Recently, I visited with Banjo, who is still under Dr. Hannah Muller’s care at NWESC. He is doing well and will hopefully be ready to be released shortly.

Daphne Jones just completed Banjo’s second trimming and she reported that his deep fungus shows signs of improvement.  Still, we think it will take quite some time for a full recovery.  Generally, he’s been cooperative about receiving his treatment of triple antibiotic ointment and anti-fungal mixture.  It does take two experienced people to treat his hooves but they’ve managed to do so every day.  However, he did think the vinegar-soaking boot was going to kill him and he was having nothing to do with that!

The continued coronary band dystrophy is still a concern.  This is the area along each hoof where the hairline is pushed up due to the inflammation along the coronary band. X‑rays have ruled out any founder or rotation, which is a great relief. It is possible that this was caused by the distribution of weight on his hooves due to the upright angles on his hind and his long toes on the front.  It can also be an infection in the deep sulcus grooves.  We will continue to treat fungus on all of his hooves as well as the coronary band.

As we continue to monitor him over the next few weeks, there are a few other tests we can do if the irritation remains.  One possibility is a deficiency in Selenium, which can be determined through a blood test.  Banjo is currently getting well-balanced vitamins with Selenium added, but if he is found to still be deficient, we may need to use an injection to assist in bringing him to normal levels.  Another possibility is that the cause could be a rare autoimmune disease called Pemphigus.  We are hoping that the inflammation clears up soon, but if not, we will explore these other options. For right now, he is comfortable and the hooves are starting to heal.

Since he has completed his quarantine time and remains healthy, Banjo has been allowed out for a little turnout in the arena.  It was wonderful to see him moving around and even giving a few little crow hops for joy.  After Dr. Hannah extracted his infected tooth, his eating has begun to pick up, with is another good development. The extracted tooth looked horrible and most likely caused him a lot of pain.  I am sure he is feeling much better with it now out of there!

Lisa, one of our volunteers, and I spent some training time with Banjo in the round pen.  We asked him to walk at liberty and follow us.  At first, he was a bit shy, but after a little time he was following Lisa around like a little puppy and he became more comfortable with her reaching out to pet him.  It took a little time getting him to be okay with the halter but Lisa kept trying and he had a few successful on and offs with it.

All in all, I’d say he was coming along well and I look forward to working with him.