We took Devon in this spring because, while recovering from suspensory issues at his barn, he had been infected with Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) by a visiting show horse. Although the veterinarians were able to save his life, he had a long road ahead of him, and needed a place to recover and possibly retire. His owner was going to another state to go to college, and also was dealing with medical issues. The family offered to help sponsor Devon if he could come to Hanaeleh.
When Devon came to Hanaeleh, we were uncertain if he would be able to make a full recovery. Unfortunately, when he was at the hospital, he partially tore his stifle tendon, and while at Hanaeleh, when he was getting up in his stall, he ended up tearing it more. He was also recovering from suspensory tears, and because of the neurological damage caused by the EHV, also could not control his urine. We had to hand-walk him for 10-15 minutes per day, plus he needed medicine three times per day, and also had an electric tens unit that we used several times per week.
Devon slowly got better, but it seemed every time he slightly got better, he would invariably do something that would hurt him again. This created a frustrating circle of events- Devon would hurt himself trying to get up, or would get upset and run around his stall, and re-injure his suspensory tendons. He would lay down, and have difficulty getting up, and would re-injure his stifle, plus even though he was in a stall with thick shavings, he would end up with hock sores. We would get him healed up a bit, get him feeling better- and then he would hurt himself again.
Thankfully, Devon seems to have finally be healing-and not hurting himself. We had hock boots on him for a while to help those heal up, and those seem to have done their job- they have healed and he seems to be able to get up without an issue anymore. His suspensory tendons are still healing, and they will continue to need more time, but we are just happy that he perky and seems to be enjoying his walks (he hates walking around in the arena or round pen, but loves to wander around the property or down the street). We have him on pain medication so he is comfortable as well.
We are continuing to try to get weight on Devon, which is a challenge. He cannot eat alfalfa because too much calcium would be dangerous for him, but he’s not very thrilled with the orchard hay. We have spent the better part of the year offering him various different combinations and types of hay and pellets. Currently we have him on 18 pounds of timothy pellets per day in addition to Integrity senior feed and beet pulp, as well as a myriad of different supplements, including one to help him gain weight. We are hoping that if he can continue to heal, we can start to exercise him more, and he will have a better appetite.
Devon still has issues with being able to urinate properly, and is still on medication to ensure that sediment does not build up in his urinary tract, but it does not seem to bother him at all. He enjoys hanging out with his new “bro” friends Hershey (they have similar markings so they almost look like twins!) and Popcorn and is a favorite with our volunteers. We are very hopeful that our sweet Devon will finally heal completely next year!