Going the Extra Mile for a Lifelong Friend – A CEH Success Story

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Horses can switch hands multiple times throughout their lifetime. Some horses are lucky enough to find “their person” during their journey through life. Corey was one of those lucky horses, and his owner considered  herself equally as lucky to have found him. When Corey became injured, his owner did everything it took to get him back to health. She enlisted a great support team including her husband, a hard-working farrier, the owners of the property where Corey lives that helped with round the clock care, and Carolina Equine Hospital’s own Dr. Ann Boyer. Keep reading to learn about how Corey and his team worked together to come out successful!

Meet Corey!

Meet Corey, an adorable bay thoroughbred gelding who is the light of his mom’s life! Corey started his life on the track and graduated to eventing.  Corey and his owner (mom, best friend) crossed paths as she was looking for a 40th birthday present and 13 years later he continues to be a “present” every day. When asking about Corey’s “job”, his owner said that “his job has been and continues to be my teacher. He never gives up and he always shows up.”  Corey is such an inspiration to his owner and everyone who gets the chance to meet him!

Discovering and Diagnosing The Problem

One day when one of Corey’s caretakers brought him in from the pasture, she noticed that one of his legs was swollen. The immediate concern was Corey’s well being and doing what was best for him. So, they put in a call to Dr. Ann Boyer, and she drove to the farm to take a look at the situation. Corey had swelling in his right hind leg. After proving that he was sound at the walk, Corey was treated with stall rest, anti-inflammatory/pain medication, and an antibiotic. Two days after his initial appointment his caretaker noticed that he bowed out at the hock when weight was put on that leg.

After performing radiographs on Corey, Dr. Boyer diagnosed him with an avulsion fracture of the lateral head of the 4th metatarsal (splint) bone with associated soft tissue/ligament damage as well.


Corey’s Treatment Plan

Corey’s owner was going to do whatever it took to keep Corey happy and healthy. So, they placed him in a thick padded Robert Jones type bandage from his hoof to his mid-thigh and a PVC splint was placed along the lateral aspect of his right hind leg.  The area below the knee on his left hind leg was covered with an ice wrap three times a day to try to prevent laminitis. Along with the avulsion, Corey had a tear in the lateral collateral ligament of the tarsus causing lateral instability of the joint.

Corey was placed in complete stall confinement for nine weeks. He had weekly splint and bandage changes. After 8 weeks, the splint was removed, but the padded bandage needed to stay on another week.



Post Treatment Care  

After his nine weeks were over, Corey began rehabilitation. In the beginning, Corey’s owner and caretakers hand walked him down the aisle of the barn two times twice daily for two weeks. His next step was to hand graze the grass just outside of the barn. As he has improved, he has worked up to small round pen turnout for 5-7 hours depending on weather conditions. His team never deviated from the plan and their determination, along with their positivity, were huge reasons why he recovered as well as he did.

Corey Today  

Corey is gradually gaining strength in his right hind leg and is very happy about getting to go outside.  He has a very good prognosis for pasture soundness!

When asked about Corey’s situation, his owner had a lot to say!

“The immediate concern was Corey’s well being and doing what was best for him.  No one ever wants to say goodbye to a trusted friend, but you have to make the difficult call when the horse is ready.  Corey was not ready. You could see it in his eyes and his demeanor. Corey’s progress to recovery started with Dr. Boyer’s assessment and her willingness to go the long haul on an unpredictable path.  Sometimes when people are faced with adversity and they stand at the crossroads of their decision making, it is easy to take the path of least resistance. But, that is not who we are and that is not who Dr. Boyer is.

Team Corey consisted of my husband Mark, Dr. Boyer, Lori and Bob Rose, Ashley Rose (owners of Rose-Hill Farm) and Geoff Morrison (Shod Steel Farrier Service). To make this happen people had to put the horse first. This was a heartbreaking situation but what is special about this group of people is they all rallied for the pony!! They changed their schedules in a moments notice, they drove through hurricane winds to check his care, they watched over him, and they happily did whatever was needed and most of all they prayed for his well being. Every day, we had hope and every day consisted of uncertainty. Behind this team was another team supporting and wishing each other well (e.g., the vets and Ashley at Carolina Equine Hospital, friends, family, and even strangers.) This was not an easy road but it was a road traveled by like-minded people who stayed positive and who were determined. This is a story of hope and encouragement and I will always be grateful to “Team Corey”.

Carolina Equine Hospital

Is your horse showing abnormal swelling or signs of discomfort? Give us a call during regular business hours (8-5, M-F) or call our office number after hours and follow the guide to get in touch with our on call veterinarian! We have available emergency service 24/7 and can see patients at our hospital or out at the farm at locations within our practice area.