BY JUMP MEDIA LLC
The birth of a foal is an exciting yet nerve-wracking time for any owner. This is especially true when the foal arrives three weeks early, which was the case for Laura Rendon’s Seez My Vision, known in the barn as “Acey.” Rendon knew that after Acey was born, her first priority was to get veterinary care for the foal.
Acey is by Rendon’s 19-year-old Appaloosa stallion, Clear Vision, and out of Evening Star, a four-year-old Appaloosa. The foal has wonderful bloodlines and is also a rare coloring for an Appaloosa because she has very few spots.
At first, Rendon’s main concern with Acey was that she would not nurse. She immediately called a veterinarian in Vero Beach, Florida, who noticed that Acey had flexural limb deformities, or contracted tendons. The vet immediately made front limb supports, or splints, for Acey’s legs but unfortunately by the time Acey was three days old she could no longer walk and was starting to crawl on her knees to get around. The foal was beginning to form sores on her knees from crawling, which became a second concern because Rendon did not want infection to set in.
“I was out with her all day and night,” recalled Rendon. “She couldn’t walk so I had to stand her up and bend over in front of her, put my head against her chest and then run my hands down both of her legs and hold her ankles to move her so she could nurse.”
Realizing that Acey needed serious medical attention, Rendon made the decision to ship Acey to Palm Beach Equine Clinic (PBEC) in Wellington, Florida. Acey was four days old when she was admitted to PBEC. The foal had severe flexural deformity on both front fetlocks and was unable to stand on her own. Acey was otherwise healthy, although the sores on her knees were still a concern. Dr. Katie Atwood was the primary veterinarian working with Acey, along with board-certified surgeons Dr. Robert W. Brusie and Dr. Jorge Gomez.
“This was by far the most severe case I have seen,” commented Dr. Atwood. “These deformities are often noted at birth. They may also be seen during a new foal exam and confirmation exam, which is when Acey’s deformities were noticed. These exams are usually performed on every foal within the first 24 hours of life.”
Dr. Atwood recommended splints to help Acey’s flexural limb deformities. Although Rendon was hesitant to put splints on Acey again, she decided to give it a second try. Dr. Brusie and Dr. Atwood worked together to create new splints for the foal, which were monitored and adjusted when needed.
After the first day with the new splints, Dr. Atwood did not see enough of a change in Acey to know if she would recover. Rendon and the team at PBEC decided to give the foal a second day with the splints. Thankfully the next day Acey began showing small improvements and slowly continued on a long track of recovery.
“We changed Acey’s splints and bandages each day, gave her antibiotics, and controlled her exercise,” explained Dr. Atwood. “The plan changed daily, and the bandage technique was altered multiple times during the 25 days that she was with us.”
Dr. Brusie and Dr. Gomez worked together to move the positioning of the splints as Acey progressed. Although Acey’s exercise was limited, she gradually was able to move around more on her own and was taken for short hand walks outside.
“She came in with so much spunk and a fight to live,” said Dr. Atwood of the foal. “If she hadn’t had a great attitude, she likely would not have made it. But she never missed a chance to nurse or kick out at us when we examined her. Her will to live was so strong.”
After almost a month at the clinic, Acey was able to go home. Rendon and her husband were thrilled to finally be able to work with and enjoy their foal.
“I couldn’t believe that it was actually happening,” described Rendon. “I was just so excited to get her home and that she made it through. I could not wait to start training her because I start all of my own babies. I’m so thankful that the Palm Beach Equine Clinic team of doctors persisted and had such faith that Acey would get better. Acey had a great squad that was always right there with her and took great care of her.”
Now that Acey is back home and no longer on stall rest, Rendon has started training the foal on the lead line. Acey’s sire, Clear Vision, has had offspring succeed in several disciplines, especially in the hunters and jumpers.
“I’m hoping to get her into a halter class soon,” said Rendon regarding Acey’s next steps in training. “I hope to take her in a lunge line class this coming year. We will see what happens; she might be a jumper. She’s going to be very big.”
Rendon has high hopes for Acey’s future, and she owes it all to the Palm Beach Equine Clinic team. The high level of care and treatment offered by the staff at PBEC gave Acey the ability to walk and the opportunity to have a successful career.