Sound Equine Options received a call from a Klickitat County livestock deputy about an abandoned horse. The horse was found extremely underweight and wandering down a road. A good samaritan put Duke in her round pen and gave him food and water. Duke has a dramatic gait abnormality that a local vet thought might be fibrotic myopathy.
The county deputy searched for the horse’s owner for 3 weeks but with no luck, so he called to ask if we could take in the horse. If not, the other option was to run him through a livestock sale. As we were driving to pick him up, we thought for sure he would need to be euthanasized, but then we met him.
He is a sweet, handsome, 9-year-old gelding that seems to be trained. He loaded in the trainer like he had done it 100 times before, and we headed straight to our veterinarian’s office for a full exam. They confirmed that he did indeed have old scar tissue on his hind end that was restricting his ability to extend his left hind leg. We named him Duke and took him home to the barn while our veterinarian started the process of contacting a surgeon at OSU to see if there were any good treatment options. We felt like we were most likely grasping at straws.
At the barn Duke behaved like a dream. He stood perfectly to have his feet trimmed, but was a little lethargic and worried. He was not eating well out of the usual hay nets, so we started feeding him on the ground. That change, along with some grassy turnout with a companion, seemed to perk up his spirits.
Yesterday we got a call from our veterinarian. The surgeon at OSU said that not only is there a surgery that has an 80% success rate, but that it is very minimal and done standing. We were very excited to learn that this sweet boy has half a chance!
Our plan is to allow him to continue to gain weight and strength for another 30 days and then, if all goes well, take him to OSU for surgery. This handsome guy may end up as a riding horse in a great home yet!
BREED: Quarter Horse
HEIGHT: 15.1 hands
STATUS: In Rehab