Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Faith has a Brother

(DISCLAIMER: Part of this post may not be appropriate for our younger readers!)

He's here! I'd like to introduce all of you to "Cutter". (Whose name may be changing rather shortly, once we find out his true identity.)

"Cutter" was listed online last week with a plea for help from his owner. She stated that he was underweight, in poor condition, needed vaccinations and hoof care, and had an odd medical issue with his main reproductive organ. (Yes, you read that correctly. Now that I have your attention...)

Even though Faith's vet bills and ongoing care has wiped out the vast majority of our savings, I just couldn't leave him in that situation. Dan and I decided that we would do our best to rehabilitate him and find him a permanent, loving home as soon as possible. I hooked up the truck and trailer and drove two hours to pick him up. A friend met me at the farm.

Cutter was in a stall in the barn when we arrived. I turned the corner to see his head sticking out over a stall door. My first reaction was positive; he appeared interested and alert, quite the opposite of my first reaction of Faith. He had a plain face with lots of bald spots, but he had a cute curiosity about him. As I rounded the corner of his stall, I noticed his spine sticking out of his back, his hips jutting out. My heart sank.

I entered his stall to get a closer look. He was covered with bite marks and bald spots. He had old scars that were quite obviously not tended to. His coat was gross, but it looked too dry and dusty for his living conditions. Having a hunch, I grabbed a pair of latex exam gloves out of my back pocket and put them on. Upon closer inspection I saw one of the few things that will make my skin crawl: lice.

Then comes the one big issue that really sticks out, (absolutely no pun intended... OK, maybe just a little bit of a pun intended!) his penis. Cutter has a prolapsed penis. He no longer has the muscle to retract it back into his body, and therefore, flaunts his goods for all to see. The cause of his condition is unknown, but it is frequently caused by overdosing stallions on tranquilizers.

After spending a few more minutes evaluating him, his owner signed a bill of sale and he was mine. All mine. Oh goody...

I have to say, his ground manners were impressive. He was very quiet to lead, and loaded onto the trailer like a pro. He rode quietly and I didn't feel him move at all on the ride home. He even waited patiently to be unloaded when we arrived home, amidst the whinnies from our curious pets that call this place home.

Due to his lice and the fact we'd like him to be quarantined for a while, he lives in his own private stall in the arena. We put rubber mats down so it is more comfortable for him to stand, and easier for us to clean. He had a fresh pile of hay and a full water bucket waiting for him to arrive.

An hour later Dr. George showed up and the exam began. He listened to his heart and lungs, noting a small heart murmur. Everything else seemed normal, and then he began dealing with "the organ". Dr. George explained that biggest issue with the condition of a penis being prolapsed is damage and infection. This part of anatomy is not meant to be flailed about, get dirty and dusty and be exposed to elements. That made sense to me. There are two options to fix it:

After cleaning it and removing excess dead skin and debris, Dr. George carefully placed "the organ" back where it normally lives, and then sutured the end of the sheath partially closed. This will hopefully allow the muscles to regain their elasticity and hold "the organ" in place. Leaving the end of it partially opens allows for him to urinate. Hopefully the sutures will hold, and in a few weeks we can remove them and "the organ" will magically stay put.

If it doesn't.... then the poor guy needs a penile amputation. OUCH... I can hear the collective gasp from all the men that read this blog.

Surgeons performing this operation need to have a fully anesthetized patient. There are obviously quite a few blood vessels in this region, so surgery is difficult and bleeding is a concern. The vets will remove the excess tissue and then need to restructure the urethra so it can function normally. It's not a simple process. Nor is it an inexpensive one. Penile amputations run about $2500.00.... Let's pray those stitches hold!

After spending the better part of an hour on Cutter's nether-regions, Dr. George administered vaccinations and drew blood for a Coggins test. While filling out his paperwork at his truck, he asked me what the horse's name was. I replied, "Dick, of course." Thankfully Dr. George has a good sense of humor. Moving on...

As Dr. George was finishing up, Brad Erickson showed up to shoe Faith. Then I had lesson students arrive, and finally a new horse that is coming in for training. It has been a long, exhausting day and I'm ready for bed. I'll post an update on everyone tomorrow! In the meantime, enjoy the photos of the new guy's first day with us.

Should we keep the name "Cutter", or give him something new to start his new life? Any suggestions would be better than the ones I came up with today... :-)



  1. What a sweet looking guy, give him a month with you and he will be looking GREAT. I hope his Organ cooperates and he doesn't need surgery.
    I'm not good with names, but how about Chance as in Second Chance?

  2. I'd totally call him Morgan the Organ :P
    Hehe, I'm a bit mean, but he looks ok on the pictures and I think he will clean up nicely. Here's hoping the sutures hold and amputation won't be nessecary

  3. Aw poor buddy. What a kind face intelegent face he has. He looks like a Linus to me.

    As in Linus van Pelt of the Peanuts Gang.

    Lucky Linus ;)

  4. I like Lucky Linus how cute!! and he def. has a Linus look to him! Beautiful boy though!

  5. Cutter may be an appropriate name for him when considering any future surgery. Poor guy...I have all my fingers crossed that those stitches work wonders.

  6. God bless you for taking this guy in! With all of the issues he has going on, he still has presence...Hope the sutures work out. Poor guy.

  7. I'd be tempted to stay with Dick! If you've got a barn full of kids I can see where that might not be reasonable, though. :-)

    Linus sounds very appropriate to me. He's so plain he's cute! I'm looking forward to seeing him grow round and shiny and relaxed. Good luck with him!

  8. I like Linus for his name.
    I sure hope the sutures do the job for him.
    Thanks for all the photos.


  9. Leap Of Faith FarmsJune 4, 2009 at 7:13 PM

    Awe what a cutie. I know what you mean about lice making your skin crawl we had a HORRIBLE battle getting rid of Katies lice, we tried everything that we could think of and you know what got rid of it of dousing her heavily with Bronco fly spray!