Friday, June 8, 2012

The Earth and Animals

A friend sent me some information about the energy of the earth last week. He said there is a lunar eclipse and Venus would pass in front of the Sun for the first time in 100 years. It is going to be negative energy out there.  OK, how is that going to affect me? Life here at the rescue farm is pretty positive, horses getting better than when they arrived, finding new homes, making people smile. It wouldn't affect me..... or at least that is what I thought

Taylor exercising Alivie 

Beautiful Alivie is an off-track-Thoroughbred mare. She won nearly $100,000 racing her heart out but a knee injury halted her career. Her trainer knows off track TB's can fall into the wrong hands and end up at slaughter, especially ones with injuries. The trainer sent Alivie to SaveTheHorses for a second chance. Many rescues only take ride able or adoptable horses. We take horses in need of a safe haven. She was welcomed. She had clay to heal her knee and was sound from day one, not racing sound. 
Her knee was bandaged to keep it strong

Last Saturday night, Alivie was a little uncomfortable during feed time. Nothing to worry about....or at least that is what I thought. I gave her some anti-inflammatory medication and 30 minutes later she was her sweet self. She ate her grain and was turned out for the night and everything was better.....or at least that is what I thought. Sunday morning she was found laying down in the pasture. She was cold and didn't want to eat her breakfast. She wasn't breathing heavy, her heart rate seemed normal, no temperature. She came in and the day warmed up. We made her a very wet bowl of grain and bran the consistency of soup. We wanted to make sure she had plenty of fluids. Becoming dehydrated can cause serious problems. The weather changes, horses stop drinking, disaster strikes. We try everything to prevent a problem. We do really good at it.
Alivie ate her soup, seemed comfortable but laid down more then usual. She was given another soup dish for Sunday evening feed. She wasn't herself but no bad signs to worry about. She ate, passed manure, nibbled hay but as a precaution, we left her in the stall for the night. I was glad I made that decision. There was a 20 minute wild electrical storm with high winds and hard rain that came without warning.It was like in the Tom Cruise movie, 'War Of The Worlds'. Scary for me but more scary for all the animals out side. It was dawn and I went to check on Alivie since she was heaviest on my mind. She hadn't drank any water, didn't want food but ate a horse treat. 

RIP Rambo
When Julie was feeding the petting zoo animals, she found Rambo, our sheep had gotten himself wedged under the fence. He was laying with his head downhill and his body pushing him into the fence. It was so muddy from the storm, he couldn't move, then seemed to be in shock. Julie, Nicholas, Judy and Paula  helped get him out and walk him to the barn with the help of some tow straps we use to pick up downed horses. He was only about 300 pounds and seems easy compared to a horse but he was weak. Once we got him into the barn, he was exhausted and cold. he was just sheared that afternoon and was exposed to the cold rain, poor guy. Rambo originally came from Gwinnett County Animal Control as a stray on a Golf Course. He had an ear tag and was destined to be someone's lamb chops until his destiny changed and Animal Control called us.  We never had sheep but learned they are gentle creatures and treasured him. We covered him and let him rest, he was having trouble breathing. 

Dr. Amanda came out to check on Alivie. She pumped fluid into her stomach and palpated her. She said the manure in her colon was dry and put her on iv fluids hoping the fluids would make it pass on it's own. While Dr Amanda was here, she gave Rambo medications to try and help him recover. A few hours later, she returned with more fluids for Alivie. After checking on Rambo, we asked Dr Amanda to humanely euthanize him. He was gasping for air. What a sad way to end her work day. She was not on call that evening. 
Alivie was so good even though she was painful

