In May, 2016, Pets Alive took in a very special pony named Lone Star. Lone Star was facing a very debilitating condition called Laminitis and prevented him from walking without pain. Lone Star’s owners wanted to do the right thing for him, but didn’t have the proper environment or the ability to treat him adequately to rehabilitate him. Because of the amount of pain he was enduring, they were faced with having to euthanize him. After speaking to the vet, we believed we could save Lone Star’s life and find him a great home. Treating Laminitis can be very costly and time consuming, and is a condition that can be set off by several factors. While most people think nothing could be better for a horse or pony than to be in beautiful, large, lush field of grass, for Lone Star, this is exactly what caused the Laminitis.
Laminitis is a condition that usually starts from eating too much of the sugars found in grass. As a result, the Laminae, the cushion in the hoof wall, gets inflamed and separates from the internal structures of the hoof. Without that support, the bone inside the hoof will actually start to drop, or rotate, downward, causing an immense amount of pain. X-rays were taken of all four feet to assess the damage inside the hoof, and our vet worked with a farrier to develop shoes and pads that stabilize the hooves and provide comfort for his feet. The shoes and pads gave Lone Star almost immediate relief, but it still took a couple of weeks for his condition to stabilize. His feet needed to be soaked in icy water several times a day for as long as he would tolerate. Lone Star now gets his “special sneakers” (shoes and pads) every four weeks.
X-rays were taken again 4 weeks later to be sure there was no more rotation in the bones of his feet. We were on the right track and Lone Star was now moving around comfortably and happy. For horse owners, Laminitis can be one of the biggest fears because sometimes the horse can’t be made comfortable and quality of life becomes and issue. However, if caught and treated in time, it can be managed quite easily.
In addition to his hoof issue, when Lone Star arrived, his heart rate was double the normal rate. To treat this condition, Lone Star needed to be removed from eating grass entirely. Over time as his health improved, we allowed him to graze in our pasture. He now goes out for short periods in what is called a “grazing muzzle”. This allows him to be out in the pasture but limits the amount of grass that he eats while still giving him the freedom to graze and roam like all happy ponies.
Your gifts helped Lone Star get his health back – and THANK YOU for your gift to Lone Star! But he still requires periodic checks by the farrier to ensure Lone Star stays healthy – plus it costs about $100 a month to feed and care for Lone Star. Lone Star is available for adoption.