horse!
Large wound, severed digital extensor tendon, exposed bone
Baldy was a yearling when he got is hind leg got caught in wire fence, lacerating the tissue all the way to the bone, including the digital extensor tendon. Over the next 5 months, we visited Baldy at least weekly to care for his wound.
Day 1: Right after the laceration. He is knuckling over in this leg due because he cut his digital extensor tendon, which usually pulls the toe forward. We anesthetized Baldy, sewed up his wounds and splinted him so that he wouldn't continue to knuckle over while it healed.
Day 3: First bandage change. The wounds are looking wonderful.
Day 10: Unfortunately, his lacerations have broken back open again due to infection, exposing the underlying bone. At this point, we began using a product called ACell, and we were able to get the bone covered with healthy tissue within a week.
Month 5: Many bandage changes later! Baldy is completely sound on this leg now with no gait abnormalities.
Shorty is a long-term patient of ours who foundered in the spring of 2014. At his initial visit for this event, his radiographs showed that his coffin bone was rotated about 10 degrees. Through about 4 months of treatment, including monthly rechecks with radiographs and hoof trims, as well as supportive shows and a strict diet, not only is Shorty sound again, but his new hoof growth is almost perfectly aligned with his coffin bone now!
Malnutrition/Neglect, Squamous cell carcinoma
Sassy was rescued in 2013 by SC-CARES rescue in Georgetown, SC from a home where she was unbelievably found standing over her dead pasturemate. On arrival, she was severely underweight and also had an abnormality of the skin of one of her coronary bands that upon biopsy turned out to be squamous cell carcinoma. We formulated a nutritional plan for Sassy and removed the tumor from her foot, and within just several months, she was a new horse!
Senior pig, inappetance, lethargy
Arnold was a very old pot belly pig housed at SC-CARES rescue in Georgetown. Apparently Arnold had quite a few fans already, so we posted daily updates of his progress. We were originally called to see him for hypothermia on a cold day. Once we corrected his temperature, it was obvious that that was not his only issue, and he was a very sick pig. An additional difficulty with Arnold was his extremely thick skin, a result of severe dermatitis that he had when he came to the rescue. Unfortunately, pigs are already difficult to obtain IV access, but this made it impossible for us to even find a vein. Through a week of extensive medical management and lots of various kinds of fluid therapy, Arnold suddenly turned around. He has since been spotted out in his pasture stealing the chickens' food and has rolled over for us and forced us to give him belly rubs!
Wave mouth, periodontal pockets
This horse was a mare in her late twenties. We were performing a routine dental on her when we found this periodontal pocket. These are a result of feed getting trapped between teeth and therefore continuously packing deeper into the gums. This is said to be one of the most painful conditions in human dentistry. Through a procedure called diastema widening, we opened up this space, allowing food to flow through. After this procedure, her owner said she was a completely different horse - she did not even realize that she felt bad before, as she contributed her personality changes to aging!