Shortly after arriving at their foster home, Chip and Dale gave us quite a scare. The pair had an intake vet visit scheduled for early March, where they would get overall examinations including bloodwork to test for possible Cushing’s, lameness evaluations, and dental checks. But anyone who has ever owned horses knows that things often do not go according to plan, and a medical emergency required them to be seen a bit sooner than expected. 

Chip managed to get himself out of his dry lot and on to the grass, which caused a flare up of laminitis. He had previously foundered around a year ago, and upon intake was already appearing a bit sore, with his left front appearing a bit more so than the right. Luckily, a sharp eye by foster mom Laura had the wonderful vets from Pilchuck quick on the scene, where they put together a game plan for treating little Chip. 

They first took blood to check his kidney levels. His creatine levels were within normal range, so they were able to administer bute. His front hooves were wrapped in cotton, which seemed to help. Thanks to our wonderful network of volunteers, we were able to quickly connect with fellow foster Shellie, who, having had laminitic minis in the past, had a pair of boots she was able to lend Chip. He will be on bute for a little while to help with the discomfort, and going forward, his hay will be soaked to reduce the sugar content.

Dale is on a no-hay diet, as due to the worn-down grinding surfaces of his teeth, he is prone to choke. We are currently working with his foster mom to help find him a low-sugar senior complete feed. 

A few days after their unexpected vet visit, the pair were seen for the first of two non-emergency initial visits with Dr. King at Pilchuck. We scheduled Chip for a follow-up X‑ray to get an idea of the rotation in his hooves. Lateral shots revealed that he has a 26 degree rotation on the right, with the left exhibiting even more. Both of his hooves are sunken, with thin sole depth. He received a trim to help, with an aggressive bevel and leveling of heels on his left, and a bevel and toe trim on his right. The pair also had a bloodwork panel done, as well as tests for Cushing’s. 

Both will have dental checks performed during their next visit, and are scheduled to receive a flu/rhino booster. 

We are so very thankful for foster parents like Laura, who was quick to notice something was amiss with these two little ones and was in quick communication with us and the fabulous team at Pilchuck to get them the help they needed. 

With all intakes, there is a cost to get them set up with all they need, especially when it comes to veterinary care. In the case of some horses, these costs are higher than others. Our newest intakes, Chip and Dale, are one such case. They don’t get discounts for size! We appreciate Pilchuck’s assistance and generosity, but they are still a working business.