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My vet works with the Pulaski County Humane Society here in central Arkansas, who works in conjunction with Bluebonnet for dealing with horse rescues all over the state.

this is an update on one of the most horrific cases they have dealt with in the last year. Teresa was on the call for this rescue the day that my foal Artie (in my icon) arrived, so I got to hear quite a bit about the actual circumstances when she came by to check him out.


3-limbed horse gets magic leg

New prosthesis gives this paint something to gallop about

Friday, July 25, 2008

— By all accounts, Lovey the horse should’ve died a year ago.

The paint mare was severely malnourished, and part of her right front leg was missing when she was rescued by the Humane Society of Pulaski County. But she’s a fighter.

Under the veterinary care of Dr. Teresa Medlock, Lovey gained weight and recovered from the infection that caused about 6 inches of her leg to fall off. And on Thursday, she began learning to walk with a prosthetic leg.

“This has been a dream we’ve had for a long time,” said Kay Simpson, executive director of the Humane Society. “She runs, she gallops, she does everything with three legs. This will help her do it all a little bit better.”

The new leg was donated by Snell Prosthetic and Orthotic Laboratory in Little Rock. If it were a human leg, it would cost between $8,000 and $10,000, said Frank Snell, who owns the company.

“To my knowledge, she’s the first horse in Arkansas to get a prosthetic leg,” Snell said. “We consulted with a prosthetist in Jefferson, La., who’d done one for a Shetland pony.”

Michael Lacy was in charge of building the leg, which is a combination of titanium carbon graphite and a round hoof made of hard rubber. It took him about 30 hours to complete the project. He has several horses himself and was a perfect prosthetist to craft the leg, Snell said.

Before Lovey could get her new appendage, she had to be nursed back to health, Medlock said. Then she had to have surgery to remove about 2 more inches of bone so there would be some muscle tissue to protect the bone from the prosthetic.

When she was rescued, Lovey weighed about 650 pounds. She’s gained more than 200 pounds and stands just over 14.5 hands tall, or nearly 5 feet, at the shoulder, Medlock said.

Lovey wasn’t a particularly cooperative patient Thursday morning. She reared on her hind legs at least twice as Lacy and Medlock attempted to attach the prosthesis to her leg.

Medlock cooed to calm thehigh-spirited mare. “Easy, Love Bug,” she said, stroking the horse’s face and neck.

Besides having several unfamiliar people around taking photos and video, Lovey was unhappy that she was confined. She’s accustomed to roaming in the pasture, but Medlock said she wanted the horse to stay clean after her bath.

“She got locked up last night,” Medlock said. “I didn’t want to have to chase her down.”

After the prosthesis was attached, Lovey took a few tentative steps - just enough to reach the grass outside the barn doors so she could have a nibble.

Then she took a few more steps, still limping, seemingly unaware that she won’t fall over if she puts weight on her right side. It’s going to take time and therapy for Lovey to adjust to using her new leg, Medlock said.

Kevin Medlock helps his daughter with the feeding and general maintenance of the facility that right now is home to about a dozen rescued horses, including one that was rescued late Wednesday from Redfield.

He’s aware that his job may become a bit harder once the feisty 5-year-old gets used to her new leg.

Why would his job get harder?

The answer is simple, he notes: “She’s hard enough to catch with three legs.”

Arkansas, Pages 15 on 07/25/2008


Oh my goodnes.....that breaks my heart. I cannot believe that the horse did so well with that. She's a beautiful horse and I hope that someone who will love her and spoil her has her. Gee....we have some stupid people in this world.
don't worry, the vet actually is the one who is keeping her.
and yes, spoiled pretty much applies to all her animals.
Sorry I couldn't post the whole story, local paper is afraid someone from the internet might read their stuff.