On December 21st, we took Banjo (aka Joey) up to Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital to perform a biopsy on his coronary bands. Joey, whose hooves were horribly neglected before coming to SAFE, has had swelling and extra hoof material built up on his coronary bands since his arrival at SAFE. We have done many different things to treat them topically but we’ve not seen significant improvement, leaving us to wonder if this might be an autoimmune issue or something we could treat with a medication such as steroids.

The biopsy is something we had not done until now, due to the expense. But thanks to a veterinary care grant that Pilchuck has given SAFE, we were able to make this decision without worrying about the cost. The hope was that getting this answer would help us possibly take even better care of Joey and also prepare him for adopters who would want to know what are the ramifications of his ongoing coronary issues.

The histopathology report showed no signs of neoplasia or immune mediated disease. This is GOOD NEWS! It means that there is nothing worse going on, and what we’ve been doing so far is the right course of treatment. We have to just keep making sure that his feet stay clean and dry as much as possible. Hopefully with continued care and nutrition, he will eventually heal himself. There is a chance that he may never fully have a “normal” coronary band but as long as it is not painful, he will continue to have a normal life.

Joey was such a good boy for the trip to Pilchuck and the procedure! He loaded without a fuss, and trailered well. This was a scary experience for this boy, but he was super brave and behaved himself wonderfully, which made the whole event easier. Joey is doing well at his foster home with Finn and gets lots of love and attention there. We hope that we can find this boy a permanent home as a companion horse soon. Now that better understand his coronary band condition, we hope he will catch the eye of a good adopter and find a home.