Thursday, February 5, 2009

Renewed Faith

Faith apparently wasn't ready to say goodbye just yet, either.

Her improvements began around 3am. She grew more steady on her feet and appeared stronger. Her eyes brightened and the terrified look from her face began to wane. That fight in her I saw on her first day was beginning to show its face again. I couldn't help but smile and give her a kiss on her soft nose. She nickered back to me, and not to sound corny or anything, but it was magical.

Around 8am I reloaded my syringe and approached her stall. She glared at me and I told her outloud, "I'm going on two hours of sleep, and so are you, so don't give me any crap." She knew. She practically opened her mouth for me. I knew I would pay for this later. (Score: Faith 2, Julie 2)

I left her in her stall as I cleaned it, afraid that if I were to take her out and have her fall in the aisle, that it would be a nightmare. Dan was at work and it was 6 degrees outside, about 30 in the barn. Too cold for accidents. I worked around her and she willingly moved out of my way. We waited for Dr. George to show up and take blood and fecal samples. We were worried that her weakness could be from liver and/or kidney failure and the blood test would give us a clear view of what was happening. While we waited, I went back upstairs and took a quick (and well-deserved) nap.

He showed up around 11:00am, took his samples and began his evaluation. He looked at her legs and suggested that it would be OK now to start her in standing wraps to help keep them from swelling so much, especially since her mobility was a concern and her walking would be limited.

He continued his exam and when he questioned there possibly being an issue with her teeth, I couldn't help but chuckle. This will be funny, I thought to myself. She's never going to let him touch her mouth.

At first she resisted, but once she realized it wasn't my fingers inside her mouth, she relaxed and let him do his job. I was standing on her left side holding her lead in my hands, and she stared at me with her left eye the entire time. I know she was laughing at me. This horse had a sense of humor.

We discussed the recent bouts of colic, and determined they were caused by her deworming medicine. The amount of worms in her system that were killed with the medicine were in her intestines, blocking off her absorption of nutrients. This caused pain and weakness. This was good news. It explained the colic and her inability to keep herself upright. The worms would eventually pass and this will no longer be an issue. Hopefully...

Dr. George left and said he would call back with the test results. Once we knew the results, we'd know which direction we'd take with her treatment. I put her back in her stall, allowing her to rest while I worried about the test results. She got to munch on hay while every possibility in the world ran through my head.

A few hours passed and the phone rang. It was Dr. Robyn calling back with the results: absolutely nothing wrong. What?! Did I hear that correctly? I certainly wasn't hoping for an issue, but nothing wrong? That's impossible!

So with my own faith renewed, I went down to see my other Faith with a horse cookie in my pocket. In the three days she has been here, she quickly learned which pocket I kept them in, and would keep nuzzling it until I gave her one. She munched away and then turned back to her hay, not a care in the world. She might just be all right afterall.



  1. Best of Luck with dear Faith.

    I rescued a TB a year ago now from a terrible situation. He almost died from colic within the first few days, and was in much the same condition your Faith is. Reading your blog brings back terrible memories of the first week with my boy.

    He fought through it and is now on his way to being my star 3-day eventer.

    He is a true diamond in the rough. I hope your Faith is too!

    Good luck, and give Faith a hug for me! You are a wonderful person for taking her on.

  2. Bless you for your rescue of this mare. One thing to note that I learned when re-feeding rescues is the potential for "re-feeding syndrome" caused by an electrolyte imbalance, particularly phosphorous. Feeding a bran (wheat bran) mash helps greatly with this, and adding electrolytes to the water supply helps as well.

  3. God bless you and Faith! I read through your all of your posts with great interest. I am involved in a cruelty case currently with two paints in similar condidion to Faith. Our local animals control and sheriff's office, backwards as they are, decided to leave the animals in the custody of the owner rather than seize them. The mare was more looked a lot like Faith did in the photos, the gelding had a little more flesh left on him. No food, filthy water. Tehy had eaten their postage stamp sized pasture to the dirt. I am regretting (intensely) not just offering to buy the two of them before calling animal control.

    Anyway. I just wanted to tell you how much I admire you for your kindness and compassion. I hope her recovery goes smoothly!

  4. eek! sorry for the typos! I blame my cold medication! lol!