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Randall Ferguson- Letter To The Editor



Letter To The Editor

Dear Editor,

            For the Jose Intimidator supporters, we feel it is time to brief you on the status of Intimidator and for those who came to Columbia expecting to see him show, we apologize. Intimidator had taken a bad fall on damp grass Friday morning before the Columbia show. He appeared to be fine Friday afternoon and again on Saturday morning, so we made the trip to Columbia as promised. However, when Jamie [Bradshaw] warmed him up for he Saturday night show, he had developed a slight limp and was obviously not 100 percent. The decision was made to put him back on the trailer and to try and determine the extent of his injury. We were all disappointed but the health of Intimidator had to be our first consideration.

            Our horses are under the constant eye of Dr. Tom Ellenburg and he suggested sending Intimidator to Dr. James Schumacher at the University of Tennessee, who in turn, consulted with doctors at Texas A&M University and the Iowa State University. To make a long story short, Intimidator had torn the gastrocnemius muscle in both of his rear limbs. This is apparently a rare occurrence for walking horses and is more prevalent in cutting horses. We are enclosing copies of both the doctor’s diagnosis and discharge instructions in order for you to further understand the complexity of his injury.

            Since the recovery could possibly take up to six months, we will not attempt to show him in the 2006 Celebration. We will instead, concentrate our efforts on returning him to soundness. Intimidator will be delivered to Waterfall Farm in time for the fall breeding season. He will stand at stud at Waterfall for the next ten years under an agreement that was signed several months ago. After Intimidator has accomplished a complete recovery, you may see him perform again in the 2007 Celebration. To all those who have supported Intimidator throughout his career and have called inquiring about his condition, we appreciate your support and we trust this will answer some of your questions.

            We at Ferguson Farms feel blessed to have a horse such as Intimidator in our charge and will see that he receives the best of treatment.

           

Randall Ferguson

University of Tennessee Veterinary Teaching Hospital Medical Record

            The above horse was presented to the University of Tennessee’s Large Animal Hospital on June 21, 2006 for evaluation of lameness of the rear limbs of several weeks. The horse had become lame on the left rear after hyperextending that limb in an accident. The horse had apparently become sound on the limb after several days but lame on the right rear limb. The horse had remained lame on the right rear limb for several weeks. The horse had received no analgesic drugs. The horse had recently become slightly lame on the right fore limb because of a subsolar abscess, but lameness on that limb had apparently resolved.

            During examination we observed that the horse was lame on the right rear limb at a fast walk. Flexion of that limb temporarily exacerbated the lameness. Flexion of the left rear limb temporarily caused the horse to be reluctant to move. During scintigraphic examination we observed increase uptake of the radiopharmaceutical drug at the caudodistal aspect of both femurs. We also observed increased uptake at the talocalcaneal joint of both hocks. During radiographic examination of the stifles and hocks we observed large active enthesiophytes on the caudodistal aspect of each femur. The enthesiophytes were located at the area of the insertion of the gastrocnemius muscle. We observed no osseous abnormalities.

            Based on results of clinical, scintigraphic and radiographic examinations we concluded that the source of pain causing lameness was the insertion of the gastrocnemius muscle on each femur caused by overextension of the hind limbs. The horse was discharged on June 23 at the conclusion of examination.

            The horse’s prognosis for return to soundness is good, but the time required for the horse to become sound is difficult to predict. The horse may require up to six months of confinement before becoming sound. The horse should remain confined to a stall until soundness returns.

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