On December 10th, a Sunday morning, we got a text message from our vet about a really sweet mare he was supposed to euthanize the next day.
She had a very bad hoof / foot injury and the previous owners didn´t have the financial means for her treatment.
We assume that she stepped into metal and pretty much almost cut off her hoof.
Her prognosis at that time wasn´t really promising but we decided to take on the challenge without even meeting her. She was just simply too young to not give a second chance and the picture our vet sent us made our hearts melt.
Zoe´s name used to be Royal but a few months down the road she became "Zoe" which is Greek and has the meaning "life" and this girl sure fought for her life and to be alive....let us tell you why...
A week after we agreed to take over Zoe we finally met her...and yes...what a gorgeous and sweet girl she was (still is).
Zoe stayed at the clinic for about another 3 weeks to make sure she had the best possible care to treat her injury.
A lot was done to keep the wound from getting infected like Regional Limb Perfusions, Joint Lavages and numerous other things.
If we wrote about everything that what was done at the clinic and after arriving at the ranch we could probably write a book ....so we are trying to keep it somewhat simple.
On December 31st it was finally time to take her to her new home. Zoe´s first cast was applied and really nothing else could have been done at the clinic besides giving her the medications she needed and keeping a close watch on her.
Things were going well at first but at some point we had a major setback and Zoe´s flexor tendon ripped which caused the whole foot / bone structure to get completely out of whack because so much other tissue and ligaments were already injured.
The question was asked if we wanted to keep going? ... YES... we have come so far and we are not giving up unless Zoe tells us she is done fighting.
This is actually when Royal became Zoe ... wanting to live...wanting to fight for her life!
Zoe was completely stalled for a period of about five month, multiple cast changes and other intense treatments in between.
On April 20th we had the first major milestone and we built Zoe a tiny little paddock so she could step out of her stall and feel the sun on her body ... this horse was smiling the whole time she was out...no doubt about it.
The next few weeks a lot of new things where tried --- from making her a splint out of a cast that was fit to her leg-- to making a clog which allowed to go into a very small pasture, set up just for her.
We even went as far and ordering a compression boot from Argentina (in June) which really helped her adjust to not having a cast anymore, but her foot would still be stabilized and she wore it about for 4 weeks until the next adjustment had to be done ... taking off the clog.
Unfortunately, at this point her leg did not fit into the "RedBoot" anymore because of the anatomy of her leg.
Then we started to apply leg wraps with a layer of cotton, gauze, vet wrap and elastikon, as tight as possible, to give her stabilization ... until this day (March 2019).
Zoe really proved to be fighter and now (knock on wood) everything has scarred together as much as we had hoped, so she could use her leg.
However, she will always need close monitoring everyday to make sure she does not take a step back.
It is pretty much a given that she will need regular injections in her joints for the rest of her life to keep her comfortable. She will more than likely develop arthritis in other joints because of her "unnatural anatomy.” So we decided to retire her in the facility to make sure she always gets the treatment she needs.
Another reason for not putting her up for adoption is that we might have to get very creative with horse shoes for her because she gets sore spots.
This journey with her has been long … but even though things got easier...the journey and creativity that will be needed to keep her as comfortable as possible will probably never end.
Currently Zoe is on a dose of Equinety and gets her wrap changed every two to three days.