Penny's for Ponies
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Penny was a smiley, happy, butterball Welch pony. She never met a person, child or treat she didn't love. Penny was rescued in 2004 from a family that could not afford to care for her chronically foundered feet also known as Laminitis. It is not known how long she had been foundered when we received her at the practice, but likely her entire life. Her feet were deformed and she walked awkwardly, putting her weight onto her back feet with her front feet floating in front of her. She was brought to the clinic and treatment began which included special hand made shoes and careful examination of foot radiographs. Her condition was serious enough to require that her tendons be cut to release the pressure on her coffin bones in her feet. The surgery went very well and within a few weeks Penny was out running around the clinic area pain free and determined to get into everything. She became the mascot at the clinic. Penny loved to follow people around, picking pockets, resting her head on shoulders, and helping cheer up patients in the clinic.

It wasn't long before we all realized that Penny wasn't a patient anymore, but indeed a part of the Georgetown Equine Hospital staff. Penny greeted clients as they pulled up in their trailers, inspected the grounds and picked the best grooming tools for the staff to use. She became a Houdini at finding the bucket of hidden treats and was great at stealing lunches. But what was always amazing was that with each set back that would come with the chronic founder she never once complained. She endured time consuming and painful attempts to build her new more comfortable shoes or splints. All the latest techniques available to veterinarians and farriers for founder were used. A new shoe designed specifically for Penny was even designed and applied.

For three years we were successful at keeping Penny happy and comfortable. Unfortunately in 2007 she began to take a turn for the worse. Her scarred tendons began to contract and sink into her feet. The unfortunate thing with founder (laminitis) is that it can take life threatening turns for no apparent reason. We all saw this happen with the famous racehorse Barbaro. Unfortunately, the amount of money and time spent is not always enough to save even the best of horses. She continued in a downward spiral and we were faced with the agonizing decision to put Penny to sleep. Even up until her death she tried her best to let us help her. She was brave and was always happy as we tried treatment after treatment. She could have been mean and nasty with all the pain she endured throughout her life, but she was the opposite, always sweet, affectionate and happy. The decision to put her to sleep was made even more difficult because of her cheerful personality. We all loved Penny. She was a special pony and she epitomized the animals that we would like to help and save in the future.

"Penny's for Ponies" is a charitable organization set up to help financially provide care to those animals that desperately need care, but do not have owners who can provide such care. Many animals can be saved and then go on to very productive lives and careers if quality care is provided.

If you would like to get involved in any way please contact Dr. St. Peter. There are lots of ways you can help such as: joining one of our support categories, fostering an animal ready for adoption, adopting an animal, donating items and much, much more.

Dr. Nancy St. Peter, DVM
209 Whitetail Lane, Hutto, TX 78634
phn: 512-818-0377
doc@georgetownequinesurgery.com

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