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Liam was the second horse to be saved under the Big Hoof Foundation.

On Wednesday March 29th, this BIG beautiful boy showed up on the Bowie Texas Livestock website. I contacted them to get some more information and learned he came from an Amish farm in Kentucky. He is 18.1 hands tall (6 feet 1 inch from the ground to the top of his back - height does not take into account the head or neck of the horse), weighs 1,875 pounds and is about 15 years old. 


The original video of Liam from the livestock yard showed that he was having some issues with his front legs, but overall in good health. The livestock yard stated “he’s stout, he’s strong, he’s in fantastic condition”.  When we arrived at the livestock yard to bring him home, just 5 days later, he could barely walk! 


On the way home from the livestock yard, we stopped at Claude Veterinary Hospital to have  Dr. Amber evaluate his leg and complete an overall wellness exam (including bloodwork). X-rays showed that he had severe arthritis in his front leg and Dr. Amber was worried he was foundering. Founder is also known as laminitis where the laminae (the part that attaches the hoof wall to the coffin bone in the foot) becomes inflamed and the blood supply to the area is compromised. With time, the hoof wall can separate from the bone. 


One of our other horses (at Fletcher Farms) Cami, has severe arthritis as well. We regularly take her to our other veterinarian (Mobile Veterinary Practice) for steroid injections to help treat the arthritis. The injections have helped Cami tremendously. So, we made an appointment for Liam to see Dr. Waggoner at MVP to see what treatment she thought would be the best for him. 


After her evaluation, Dr. Waggoner did not think he was foundering and suggested we try Noltrex injections rather than the steroid injections.  This therapy adds a cushion to the joint to reduce joint pain.


At the farm, we  made changes to his run to make it more comfortable for him as he receives treatment for his arthritis. We have elevated his food so that he does not have to bend as far down when enjoying alpha pro and hay,  and we have added additional cushioning in the form of pine shavings, stall mats and hay  to make the ground softer for him. 


 After a few weeks, we started him on pain medications to make sure he is comfortable during his retirement. We also began additional treatment to his frog (the center triangular part of a horse’s hoof) to help ease pain. 


Now that his pain has started to subside and he is settling in, he is really showing his personality! He loves to play in his waterer, loves brushies (only on his terms and never when he is sleepy)  and has even broken out of his run to go on an adventure of his own! When he is not causing mischief he can be found laying down taking a nap or grazing with the herd. 


Last updated: 6/14/23


Liams story is documented on our farms YouTube channel. You will find videos of Liam and everything he has been up to in his retired days!

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