Saying a horse will return to full athletic soundness after a navicular bursa infection is an extremely guarded prognosis. Dr. Carter was quick to let the owners know the severity of the situation revealing that “only 55% of horses are deemed sound and return to work if they recover from a navicular bursa infection." Lower limb infections are problematic - consider the location, the severity and the structures involved.
FROM THE SHOW RING TO EMERGENCY SURGERY
Liana (Travis’s owner), who competes on the University of Tennessee Martin Equestrian Team, was finishing up her last lesson before she headed off to college to begin the fall semester. The sliding stops ended abruptly when rider and trainer both noticed something was not right with Travis. Upon inspection, they noticed that Travis had stepped on a nail. The nail was removed and everything was fine. After consulting with Countryside, they kept a close eye on Travis and watched for any changes in soundness or demeanor.
Infection hit - painful pressure and inflammation built up. Barn manager Brynn described Travis as being a “three legged horse” as he was not putting any weight on his back leg.
Travis was brought to Countryside where he was placed under anesthesia and underwent what is know as the "Street Nail Procedure" for the infection located in his navicular bursa.
Liana (Travis’s owner) received the text that he was going into surgery while at a meeting for her college equestrian team. Tears rolled down her face as she heard the news. She had the opportunity to ride horses while away at college, but as Liana stated "there is something special about the bond you build with your own horse."
Travis remained hospitalized at Countryside for 10 days. Any lessons or thoughts of returning to the show ring was far from anyone's mind - it was all about survival.