Morgan and Liz

Submitted by Liz Weber

This is the story of Morgan's traumatic wound and the laminitis that almost killed her....


 (Note that some images are graphic in nature. View at your own risk.)



I couldn't help it. The tears of relief just started to roll down my face when Dr. Floyd showed us the in-stall camera & monitor she would be using to watch Morgan for the first 24 hours to gauge her condition and ensure she didn't injure herself further. That was all I needed to see of the facilities to know we'd found the right place for Morgan.





Morgan had ripped open her left front leg when she spooked while being tied to our hitching post. She'd pulled the post down, the lead line didn't release, and Morgan ran about ½ mile dragging the hitching post as it cut into her leg. The post had made hamburger out of her leg.   (left, original wound photo)









After four hours of surgery her leg was put together as best it could be (left, post op photo). However, after two months of taking 1 step forward and 2 steps back, the surgeon told me – with tears in her eyes – there was nothing else they could do for her.








Her injured leg was healing, however she'd foundered and was now going to lose her right front hoof; she only had two "good" legs now and that doesn't work for a horse. The surgeon said, "However, there is one place that may be able to help her..." The rest, as they say, is history.




The day we transported Morgan to Serenity Equine, Dr. Floyd checked on our progress regularly during the four hour trip to ensure all was going well. As soon as the trailer pulled up to the hospital, Dr. Floyd and her team converged on the trailer; assessing Morgan in the trailer, determining the safest and easiest way for Morgan to step out of the trailer, etc. 

As Dr. Floyd and some of her team worked with Morgan, Trish put her arm around me and said, "Come with me and let's talk about Morgan's diet." After I shared with her what we fed Morgan, Trish replied, "That's good. However, we're going to change that. She needs a different diet to help her heal." Amazing.






During the first week, Dr. Floyd called me each evening to give me an update on Morgan. As time went on, daily email updates kept me abreast of Morgan's progress.  From her first 24 hours at Serenity when she was simply unloaded, given a bath, put into a sleazy to help protect her bed sores, and allowed to do nothing but eat and sleep.







Dr. Floyd continued to provide me with regular updates.






During our weekly visits, the staff would adjust their treatment schedule to ensure we could observe their work with Morgan.....




   Morgan_Webber_2009_3_copy well as track her healing wounds and her regained mobility.







Through a rough initial few weeks of a tenotomy, quarantine, the slow process of realigning the angles of her leg brace, and then the months of watching Morgan's foundered right front hoof re-grow (see photo left), Dr. Floyd's holistic approach to equine care came through time and again. With the help of the slurpies Morgan was given to drink while she laid prone, the various creams and leg wraps Dr. Floyd invented, as well as the natural hoof trims, and strength building exercises – it all worked.  Morgan was walking again -- in fact, Morgan could trot again!





Eleven months later, Morgan came home. 








Filly with Severe Club Foot

Nova's coffin bone was severely rotated and was actually pointing backwards toward her hind feet. On a scale of 1 to 4, Nova was a 10!

submitted by Denise Arthur

The first time I heard the term "contracted tendon" it was describing my 2 month old filly, Nova. Nova was my very much anticipated first foal who was in every other way perfectly healthy.  I noticed Nova was walking up on her toes one day and called my vet immediately.

What followed over the next few years I would never have imagined in my wildest dreams:  Tetracycline shots (repeated many times with no response);  Baby glue on shoes (never stayed on for more than a few days); Protein deprivation (early weaning and cut her feed drastically); Nail-on shoes with a toe extension (painful, but not successful). And Nova was only four months old...

At 7 months, Nova went to the local veterinary teaching hospital for a check ligament surgery. Four months after the surgery, she was walking on her toe again. It seemed that there was nothing else to try.

Over the next two years I had countless farriers (maybe 10 or more) who tried to keep a shoe on Nova, but once her foot would grow to a certain length it would break off. It is scary how many farriers claim that they can do orthopedic shoeing, but really don't know how to treat contracted tendons and club feet.

Nova's foot was now a full-fledged club, and she was never sound.  I couldn't break or ride her because she was so in pain. I had all but given up hope of ever being able to do so.  At this point the only goal was to try to keep her as comfortable as possible. Many of my friends suggested putting Nova down, but this was my baby that I had waited my whole life for...

When Nova was 3 years old a friend gave me an article on club feet which explained a totally different treatment I had not heard of before. According to this we were doing everything wrong! Shortly afterwards I found a farrier that was using the methods described in the article. He told me he worked very closely with a vet who did a lot of work with laminitis horses and might be able to help.

Dr. Floyd examined Nova and took x-rays. The farrier placed Nova on wedge pads and DalricÒ cuffs to make her more comfortable. The results of the radiographs were devastating! Nova's coffin bone was severely rotated and was now actually pointing backwards toward her hind feet. On a scale of 1-4, Nova was a 10!

stories_nova_xraypostDr. Floyd never gave me false hope, and she explained in detail what needed to be done. Nova would need surgery again - this time to cut the deep digital flexor tendon. This would relieve enough tension to allow the coffin bone to be placed back into a more normal position. We didn't know how Nova would respond since the bone within her hoof needed to rotate forward about 52 degrees, and because her condition was considered chronic at this point.

The surgery was successful! Nova's foot went down. It has been a long road to recovery since that day with many visits from the farrier and Dr. Floyd, but the results are well worth it. Nova's hoof angle stays at 56 degrees between trimmings, appears almost normal and holds a normal shoe.


There is no scarring from the surgery, and for the first time in her life Nova is sound and pain free.  I ride her now, and she has truly blossomed into the horse I had dreamed of, prayed for... And almost lost.

High Tensile Injury Resulting in Prosthosisstories_thor_main

Thor is a 14 year old Thoroughbred gelding who got trapped in high tensile wire and did not received the proper help fast enough.  However, Thor had the courage to live...

Thor is a special interest case study from Serenity Equine.

With the support of Serenity Equine and Rio Vista Products, Thor visits children with similar prosthetic disabilities.
He is living proof of what perseverance, dedication and endless love can do for the process of healing minds and bodies.
It is also interesting to note that Thor is among the first equine patients to be fitted with a "prosthosis" - a unique combination of prosthesis and orthotic.


Thor was rescued and lovingly recovered by Deb Galt; supported by the Rio Vista Fund with the aid of Serenity Equine and farriers Derin Foor and Ralph Sites.