Dr. Leah stopped by and by 7 pm after we had given Alivie 40 liters of fluid without any difference. It was all we could do at the farm. No improvement, no choice. The decision was made to take her to UGA large animal hospital. Alivie loaded right into the trailer, I stopped and picked up Tom, a volunteer who is at the farm almost as much as I am.
Dr. Varela, the surgeon working that night at UGA, examined her and believed the only chance to save her was surgery. Watching her suffer was not an option. We stayed and watch the surgery into the night. Tom had never seen a horse surgery and was happy to stay. Once the incision was made, it looked like a small alien was coming out of her stomach. IT is not for the faint hearted. It was sometime in the wee hours that she came out of surgery. Dr. Varela did a fantastic job. Tom and I felt very good and knew she was on her way to a good life.
Watching through the blinds, we could see the surgery and work being done.
She was put in a very padded room but was trying to get up when she lost her balance and slipped somehow cutting her lip. Her second attempt to get up was successful. Her lip was stitched then she was put in her own stall to wait for her to fully recover and start out eating more normally. Wednesday, all calls from UGA were positive. Hand walking, good appetite, seems all working well. A big sigh of relief. Alivie is young, healthy and deserving a chance at life, well a third chance at life really! Nothing more to worry about...or at least that is what I thought.

I made this picture small. The red is her intestines

The surgery was estimated around $5000. It would be tight but we could do it. We may not pay as much on our feed bill or on our hay bill but they have both done business with Save The Horses for many years and we are always good for the money.
Late Thursday, things started to change. The UGA Vet on call said it may just be a temporary setback and they would give Alivie some pain medications to ease her discomfort. A little time will make a difference, was what we hoped.
By 3 am, Friday morning, the call from UGA was more serious. Alivie was not getting better, she actually got much worse, and was in a lot of painful. The Doctor was asking for a decision. He was telling me we need to decide to put Alivie out of pain. There were two ways to solve this. One being another surgery, the other euthanasia. I was just figuring out how to pay for the first surgery. Now thinking about paying nearly $10,000 just made me ill, mainly because the other alternative is so final. No turning back on death and because I have so many horses that depend on the donations coming in for daily care and health needs. I cannot justify letting those horses down to suffer nor could I let Alivie suffer.
I needed some time to think. I told him I would work on a decision ASAP. What could I sell, what could I do? I got in touch with Pam at 4:30 am and told her what was going on. She offered to help but we needed more. Donations are coming in for Alivie, we do have such wonderful caring people helping in big and small ways everyday. We can do fundraisers to raise the money but we need enough commitments to pay the bill before I say yes. It was getting close to 6 am and still no answer. I was preparing myself for the worst. I may have to let her go in peace. She wasn't going to suffer at UGA but it couldn't go on much longer. She was heavily sedated to keep the pain manageable.
What was causing the pain? Without surgery we have no answers. I can't imagine putting her down and never having that answer. It would be haunting but I also didn't have commitment or $10,000.
By 6:30 I was getting my mind ready, praying for answers when I answered a text. Margaret offered help, Tom offered help and Sam offered help and decided to drive the nearly 2 hour drive to UGA to see Alivie and watch the surgery. I called the Doctor and told him, “We did it!” Go ahead with the surgery. It felt so good to have that answer. I was so relieved I could not control my emotions.
About 8:00 this morning (Friday), surgery was successfully done. Though Dr Varela was not on surgery duty, he called and kept me posted as did other doctors from UGA. They deserve an applause. Alivie had a small impaction in her colon that moved and twisted which caused her terrible pain, life threatening for sure. Without surgery, she would never be out of pain and would have died from infection if not euthanized. It will be another week before she comes home. It will then be 30 days of hand walking and after care, 30 more days of being in a small paddock so not to pick up any speed and hurt her intestines. Then it will be a lifetime of love for Alivie and the least that is what I think right now. 
You know the saying, “It takes a Village?” It does take a village, actually a rescue farm full of horse lovers willing to give and help. “We” gave Alivie another chance to life, a fourth chance!

I think the earth had something to do with all the animals problems. I am a believer now. Julie also found a rooster that looked weather beaten and distraught. He was put in a cage to rest quietly. he is doing much better. He'll be put back out tomorrow. He will be fine...or at least that is what I think right now. Cumming GA  770 886 5419

1 comment:

Lexi said...

Praying for Ailive! I enjoyed seeing her so happy when I was at the rescue last week. I am so glad that you made the chocie to go head w/ the second surgery!