My laminitis failure and success

The Story Of Shane, my loss to laminitis.

Story of Shane-Our Healthy HorseMarch of 2012 I had to say goodbye to my very much loved horse, Shane. The drugs were not working, and my boy was suffering. It shouldn’t have come to this, but it did.

I did not yet know of the right combination of supplements I could use to try to save my horse.    I am dedicating this site to my Shane.

I enjoyed Shane for 12 amazing years until laminitis took him from me.

I feed only Orchard hay. But in the late end of winter in the beginning of 2012 our local feed stores only had available a “90/10 Orchard and Alfalfa”. Unfortunately it really was more like 80/20 and that was too much for Shane and he became excruciatingly laminitic.

Story of Shane-Our Healthy Horse I had the vet and the farrier out, and we put him on drugs and we duct taped       special foam pads to his hooves. He worsened daily, and in two weeks the laminitis had gone to his back hooves, and no amount of bute was helping his pain. I was researching natural supplements to try to help him heal, but the vets recommended against any supplementing.

Out of fear, I followed the vets and farriers protocol, and I did not put him on supplements even though I wanted to. The pain became so bad that he could no longer stand, and my farrier looked me in the eyes and said, “If I were in that much pain, I would go out of my mind.” So I said goodbye to my much loved Shane. Tears still escape down my cheeks every time I think about him.

God Bless you Shane, I am so sorry buddy.

I added to the statistic of laminitis being the second leading cause of death, and I was sickened by the whole experience.

So I set forth about researching natural supplements to combat laminitis and also set out to get an equine friend for my remaining horse, Samson. That is how a donkey, whom I named Bilbo Baggins, found his way into our lives.

The Story Of Bilbo, my win with laminitis!

My win with laminitis Bilbo March of 2012 I had to say good bye to my very much loved horse Shane. His laminitis was in all four feet, and standing was more painful than he could handle. The drugs were not working, and my boy was suffering. It shouldn’t have come to this, but it did. I did not yet know of the right combination of supplements to try to save my horse.

My remaining horse Samson was not used to living alone, and a long time friend of mine talked me into getting him a companion donkey. So we loaded up the trailer and went to a fabulous donkey rescue, Peaceful Valley Donkeys. They lead us into a pasture of about 700 donkeys and said, “Walk around and let us know when you see one that interests you.” And that we did!

Many of the donkeys were skittish. Then one donkey came to me, and I approached him. He looked quite old, and his bottom lip was drooping open, exposing teeth that looked like they belonged in a sharks mouth.

His front feet literally had holes in the front of the hooves from where his foundering had imploded his hooves. Nevertheless, he was sound; and other than looking like he needed a lot of love, he was in repairable shape. So I picked him, or rather he picked me. I feared he would not find someone else willing to make him their choice.

It seemed to me that he much resembled a Hobbit, as he was short, hairy, and always hungry; thus he became Bilbo Baggins. Despite the horrific look of his hooves, he appeared to be sound.

It took about nine months to grow out the big holes that were in the front of both his front hooves, and then he appeared to be a relatively normal donkey, who loved to run and play with his 17-hand-high Tennessee Walker friend, Samson.

Then in April of 2014 Bilbo suddenly went VERY lame on his right front hoof. I had the vet out and we did our first x-ray of Bilbo’s hoof. The x-ray revealed that he was a “sinker” and that his pastern joint was basically within the walls of his hoof. Bilbo had severe laminitis/founder. The vet said that there was no chance of saving him and that I needed to put him down right then and there.

My win with laminitis Bilbo-Bilbo trotting

My win with laminitis Bilbo-Bilbo xray
Bilbo’s xrays – note the pastern joint is almost inside his hoof wall. He is a ‘sinker’, by nearly 1/4 inch!

“I had to try, and I believed I could succeed”.

After losing my beloved Shane, I was not in a hurry to go through the pain and agony of another failed treatment nor was I ready to give up on my Bilbo. Now that I had a conclusive diagnosis on him, I felt that I could support him with nutritional therapy. My vet did not agree. I said I “had to try and I believed I would succeed.”

Immediately I got Bilbo going on a supplement regimen that I felt would help to support his insulin resistance and possibly even help him to recover. Within one week I had him off of Bute – (a pain reliever). He was moving around comfortably and displaying a happy attitude.

Since then he has come back to a full recovery of being completely sound!  I have had 2 vets and 2 farriers tell me that they can NOT believe that his little guy is SO healthy, happy and pain free. When they see him trot and run, it knocks their socks off! They burst out laughing and cheering!