BY COURTNEY S. DIEHL, DVM
Getting a Leg
Enzo was a large, black-and-white Curly Horse gelding who had been having very bad luck. Originally purchased for a high price by an owner who was severely allergic to horses, Enzo had been part of a fancy herd of Curlies. The breed is thought to be hypoallergenic due to a specific protein being absent in their haircoat, and they have become popular among allergy sufferers.
Enzo and his gang had a happy life until one day his owner took Enzo out on
a routine ride around the property. A network of irrigation ditches crossed the
property, and there were many metal culverts placed under dirt roads. Unfortunately, one gave way under Enzo’s weight, and his left hind leg went through the
rusted metal, stripping his leg down to bone from the fetlock to the hock.
Enzo was rushed to the closest vet hospital, and the battle to save his leg
began. He healed slowly, and when I first met him almost three years later, the
wound was still open in places.
I tried various methods to help heal the leg, but the progress was frustrating.
The wound seemed to do best if the leg was kept wrapped, but there were
A terrible leg wound leads to
a strange medical coincidence.
several stubborn areas which simply
refused to heal, and his owner finally
Enzo was adopted by a new owner
who was determined to heal the leg,
but she too became frustrated by the
Out of Options
Enzo continued to tear the leg open
on the crust of ice on top of the
snowpack in the winter, and everyone
was at their wit’s end. The magpies
were pecking at the raw tissue on
the leg and all of the bandages were
getting soaked and pulled off in the
deep snow, despite attempts to keep a
paddock cleared for him.
Every type of wrap, poultice, leg
gaiter and boot had been tried without