Case 240
Pythiosis extending
from Fetlock into Hoof
Nick, an American Shetland Pony rescued by Gunny's Dancing Hooves Rescue, arrived at 9pm on 4-26-2011
with a one year old injury to the fetlock, pastern, coronet & hoof of the left front leg.

Excerpts from initial contacts regarding Nick:
"Prior to being surrendered to the rescue, he had a horrible, severe hoof/foot injury that was left untreated
for a long time and it has gotten severely infected. The owner was going to have him shot. The rescue
stepped in to try to save St. Nick. "

"Someone on the Rescue's Facebook page mentioned your name (Dr. Jolly) so I looked you up and found
your website. I looked at one of your videos about a horse's hoof that had completely sloughed off (case 182
"Special"). It looked a bit like what is happening to St. Nick. I thought I would contact you in case you had
any recommendations."

"I am writing you today on behalf of a rescue pony in the care of one of my friends Lynnette Hummel.  St.
Nick came to her in dire need of attention and care to a front hoof.  In the pictures attached you will see
how dire his needs are.  I am asking for your consideration into your program for treatment.  His cultures
are still out so the exact fungus is not yet known, but he needs all the help we can provide for him."

"Dear Dr. Jolly, I don't know if there is any advice you can offer, or any help you can give. But, this little guy,
St. Nick, is a real survivor and it is heartbreaking to me that he may have to be euthanized just because the
right solution to his problem may not be identified. You clearly have extensive experience in severe hoof
injuries, and I am hoping you can help in some way."
These are the pictures sent to us from Gunny's Dancing Hooves Rescue...
Click on the photos to enlarge the view.
4-27-2011 - First day of treatment...
5-2-2011 - Discovery
of kunkers in the
wound site, strong
indication of
5-9-2011 - Nick grazing...Pythiosis confirmed, vaccine ordered.
5-10-2011 - Nick in the paddock..
5-12-2011 - Vaccine arrived, Nick given 1st dose. Now is the time to pray that the vaccine antigen works !
The vaccine is given every 7 days, so one was given on the 12th, one will be given on the 20th & 27th. The
vaccine creates an imuno-response to pythiosis, enabling the body to fight off the micro-organism.
After viewing pictures of the wound site, and conversing with Lynnette, we suspected pythiosis was involved
in this situation, and the decision was made to bring Nick to Step Ahead Farm for evaluation and treatment.

If this is indeed pythiosis, it will present a serious challenge, due to the age of the wound, contamination and
structural damage to the hoof.
5-20-2011 - 2nd shot of pythiosis vaccine administered.
Nick was given another epson soak, massage and treatment.
Nick enjoying
a snack while
getting an
epson soak
on the
injured leg.
5-27-2011 - 3rd shot of pythiosis vaccine administered.
Nick is sporting a new bandage to allow air to the wound site while still protecting the area....
A "status report" was requested on Nick, so here goes.... :- )

As discussed before Nick started his trip to Step Ahead, his "odds" are about 50/50. This situation has
been ongoing for a long period of time, which lowers the chances of complete success in curing the
pythiosis and healing Nick's leg.

I've added a link at the top of this page that gives a little more information on pythiosis, and another
link that details his billing. If you'll visit some of the other cases of pythiosis on this site and others,
you'll see that the wounds (all of them) grew substantially during treatment. This is the
micro-organism pythiosis spreading and killing tissue as it goes. Until the body develops the
antibodies through the vaccine (which is also a 50/50 shot) there is nothing that can stop the
pythiosis when it is as advanced as this case, although we work hard to keep the leg as clear and
clean as possible, with treatments and wound massages to aid in removing the affected tissue and

In Nick's case, the pythiosis is bone deep. (The picture sent to us of the hole through his hoof was the
determining factor for us) This makes it a very serious case.

Despite appearances, Nick's leg does appear to be developing new tissue, he has gained weight and his
hair coat has improved.
I don't want to say we've beaten the pythiosis at this point, but the improvements in his overall
health are a good sign.


Damaged hoof has been removed, Nick still has
his coffin bone.
The bones are infected with pythiosis, however,
we have been getting good response from the
new pythiosis vaccine and immune-stimulants.
October 10, 2011
Nicky passed away this morning.
While we mourn his loss, we are grateful for the opportunity to work with Nicky. Sadly, we weren't able
to save Nicky, but all we learned from Nicky's stay will help us to help and possibly save future horses
with severe cases of pythiosis.