Here is an update on Valor from our Herd Health Manager, Melinda:

At the end of September, Valor had his umbilical hernia repaired and at the same time had a medial patellar ligament fenestration, which is a surgical treatment for locking stifles. He was put on a rehab schedule that involved limited turnout with a regimented hand walking schedule. He was a gentleman for the trailer rides to and from the hospital and has been calm and well-behaved for his recovery process.

About a month later he began to have some stifle troubles again. One afternoon his right hind locked up and he couldn’t walk. Dr. Renner was called out from Rainland to help him out. As soon as it was unlocked, it went right back into the stuck position. It looked as though he may have needed another procedure done—but this time it would have been a patellar ligament desmotomy, in which the ligament is actually cut. Luckily, muscle relaxers helped Valor loosen up and his patella went back into place. Dr. Renner recommended we change up his rehab plan a little bit and add more protein to his diet to help him build more muscle to support those ligaments. Radiographs were taken to verify that there are no developmental changes going on his stifle joints that would cause this problem.

For now we are continuing with the extra protein, and are gradually building on the rehab work to help him build muscle. Jolene is the volunteer rider who is working with him. She will be adding saddle work and teaching him to pull something to build help with strength training. He occasionally gets a little “spicy” when he’s asked to trot, and he reminds us that he’s still only a three year old. Sometimes it’s easy to forget what a baby he is because he is such a mellow guy. It looks like Valor has a bright future ahead of him!