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Goliath's road to recovery

Goliath’s Road to Recovery

We’re pleased to report Goliath’s road to recovery. Back in October  2019 one of our much-loved residents Goliath came into the stables with a very interesting ‘mushroom like’ growth on his frog. Goliath, a 20-year-old for 8 years had never experienced anything like this before! Luckily, with our resident vet Nicola Housby-Skeggs and farrier Dan Harman from Crendon Farriers on hand to look at the bizarre addition. Initially, it was bleeding and seemed painful for poor Goliath. It was soon diagnosed as Canker, a rare condition for in horses in the UK. Canker is very unusual, affecting the horse’s foot, more specifically, the frog and sole. The cause is currently unknown but there is a theory that it does have a cancerous nature. After sedating and ‘blocking’ Goliath’s foot, Dan began to cut back the affected tissue until they hit a healthy bleeding frog. To do this, a tourniquet was used to reduce the chance of haemorrhage. The foot was then dressed in copper sulphate, a drying agent, and antibiotics before being bandaged up. Goliath was then put on box-rest in a clean and dry barn in order to let the foot heel.

Initially, Goliath started to respond well to treatment but unfortunately the canker recurred with more dramatic debridement, so cauterisation of bleeding tissues was required. The dressings were repeated frequently, and steroids were introduced. Goliath then went on to have two surgeries to remove the cankerous tissue and after the second, much to our relief, it successfully healed. With fantastic collaboration work from Nicky, Dan and the Horse Trust Equine Care team, Goliath has regained full strength and health. Goliath went back out to the field recently when the sun was shining so we could ensure he would receive the best foot care in the field now the mud is gone! Goliath was really pleased to be reunited with all his friends and return to his well earnt retirement in the Chiltern Hills.

Read more about Goliath.

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