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Sun Mar 11, 2012, 07:16 PM

This afternoon pretty much sucked and ended badly

It's already been a trying week so my knees hurt like hell last night. I ended up taking doses of both medicines for my knees - something I haven't done in over a year. As usual when I take Vicodin, I woke up with a really bad headache, plus the anti-inflammatory no longer does much good, so my knees still hurt like hell.

I dragged through the morning then decided to go look for some things in our storage shed. On the over, I saw the kid who has horses out here trying to catch a horse he has on commission and went to give him a hand. The horse was caught, loaded and the kid took off. I found the stuff I was looking for and headed back to the house.

As I passed the broodmare pasture, I realized their gate was down and both mares and the foal born last month were just standing in the opening. Then I got closer and realized there was a second foal on the ground, not moving much. I propped the gate up, noticing it was covered in blood, and rushed to the house to get my husband. Then I called the kid which turned out to be a good thing. I also called my vet to give her a heads up but she was one of the vets on duty at an international horse event and couldn't leave - she did have a vet on call for her and told me to call back if I needed help.

The foal's condition was concerning - he was thin, breathing was labored and he just was not moving very much. When he did try to move, he was floppy and uncoordinated. While I was evaluating him, the kid's parents and sister arrived. We got the gate rehung, moved the other mare and foal to a different pasture, and checked over the foal. While he was big enough to be full term, he just didn't look or act right.

The biggest worry was that he was a "dummy" foal, usually caused by something at birth that cuts the oxygen to the brain and causes enough damage that they don't have a strong suckling reflex or the coordination to stand. But he was a beautifully formed foal and we hoped it wasn't true. We all watched him for hours. Every time I was ready to say he was definitely not going to make it, he'd try again to stand. We got a nipple and bottle and some artificial colostrum (first milk) and tried to bottle feed him. His suckle reflex was weak to non-existent.

My vet called back after two hours to check and we decided to give the colt a little longer. Finally, I called back and she had a break so could come see what she could do. She tried putting a tube into the colt's stomach and pumping colostrum directly into him. Any stress at all, he could not get enough oxygen and would go a little blue.

He got no boost from the milk we did get into him and I had to make the call. That beautiful colt is now buried in our bottom field near the grave of his great-great-great-grandmother. This was the last foal of the stallion - he died of old age last fall. This may be the last foal for this mare - we had trouble getting her settled so I guess this foal was not meant to be.

This sucked. This is only the third time in over thirty years of breeding we've had to bury a new born.

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Arrow 28 replies Author Time Post
Reply This afternoon pretty much sucked and ended badly (Original post)
csziggy Mar 2012 OP
warrior1 Mar 2012 #1
csziggy Mar 2012 #8
LoveMyCali Mar 2012 #2
csziggy Mar 2012 #9
CaliforniaPeggy Mar 2012 #3
csziggy Mar 2012 #7
CaliforniaPeggy Mar 2012 #13
csziggy Mar 2012 #16
RiffRandell Mar 2012 #4
csziggy Mar 2012 #10
siligut Mar 2012 #5
csziggy Mar 2012 #11
RebelOne Mar 2012 #6
csziggy Mar 2012 #12
Kali Mar 2012 #14
csziggy Mar 2012 #15
Odin2005 Mar 2012 #17
emilyg Mar 2012 #18
zanana1 Mar 2012 #19
csziggy Mar 2012 #20
hedgehog Mar 2012 #21
csziggy Mar 2012 #23
unapatriciated Mar 2012 #22
csziggy Mar 2012 #24
hedgehog Mar 2012 #25
csziggy Mar 2012 #26
hedgehog Mar 2012 #27
csziggy Mar 2012 #28

Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 07:22 PM

1. I'm so sorry for you loss.

This breaks my heart. xo

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Response to warrior1 (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 09:12 PM

8. Thank you, warrior1

It's part of having animals - sometimes things do go right. At last we had one gorgeous colt this year and he's thriving!

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 07:23 PM

2. That's so sad

but you did everything you could. I hope at least your knees feel better.

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Response to LoveMyCali (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 09:14 PM

9. Thank you , LoveMy Cali

We did everything practical.

The knees are what they will be for now. I see the surgeon about replacing them Mar. 27.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 07:34 PM

3. My dear csziggy...

How awful. My heart goes out to you and that beautiful foal...

I wonder why he didn't thrive. What a heartbreaker.

Take care of yourself, sweetie...

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 09:10 PM

7. Thank you CP. we'll never know what went wrong

One thing that indicated it may not have been a bad birth - the mare had no milk. This mare usually produces a lot of milk and bags up well in advance of foaling, so that is significant.

I crashed for a while and now I can't sleep. I'll take some meds later and go back to bed.

Take care of yourself - how is the knee doing?

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Response to csziggy (Reply #7)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 09:34 PM

13. I'm doing well, thanks, sweetie...

I'm just being my usual impatient self: I want to be back to normal.....yesterday!

