CSU veterinary team helps miniature horse shine again with brand-new hoof

Savannah Hoag

Shine, a three-year-old miniature horse, will continue living a fulfilling life thanks to the surgeons at the Colorado State University James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital.  

The miniature horse received an OrthoPets artificial hoof after sustaining severe injuries on his left hind leg after a vicious dog attack left him with a serious infection. OrthoPets, a Denver-based company, provides prosthetics to animals of all sizes that allow them to live a normal, playful life. 

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Photo Credit: Bill Cotton
(Photo courtesy of Bill Cotton.)

“He had two broken bones: one in his leg and another in his foot,” said Jacque Corsentino, one of Shine’s owners. “It wasn’t until a few days later when we realized there was something wrong after the infection from the wound spread down his leg.”

Corsentino treated Shine’s injuries with the help of his primary veterinarian for two months before calling Dr. Britt Stubblefield, an alumnus of the CSU veterinary program, to get a second opinion.

“I was called by Jacque for a second opinion and that it (the wound) was not healing properly,” Stubblefield said. “During my evaluation, I determined that we needed to take x-rays, and the radiographs revealed a fracture in the bone.”

Stubblefield owns Rocky Top Veterinary Service, which is a mobile veterinary clinic committed to the practice of large animal medicine for those living in rural communities throughout Colorado. He had decided to send photos of the injuries that Shine sustained as well as his x-rays to Dr. Laurie Goodrich, an associate professor of equine orthopedics, at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

“He (Stubblefield) had worked previously with Dr. Goodrich and decided to send her pictures of the x-rays,” Corsentino said. “They let me know that there was another option besides putting him down.”

Goodrich provided hopeful news to Corsentino by deciding to amputate Shine’s hoof and hinge joint of the lower leg due to the severity of his infected injuries. She and Stubblefield then decided that Shine would be a prime candidate for a prosthetic hoof.

“His size and temperament allowed us to feel more comfortable doing an amputation,” Goodrich said.
“That, as well as the commitment of the owner to care for the animal, works together to create a successful experience.”

Shine’s future only looks bright, as he has returned to his home on Corsentino’s farm in Florence, Colorado. Corsentino originally was going to show Shine in horse shows but now looks forward to bringing him around various programs like the Wounded Warrior Project, which is designed to empower people who have experienced similar losses.

Photo Credit to Bill Cotton
(Photo courtesy of Bill Cotton.)

“I think Shine should be able to live as normal a life as possible,” Corsentino said. “It was an original intent to show him in horse shows, but Shine’s calling is much higher than that.”

Goodrich and Stubblefield continue to work closely together monitoring Shine’s recovery and rehabilitation process.

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“The first day of the prosthesis application, he (Shine) was walking pretty well,” Goodrich said. “As time goes on, he will get used to it and I think he will continue to prosper at home.”

Corsentino said she had never worked with such top-quality, sincere, caring people as those in the CSU Veterinary Department. She credits Shine’s recovery to the detailed care of Goodrich and her team, as well as Stubblefield.

“Every horse has a chance and you need to keep your mind open to explore your options,” Stubblefield said. “You need to go with the highest form of veterinary care and that is what I learned at CSU.”

Collegian Reporter Savannah Hoag can be reached online at news@collegian.com or via Twitter @sav_hoag.