|Posted by stonedragonfarm on June 19, 2011 at 2:03 PM|
My beautiful "Baby Horse", Bonfire, injured his left hind leg at the end of April. His stifle (the joint just below where the leg meets the body, and where the patella--or kneecap--is) was severely injured, probably as he played with the other boys in the roundpen. He has had surgery and numerous therapies, drugs,etc., none of which seem to have helped much.
He has not laid down since the injury. A horse is a prey animal, and they depend on their feet to save them from predators (which is why horses have a very high "spook" factor: run first, identify the threat when there's enough distance between). When a horse is in enough pain in the feet/legs, or when they are injured badly enough that they don't think they can get up, they will not lie down. A downed horse is easy prey. If they are down, they are dinner. That's a horse's instinct.
So, moving either VERY slowly or on three legs (which a standard sized horse would not have been able to tolerate this long--there are advantages to weighing less than 200 lbs as opposed to weighing 1000+ lbs!), his good hind leg is beginning to cause him pain. The muscles in his bad leg have atrophied enough that his entire posture has changed, and he seems to be in pain along his back because of that.
Bonfire is going to the lameness specialist in Tioga, TX tomorrow (Monday, June 20) for what is probably his last trip. If the vet has no good news for us, Bonfire will not be coming home.
He is one of the sweetest and smartest horses I have ever known. Quick to learn, eager to please, I had intended to spend my retirement days teaching him tricks and learning from him as well. My retirement will come 10 days too late.
My heart is breaking.