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Laminitis is not the End - The Rock and Roll Road to Recovery

Written by: Phelps Media Group, Inc.
Client: Pure Thoughts Horse Rescue
Release Date: 2009-01-28

Wellington, Florida - January 17, 2009 -- Laminitis was once thought to be a death sentence for a horse yet with research the Equine community is discovering that more and more can be done to help horses that have this affliction so they can go on to have a successful life.

On May 23, 2008, a beautiful Belgian named Princess was saved from going to slaughter. She picked her human right at the kill auction and that was Victoria McCullough of the Triumph Project. The horse is unable to speak, if they have a problem it is up to their caretakers to listen to the unspoken words and find affliction or ailment. It did not take long for Victoria to find the problem with Princess, she has a 45% rotation in her front hooves. Now it was a matter of finding the correct answer to the question "Have we done all we can?". Victoria put out the calls to the experts. She called Dr. Mike Gerard and said. "I need an answer, I can deal with whatever it is but I need to know an answer." Dr. Gerard gave her the answer in three words. Dr. Ric Redden. Words from Victoria, "To actually "Rescue" is to define what each of our capabilities are of those of us who choose to save those who have been discarded, for me the Belgian Mare exemplifies the sad truth of slaughter auctions, young beautiful and all too often neglected or abused. From the beginning of my journey, I have sought to overturn the outcome for these horses; today I have learned that there are no boundaries for my mare or myself. Dr Redden has shown us the answer." Within 8 hours of her telephone conversation with Dr Redden, he arrived at her farm. Dr Redden is no stranger to horses going to slaughter. He himself has attended Sugarcreek, pulled some of the worst ones, corrected their issues and found them wonderful homes.

R.F. (Ric) Redden, D.V.M., is one of the rare individuals who is both a farrier and a veterinarian. His shoeing career began more than 40 years ago and has had a profound impact on his medical career. He is one of the rare individuals who is both a farrier and a veterinarian. His shoeing career began more than 40 years ago and has had a profound impact on his medical career. Dr. Redden graduated from the Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio) College of Veterinary Medicine in 1974 with distinguished honors in Equine Medicine and Surgery. After graduation, he developed a racetrack lameness practice focused on thoroughbreds and standardbreds. His reputation as a lameness consultant quickly spread, and Dr. Redden soon found himself traveling around the world to care for horses living with diseased or injured feet. In 1983 he built the International Equine Podiatry Center (IEPC) in Versailles, Ky. It was the first podiatry center dedicated exclusively to the equine foot, and even today, it remains the only exclusive equine foot practice in the horse world. Dr. Redden's clinic is dedicated specifically to treating development problems in feet, as well as career and life threatening foot disease and injury. His innovative techniques and concepts have saved the lives of many seemingly hopeless cases where euthanasia is the only option.

For the past 17 years, Dr. Redden has organized and hosted the annual Bluegrass Laminitis Symposium in Louisville, Ky. He has organized podiatry seminars in 22 other countries throughout the world, and in 1998, Dr, Redden was inducted into the International Equine Veterinarians Hall of Fame.

Kelly McGee, a local blacksmith was called and immediately arrived at Victoria's farm to assist Dr, Redden, some of the local Equine Veterinarians attended. According to Brad Gaver of Pure Thoughts Inc. who is also a farrier, "it was a a privilege to be able to observe and learn from such an out of the box and free-thinking individual who wants to share his knowledge for the benefit of all horses."

Dr. Redden evaluated Princess and the x-rays then went to work designing a set of shoes called Aluminum Rock and Road Rail Shoes with a Gooseneck. These shoes will allow the pressure to be taken off of the tendon with the mechanical movement of the shoe. The shoe was fabricated by cutting a rail shoe in half, fabricating the gooseneck out of plate aluminum, then riveting and welding the three parts together. When the shoe was applied to the hoof it touched the foot at the heels and the hoof wall, alleviating the pressure on the toe and quarters. The shoe was attached to the foot using e-head nails in a sole nailing procedure. The gooseneck was attached using Phillips head screws. Adhere and hoof putty was applied to the gap in the quarters. This shoeing application allows the navicular bone free from pressure so that the lamina can heal. This should have a positive effect on the now negative angle of the navicular bone. When the procedure was complete radiographs were taken of the hoof. Princess will be re-shod in approximately six weeks. You may see the shortened video of this procedure here.

We may not be able to re-write history but this may be able to change the future for many horses.

Jennifer Swanson
Pure Thoughts Inc
For: The Triumph Project


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