Ash was born free at Theodore Roosevelt National Park and came to GSH due to a stifle injury. He underwent arthroscopic surgery and has completed a 6 month rehab period. As of now he is sound and in turn out with our other babies and doing well. His surgeon has reviewed his x-rays and doesn't see any problems worth treating. Just like any other horse, time will tell what he's capable of doing, but right now he's a pretty normal yearling. X-rays available for review by potential adopters.
June 2017: Ash is available for adoption!!
Oakridge Equine in Oklahoma, who did his original surgery, has reviewed the new x-rays of both stifles and called today with their opinion. In their opinion, Ash has nothing going on that needs to have anything done to it at this point. His bones, which our vets were concerned might be immature, were "exactly what they would expect a 14 month old colt's bones to look like." While yes, the x-rays show some mild changes that, in their opinion, could even be artifacts on the x-ray, they didn't see anything that they were concerned about or needed correcting. They did say if there was any real concern with him we could do x-rays again in 3 months but they thought he looked good.
With that opinion, and what we observe in pasture of him running and playing, we are releasing Ash for adoption to his forever home. Any adopter will know his history and know that he has had a stifle injury, but he has as good of a chance of a normal life as any horse his age right now. As with any horse, even the other yearling that came in with Ash from Teddy Roosevelt who has no known injury, Ash will be the one to determine what he is good at and can handle as he grows. But right now, he's pretty much a blank slate as long as you acknowledge his history.
Earlier June, after visit at Dakota Large Animal Clinic:
Ash had his surgery recheck yesterday! I know you are all waiting for updates so even though we still have some unanswered questions and are waiting to hear from his actual surgeons, we thought we'd share a quick update.
First and foremost, the vet says he is a different horse! He trotted off sound and the stifle we did surgery on is much, much better. No fluid or swelling, much better motion, absolutely impressed the vet.
However, x-rays show a few things to still consider. He had some fluid on his other stifle yesterday. The growth plates and bones in both stifles are underdeveloped and immature. While we suspect that is because he's only 14 months old and has spent the last six months confined and not able to play and build the density, it's something that is present. There are a few oddities on the x-rays still, though they do appear to have improved since last fall. Because of his age and those slight concerns, and because the future is so far away, it's hard to say with certainty "yes, he will be 100% sound for life." At the same time, we acknowledged and agreed that without surgery yesterday would have been a euthanasia day. He would never, ever have recovered and the stifle we did surgery on is definitely healed and doing great.
So what's that mean? It means he gets to be a normal baby. He needs time on pasture, continue his high calcium diet, and x-ray again in a year to see if his bones catch up to where they should be with activity. He needs to run and play and do all the things that the other babies have done to continue to build.
History: Ash was born free on March 29, 2016, at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, out of Stormy by Cocoa. At approximately 2-3 months old he suffered an injury causing obvious lameness. When the North Dakota Badlands Horse facilitated the regular fall gather, Ash (named Arizona) was a priority because of his leg. GSH Tiffany was planning on personally adopting another foal from the park (Arden Nevada), so we agreed to bring Ash into the rescue for treatment. His x-rays showed an avulsion fracture to his tibia, and he was taken to Oakridge Equine Hospital in Oklahoma for arthroscopic surgery on his stifle. Several bone chips were removed which were attached to the cruciate ligament, and he spent the last six months in rehab and on stall rest/small pen turnout to allow the cruciate ligament to reattach to the bone.