Submitted by Team Easyboot Member Tami Rougeau

This weekend has been spent trying to compose a new and original blog to contribute. As was pointed out to me, it has been a while since I published anything. That got me to thinking about why?  It certainly is not for lack of material, the last couple of years have been simply chock full. After going back and reading all of my past posts, as well as those of my trail buddies, reminiscing on some really great times it occurred to me that I still did not know why. But it did bring me to where I left off. I never finished that story. Well actually I did, I just never posted it since this is supposed to be about the boots and not the horse.

As much as I wish the story had ended where it did with only employing three types of Easyboots, it did not. Over the following several weeks Fancy would become more, then less, sound but always progressively worse. We were in the clinic nearly weekly looking for any source or extension of the abscess. X-ray, ultra-sound; you name it we just could not find it. Two days before I was to leave for Tevis to crew for friends she got worse. I took her to the clinic where more tests were done, limb perfusion was performed and she was started on antibiotics. With everything going on, we decided it would be best if she stayed at the clinic where she could be monitored. We used the Easyboot Rx and the Soaker to continue treating the hoof.

When she still was not better we elected to take her to UC Davis and have a CT done of the hoof to find the source. Thankfully my friend Renee went with me. It was a lot of examining and then x-rays then we were called into “the room”. Nothing good ever comes from going in that room. The vet was wonderful and we had my local vet on the phone as well. There were changes on the x-ray that indicated osteomyelitis of the navicular bone. The recommendation was to put her down then. Talk about a blow to the gut. After a great deal of tears and consultation with the family we decided to make her comfortable and take her home. We would put her down on Monday and have her cremated.

To make the trip home it was recommended that we put a wedge pad and shoe on her for comfort. Nailing on a shoe at this point seemed too much so Renee and I built her a boot with the prescribed wedge in it and headed for home. Fancy enjoyed a really indulgent weekend of love but never once did she sulk or just lay down. If anything she became more interactive and demanding.
Monday came around and once again I was surrounded by friends to say good bye to my partner. Over the weekend she had started to appear more sound and comfortable. My son was really having a hard time with letting her go and made us promise one last x-ray. Arriving at the clinic may have been one of the most emotional times in my life. Walking her to the x-ray the vet commented that she actually looked better and certainly full of life (did I mention that it took me 45 minutes to catch her). Needless to say, the x-ray was not changed, however based on her presentation the vet offered me an option. After consulting with my friends and then totally misunderstanding what they said I told the vet to go for it. Minutes later antibiotics and limb perfusions were going. We took her home in the same wedge boot contraption that Renee and I had created a few days earlier.

It was fairly evident that our makeshift boot was not going to work for the long haul so I set to work in the shop to build a wedged Easyboot. The boots were not pretty but they worked. We should put on a boot and take it off whenever we wanted to keep the foot clean and assess the progress. Over the next several weeks we continued aggressive antibiotics, limb perfusion and isoxoprine and kept her in the wedge boot. Indeed she did get progressively better.

There were a lot of different boots used and gradually we lowered the wedge, grew out her heal and then very gradually lowered her heal back to “normal”. During the whole event Easycare was there to answer questions (even the crazy ones) and offer suggestions. I consulted with Team Easyboot Members on various options.

From the very beginning I had made a deal with Fancy. If ever she were not at the gate I would know that it was time to let go. Two years later she is still at the gate whenever I come out. She still demands to be showered with the hose when my husband waters the trees. She is sound and happy. We go for short rides in very controlled footing, more for my peace of mind than for her. In the end we used four different boot types and modified several others to save the life of my treasured partner. She is leading the retired life that she deserves thanks to Easycare, Easyboots and an amazing vet clinic.