Since 2008 Horses of Tir Na Nog has been diligent in allocating its limited resources to the horses in greatest need. We value our partnership with County of San Diego Department of Animal Services. We feel strongly that horses that Animal Services has rescued from abuse, abandonment, or neglect most clearly fit our mission of caring for horses that have run out of options.
However, in Bravo’s case, it was clear that an exception needed to be made.
Bravo’s owner, when faced with his chronic lameness, felt the only option available was euthanasia and she signed Bravo over to East County Large Animal Practice with that intent. However, further investigation revealed that Bravo suffers from navicular. Navicular disease is a degenerative condition of the navicular bone and soft tissues in the back of the horse’s foot.
Navicular can be a devastating diagnosis for the owner of an athletic horse. However, advancements in veterinary care have provided a much wider range of treatment options for navicular horses than were available in the past.
Unfortunately, there are still a large number of questions about what causes navicaular in horses. There are likely to be a combination of factors. In many ways, Bravo fits the classic conformational issues involved in navicular horses: he is heavy bodied, with upright pasterns, and relatively small hooves. While we do not know the details of his history, a large number of affected horses have a history of work involving front-leg impact (jumping, cutting, roping, and reining). Poor or inconsistent farrier care is also believed to contribute to navicular.
And on that count, Bravo has nothing to worry about. The first step we took after his diagnosis was a farrier consultation.
In addition to our friends and donors, there are two partnerships that we value above all others, County of San Diego Department of Animals Services and East County Large Animal Practice (ECLAP), our vets. So when we found out about Bravo and what an extraordinary temperament he has, it merited our attention. ECLAP’s willingness to help us with his diagnostic needs and the planning of his care, along with your continued support, allowed us to help one more very special horse. So on behalf of everyone involved in this case, "Bravo! Bravo!"
Since our sanctuary is at capacity, Bravo is one of several horses being boarded in Lakeside. Bravo is looking for a long-term foster home that will care for him until an opening is available at the sanctuary.