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #13)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 09:52 PM

16. Good!

And your comment brought a smile - thanks!

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 07:40 PM

4. That is heart breaking.

I am so sorry. It must have been awful to see him suffering.

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Response to RiffRandell (Reply #4)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 09:16 PM

10. He actually was a pretty brave little guy and kept fighting to survive

But he was starting to slip away when I made the decision. He just did not have the resources to live.

Giving him release without suffering was the one thing I could do for him.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 07:49 PM

5. I am so sorry

I can barely read this story, I don't want to imagine what you are feeling, but I am so sorry

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Response to siligut (Reply #5)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 09:17 PM

11. Thank you, siligut

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 07:55 PM

6. Totally sad. I have owned horses but never bred them,

but I tear up whenever I read stories like yours. In fact, when I was a kid, I read Black Beauty, and when a horse named Merrylegs died, I cried.

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #6)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 09:18 PM

12. RebelOne, I cried when Merrylegs died, too

This is not the first horse we've lost, but I had a lot of hopes for this colt. He was the last of that line in my herd.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 09:49 PM

14. oh no

so sorry you lost him

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Response to Kali (Reply #14)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 09:51 PM

15. Thank you Kali

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 09:57 PM

17. Oh, that sucks!

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 10:13 PM

18. Very sad. So sorry.

 

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 07:29 AM

19. I don't know anything about horses...

But it's always sad when a baby dies and it's always sad when someone suffers because of it. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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Response to zanana1 (Reply #19)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 08:11 AM

20. Thank you zanana1

Hopefully today will be better.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 08:42 AM

21. I've had just an inkling of this - when a tiny

chick goes down for no apparent reason. Some I've been able to bring back with a little sugar water and extra warmth, others rally a day or so and then just go down. It really gives you an insight into how fragile life can be.

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #21)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 10:24 AM

23. Yes, it shows how delicate the balance is

Some newborns are perfectly formed but just don't have what it takes to survive or have hidden defects that prevent survival.

We realized before the vet got here that the colt probably didn't have a chance, but there are those few that just need that extra boost - like the sugar water you use with the chicks - to get them over birth stress. This colt, the fight to get a tube into his stomach seemed to take more out of him than any boost he got from the milk we got into him.

Thanks, hedgehog.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 09:53 AM

22. so sorry about the foal.

Regarding your knees and joints, have you tried drinking cherry juice or aloe vera juice. Both act as natural anti-inflammatory agents in regards to joints. I drink four to eight ounces a day to help with the stress my job puts on my joints. i will be sixty in May and can out work many of the twenty year olds at work. I was blessed with good genes from my parents Aloe vera juice does not have a great taste so I mix it half and half with the cherry juice. When I first started drinking these juices it took about a month before I noticed any result. There are pros and cons regarding aloe vera juice and you should ask your doctor regarding interactions with meds or medical conditions before using this juice on a daily basis.

here is an article on cherry juice
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/151881.php

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Response to unapatriciated (Reply #22)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 10:32 AM

24. Thanks, unapatriciated

As for the knees, I've been bone on bone in the left one since 2001, the right one since 2007. I see my surgeon in a couple of weeks to schedule knee replacement for both. I've just completely worn out the cartilage and no amount of anti-inflammatories are going to help.

I'll be 60 in July and other than my joints I'm doing pretty good since I also come from good genes - both my parents are still alive. (Mom will be 91 and Dad 89 next week. Mom still gets around great, Dad has mobility problems but he's doing OK otherwise.) But I spent 40 years working with horses and doing heavy duty labor that a short stocky woman shouldn't have done. Plus, I'm accident prone and have had a lot of soft tissue injuries that are now catching up with me.

Thanks for the suggestions, though - maybe once I heal from the surgery I'll try the juices out for long term help with my other joints.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #24)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 10:53 AM

25. the dogs and I take our glucosomine every morning -

it seems to help us out.

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #25)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 12:48 PM

26. I've been taking glucosamine since right after the first knee operation

And I think it does help some. But it just isn't enough any more.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #26)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 04:16 PM

27. Oh, I agree that once you've got as much damage as you've got,

it's time for a surgical answer. My FIL has much the same damage from hauling around heavy loads working as a truck mechanic for 40 years. He's still crippled up, but the glucosomine gives him some respite.

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #27)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 07:39 PM

28. Yeah, so far my husband, the physical therapist, and the surgeon who took out the cartilage

All agree it's time for knee replacement. And after days like yesterday I know it's time.

Most days while I'm sitting I think I can put it off. Then I try to actually go do things, like make dinner, fill the bird feeders, water the potted plants, etc. and my knees let me know they can't wait.

The therapist said there are three things to consider:
1. Can you do what you have to do?
2. Can you do what you want to do?
3. Can you get enough sleep?

My answer to all three has been "NO" for over two years. It's time.

Good luck to your father in law!

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