Photos: DVMs save horse with prosthetic

May 18, 2016

Colorado State veterinarians save a miniature horse from with a foam-lined ski boot with bike-tire treads.

(Photo courtesy Colorado State University)Horse owners Jacque Corsentino and Lee Vigil think it was dogs. What else would have left puncture wounds on the face and bloody tears in a lip, a knee and the left rear fetlock like Shine had?

It was early morning, before the sun was up, Dec. 29, 2015. One of the miniature horse's owners thought he was standing funny and swung a flashlight beam onto Shine.

“He was covered in blood,” Jacque Corsentino told the Colorado State University Source.

The 3-year-old miniature horse was whisked away to the university's teaching hospital, where injuries to his leg and the resulting infection might have meant euthanasia. But thanks to work by a staff orthopedic surgeon and a prosthetic from a Colorado company, the miniature horse was able to recover and now walk.

See more of Shine, his prosthetic and the medical team responsible in the photos to come …


(Photo courtesy Colorado State University)This radiograph shows Shine's injured lower-left hind leg. Fractures in the coffin bone and lower pastern bone, crucial to extension of the lower leg into the hoof, and subsequent infection required amputation.

Associate professor of equine orthopedics Laurie Goodrich, DVM, performed a two-hour surgery in March to remove the infected hoof and distal limb below the fetlock. With radiographs in hand, a team was able to use a 3-D printer to create an exact replica of the hoof Shine during healing and before the prosthetic.


(Photo courtesy Colorado State University)The site healed nicely. “It's the first [amputation and prosthesis] I've done, but I've always wanted to try,” Goodrich told a Colorado State University reporter. “We had no way of preserving that limb. So we had to take it off, and this was the only option to preserve his life.”


(Photo courtesy Colorado State University)Goodrich and staff outfit Shine with the new prosthetic, the fourth of its kind designed for miniature horses by Colorado-based OrthoPets.


(Photo courtesy Colorado State University)Shine's new hoof looks like a ski boot with foam liner and bike-tire-like treads for grip.

Fourth-year veterinary student Jessica Carie told a Colorado State University reporter that the transition from cast to prosthetic was better with just the first few steps: “He's already so much more comfortable than with the cast.”

Shine co-owner Jacque Corsentino thought the miniature was headed for life as a show horse. Now, he said in a recent news report, his plans have changed. “I think he would make an amazing therapy horse for wounded warriors or kids with disabilities,” Corsentino said. “You know when you have horrible days? Shine is my therapy.”