It’s been one week since we made and unmade the decision to euthanize my best friend. It’s also been a week since Tazzy was shod with his new fancy footwear, and we’ve seen nothing but dramatic improvements. He is still on stall rest, and will most likely continue to be for quite a while, but he is allowed a short walk a day to help with circulation and muscle stiffness. The first few days after getting shod, he walked carefully and very flatfooted. He was unsure of whether or not his feet were going to hurt, and he had to grow accustomed to the new type of shoe. Today, He marched out of his stall needing only the encouragement of a Twizzler to get him moving. He walked comfortably to the indoor arena, where he was able to walk on soft footing, and escape the rain. This was the farthest he’s been in three weeks, and he genuinely looked happy to be out! As soon as dinner time arrived and the grain could be heard banging around in the buckets, he no longer had any interest in reducing stiffness, or improving circulation. He wanted to eat!
We made it back to his barn, just as the grain buckets were arriving. While he impatiently waited for his food, I was able to clean and treat his bed sores, and fluff his bedding. As dinner got closer, he began to pace and whinny for it – something I haven’t seen in over three weeks! He is spending less time lying down now, and is becoming much more active in his stall. He will easily walk from his window to the stall door and back, several times in his feeble attempts to get attention. I’m beginning to see an improvement in his bedsores, and the swelling and heat in his legs are starting to diminish. His new schedule for shoes is every five weeks, which is when we will most likely complete another set of xray and reevaluate his progress.
The silver lining to this ordeal is that this was not metabolic laminitis, and he does not have cushings or insulin resistance. We are certainly being careful with his diet, but he is still allowed his favorite sweet treats. I’m not sure how he would live without his twizzlers.