It turned out that this little pony had squamous cell carcinoma. It smelled like rotten tissue and he wasn't in good condition. I don't know if the cancer made him not gain weight or if he wasn't fed enough but either way we knew we had to get him in better condition before we schedule him for surgery. Surgery was scheduled for January 11 and we gave him high-quality food and hay. No dog did this, it was left neglected because the owners didn't call a veterinarian.
We took him to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. As soon as we arrived we were greeted with helpful students and doctors wanted to do everything they could to make Buzz healthy again.
The original plan was to take the squamous cell carcinoma from his penis and some of the lymph nodes to make sure all the cancer margins were gone. We left him overnight and he was ready for surgery the next morning. They decided after doing bloodwork at his condition was still too weak to anesthetize him so they had to do the surgery standing up which meant they weren't able to get the lymph nodes. It was still a very successful surgery.
Buzz continued to improve and by March was adopted to a loving family in Lafayette Georgia.
He even found a cute little two old girl to love. They renamed him Shaggy but for this story I will continue to refer to him as Buzz. Look at how much weight he gained and was so healthy.
Buzz remained in excellent health until the end of November when he started having problem with his leg.
It look like a stifle injury. The family had the vet out and she couldn't identify anything is the problem. By Christmas, Buzz was getting worse but never seem to be in pain. They called another equine vet who examined him and x-rayed his leg but could find no answer either. So we made an appointment to take him back to UT in Knoxville after the Holidays. They saved him once, we prayed they cold save him again.
January 10, we arrived at Buzz' home and he was really having a hard time walking. There appeared to be no pain but he rear leg was not touching the ground. If you are a horse person, you know what a pulled stifle looks like. Both vets ruled that out so we needed more testing. It took 4 of us to get this 600 pound little man into the trailer and the last step, he fell gently onto the floor of the trailer. As we drove the 2 hour drive, we stopped and checked on him and he was laying comfortably munching on hay.
Jill, Buzz's human Mom, Tom Scott and I arrived at UT. I went in and asked for help because we have to get him up and off the trailer. When I returned to the trailer and the doors opened, he stood up himself. It really gave a us a glimmer of hope. Dr Schumacher, the original surgeon, was there as well as many qualified veterinarians and students. They all greeted Buzz with kindness and love. He is such a willing servant! Even though he was up, he still was not using that back leg.
We got him inside the building and someone had the brilliant idea of putting him on the glide. A glide is for horses is what a stretcher is to a human. Instead of lying down, Buzz stood as he was balance by caring hands and slid about 100 feet to the x-ray room.
They did test after test for 4 1/2 hours without finding anything to really give and answer. They did find a mass in his rectum but it was unsafe to biopsy it with all the germs in that area. It was late so we agreed to let him stay and do more test the following day. He was in good hands.
Everyone was so caring. They loved Buzz, how could you not love this little peaceful soul?
They even braided his beautiful mane.
We all said good-bye to Buzz and headed back to Georgia.
In the morning they called and asked permission to do more tests, more x-rays and we waited. By the end of the day, they had found a mass in his chest. They couldn't say exactly what it was. It seemed the cancer has spread. The pain medications and anti-inflammatory medication didn't help. He's been at the hospital 3 days, 3 days of searching for an answer and a cure. Sadly, the only choice was to let him go. No miracle happened for Buzz.
When we said good-bye, he turned and looked at us.
We never thought it would be our last good-bye. He knew and he left with dignity. Thanks to everyone at the University of TN.
We wish the owners would have called us sooner. We wish we could have helped him sooner but it happened the way it did. We did our best. We did everything we could.
This is what rescue is. We raise donations to help horses. Whether is is cancer, old age, starvation, wounds, injuries or diseases. We help horses. Thank you for your continued support and compassion.