Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Hard Day...

We had the vet out early this morning for some routine care on some of the Shiloh Horses. But we also wanted her to evaluate a couple of our older horses who have been having a hard time lately. We started with the bad stuff first.

As many of you know, we have been treating Sanctuary horse, Abilene for a very bad eye condition. She appeared to have some sort of growth inside of it and we have been keeping her medicated with daily pain meds. Abilene is approx 30 years of age with a very badly crippled arthritic front leg. We have been watching her closely for a diminished quality of life and have been becoming concerned about her. With the cold weather, she is really slowing down and her leg is causing her pain now. Then, with the eye problem on top if this, we knew we had to discuss her with the vet today. After examining her, Dr. Schur said that her eye would most likely have to be removed and that to do that, she would have to go under a general anesthesia. This is very difficult for older horses, even harder for older crippled guys. With our vet's advice and support, Sally and I made the difficult decision to have her put down. Although we both knew this was coming, and that the day had actually arrived, it is not something we ever take lightly. But, we knew that her quality of life had diminished and that we had to let her go. Abilene was surrounded by Jill, Sally, Robin, Daria, and Sandi, and was eating a bucket of Equine Senior and cut up watermelon when she was given the shot. She went quickly and easily, but we all cried the same. Abilene was with us for 3 years and had been a wonderful little mare for everyone who visited Shiloh. She was a sweet and gentle soul who is now at peace and out of pain.

Sadly, we also had to euthanize Sasparilla, another Sanctuary horse. Sasparilla could be a difficult and ornery mare, it was almost impossible to keep her hooves trimmed as she had to be very heavily sedated in order to do anything to her. And getting her sedated was always a rodeo! Sasparilla was over 30 years of age and in failing health, with a badly swayed back. She was almost impossible to keep weight on, although she ate nonstop in Little Vacation Village. With our vet's support, we made the difficult decision to let her go. She had been at Shiloh for two years, we are sure they were the best two years she ever had.

Moving on to other horses, we had Chatty examined (above). We have noticed Chatty, an elderly, blind, and almost deaf Appy gelding, has been acting very strangely lately. It is almost like he has dementia, he actually gets lost in his own pasture (The Gummies). He will circle and circle and whinny when he gets lost. At times, we have to go in and actually lead him back up to his best friend, Heavenly when he gets too confused. After examining him, Dr. Schur believes he probably has a brain tumor. He is not at the point of having to be put down yet, but we are going to be keeping an extra close eye on him. He does not appear to be in pain and still eats, as long as he can touch Heavenly. He HAS to touch her at all time, it's weird. Poor old guy.
Then, we had Dr. Schur examine Heavenly (above), Chatty's friend in The Gummies. Heavenly is getting up there in age, has ONLY 1 molar tooth on each side left to chew with. She has a grade four heart murmur, advanced Melanoma, and is starting to have failing overall health. But, she is still interested and happy, she eats well, in spite of her few remaining teeth. We will keep a close eye on her as well.

Then, we moved onto to Charity (pictured above in her characteristic "standing on a dime" pose), another crippled 30 year old mare who lives in Big Vacation Village. All four of Charity's legs have something wrong with them, but she is still bright eyed and happy and eating, so we gave her a Legend shot (to help with joint pain) and sent her on her way in the pasture.

Then, we had Echo Echo examined. He has chronic Laminitis and is rotating, but his pain is still manageable, and he is healthy with a great appetite.

Then, we had Slew, the old crippled goat examined. Dr. Schur is going to study up on her goat vet books, but for now, we gave him a Legend shot to help him feel better and he went on his merry way, limping and stiff, but happy.

Shiloh is home to many horses in their late 20's to 30's- all of whom have issues. Most have come to Shiloh with one foot in the grave, but have thrived and gotten healthier with time. But, Nature catches up with us all and we are realizing that have more of these hard days ahead.

BUT, on the brighter side (now that we are all depressed!) we did have Will and Crusoe gelded today! Both are healthy young guys who can now get ready for adoptions to new homes. Both came through their procedures with flying colors.

Crusoe is out!
Still sleeping...

I'm sleepy...

Poor Will!

Will has his Wolf Teeth taken out.What in the world just happened?

AND, we had Dr. Schur confirm that Amiga (above) IS PREGNANT. This is not exactly happy news, Amiga has horribly Lamanetic feet. But, there is a new foal coming to Shiloh sometime with in the next month or so! Just in time for the Holidays. She arrived at Shiloh pregnant.

We lose some of our older guys, but a new soul is on the way. The old guys leave us with a sigh, the young ones arrive with an excited whinny. I guess, that is what rescue is all about, the circle of Life.


the 4 D's said...

Wow !! what a day, Its good to know that the old guys retired Happy and had a good life with Jill & Sally . Ya know, if you think about it, There's not a Day that jill & sally dont give love to every Horse or resident pet at shiloh. Thats pretty Damm Great!! Here's to you Sally & Jill

KellyByrd1 said...

So sorry about the kids who were lost to us today- but I know they are in a better place. Abilene was as sweet as her name would lead you to believe- and was a wonderful friend to Jackson, Patti's boy. As sad as it is, I think that the best we can hope for is to be surrounded by loved ones when we pass, and that is how Shiloh kids leave us...

Eric Clayton said...

Abiliene will be greatly missed.