Thursday, February 5, 2009

Fighting to Survive

Many have asked me about Faith's future. To be totally honest, I am not sure. She may pull through and go on and have a career. She may end up only being sound enough to be a pasture ornament. Or she may need to eventually be humanely euthanized. We know that she will tell us when it's time to say goodbye, and we are hoping that the time doesn't come too soon. Her future mostly depends on her fight to survive, and right now her guns are blazing.

Faith's recovery will be a long one. She has hundreds of pounds to put on. She is fighting massive infections from untreated wounds, putting additional stress on her immune system. The swelling in her hinds legs could eventually be debilitating if we cannot find the cause and put an end to fluid buildups. Her internal organs have undergone massive strain and could easily give out on her, if they have not begun to do so already. The ulcers in her mouth mean there could be ulcers in her stomach, which are painful, caused by stress and extremely difficult to treat.

Faith has a crew working for her. She is currently under the supervision of three licensed veterinarians: Dr. George, Dr. Robyn and Dr. Barnes. All three have examined her and are there for us when we need them. Dr. George is on call 24 hours a day and has walked me through some lighter situations right over the phone. He can be here within 20 minutes if an emergency occurs. Brad Erickson is her personal farrier, who specializes in corrective shoeing. He will be working along with the vets to correct the issues with her clubbed foot and the swelling in her hind legs.
Her diet for now consists mostly of "free choice" hay - she is given as much hay as she can possibly eat - and as much water as she can drink. We are closely monitoring her intake. We have very, very slowly started her on senior grain, and only due to the fact she had a physical breakdown last night and her body needs carbohydrates for energy. The risk with that: too many carbs and fat too quickly will overload and cause stress to her digestive system. A colic episode would occur, which could be fatal. We were not planning on introducing her to any grains for at least another 7-10 days. However, if she collapses and does not have the strength to get herself back up, she will crush her internal organs. It's a risk we need to take - it's a tight rope that we're walking.

Despite the hardships that she has been forced to endure, Faith is friendly, sweet and trusting. She is fighting to survive and I believe she knows we're doing our very best to help her. The next few days will be a struggle. The next week will be as well. And the next month will give us better insight into her future. She will progress, and then she will regress. She has already done it a few times, and I know she will again. But we need to take this a day at a time.

Despite the emotional rollercoaster it is for all of the people that have fallen in love with her, we need to have faith. She does.


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