Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Bugsy Was Having a Foal! Not What We Bargained For!

 When you take in a horse from Animal Control, you most likely are not going to get much history. Bugsy was a chestnut mare that needed some weight...that's what we thought. Tracy offered to foster because she had some good grass pastures. That was easy. The plan was Bugsy would gain weight and find a new home and live happily ever after. Tracy was suspicious from the beginning that Bugsy was pregnant but after the vet checked her and said no, she was confident she wasn't. Life went on for Bugsy.

Bugsy was uncomfortable during the last of her pregnancy.
Tracy watched Bugsy gain weight at a rapid speed. After another vet check a few months later, it was confirmed Tracy was right, Bugsy was in foal. Once you know a horse is in foal, you look at her everyday, wondering if today may be the day. Bugsy seemed to be uncomfortable every day. Tracy gave her hugs and kisses but it couldn't take away the uneasy feeling something was wrong. The more miserable Bugsy was, the more Tracy was concerned. It became daily posts about Bugsy until the day came Bugsy was really in labor. Tracy, her daughter, Maddie and Jackie, who are all horse savvy were there to help. It wasn't going well. Bugsy was having a hard time, she was in obvious distress. Humans hands were there to tenderly help the foal be delivered. Another panic moment when the umbilical cord broke and the newborn foal was hemorrhaging. Humans hands again there to help. Many horses are left alone to have their babies but Tracy had the instinct to keep a close watch on this one, thankfully so. 

Baby Buggs was struggling to survive.
Bugsy was also bleeding. It was hard to tell if it was just from the birth or was she hemorrhaging as well. She surely was not a normal mare because she was not acknowledging her newborn as her instincts would call her to do. As she stood a few feet from her foal, her eyes were glazed. Her body trembling and her heart rate and respiration rising along with her temperature. The vet was on her way but it would be a while before she arrived. She told us what medication to give her to help make Bugsy comfortable but it didn't ease any pain for sweet Bugsy. Our hearts were aching for her. To stand their helplessly and watch was painful. All we could do it try and be gentle, stroke her and reassure her it would be better soon. 

Bugsy gently whinnied and looked toward her baby for one tender moment.
Bugsy  quietly looked down at her new baby and gave her a quiet tender whinny but she didn't have the strength to do more than that. Not knowing if Bugsy would survive, Tracy started milking Bugsy to get the needed colostrum Baby Buggs would need to survive. A baby bottle was given to the baby and momma was milked again. 
Bugsy was suffering. The closest large animal hospital was 3 hours away and there is no way Bugsy would survive the trip. One the vet arrived, she knew the only way to relieve her suffering was to let her go peacefully. Now Baby Buggs was an orphan and her survival was up to us. Colostrum is so important the first 12 hours after birth, we had to put out a call for colostrum, fresh or frozen, because we felt that we didn't get enough into the foal even though Bugsy gave us 30 ounces, it was not enough. 
Horse lovers sent out the word and we were able to find 80 ounces of frozen colostrum near by. Tracy set up a mattress in the stall and Maddie cuddled up with Baby Buggs to keep her warm and give her a bottle every hour. To raise an orphan, you need to be dedicated. Sleepless nights!
Baby Buggs sleeping in bed with Maddie.

The next morning Baby Buggs' bloodwork was good, one less worry but we had to organize to get 24 hour humans to take the place of the mare. Baby Buggs was transported to the SaveTheHorses farm. Everyone volunteered to spend time with this little cutie. 
A nice warn blanket kept her warm during the cold nights.

She enjoys all the attention and her bottle.
She was happy to get all the attention she was being showered with. Everyone couldn't get enough of her cuteness. She is thriving on human love and good caregiving.
Lots of kisses for humans like Jeff who spent the night with Baby Buggs

Our biggest problem was she thinks she is a human. She had no interest in horses. Why should she, they did nothing for her. It was those humans who gave her milk, gave her attention and loved on her. We hoped teaching her to lead may help her be a little horse. 

Natalie taught her to walk like a horse.

 Baby Buggs is a quick learner. It took Natalie only a short time to teach her how to lead with a halter on. She became a pro at it quickly. Now we can lead her but we still needed to convince her she was a horse. We put horses around her, walked them by her. There were horses in every direction but still she was a 'people' in her eyes. 

She is doing great and thriving. Watch for an update soon. 

Thank you all for your caring and your compassion. It is our supporters and volunteers who make this happen every day at SaveTheHorses.org rescue farm. 


k balman said...

It was so amazing how everyone pulled together to help. My daughter was so thrilled to be able to feed a baby horse with a bottle. Cannot wait for an update to hear how she is doing.

Anonymous said...

All of you are blessed to have been able to help this mare and now her little foal!! My prayers are with you guys and the foal !!

Anonymous said...

Angels on earth...