Harley followed my up to the barn where I put a sheet on him and slowly walked up and down the aisle until the vet arrived. She did a rectal exam and removed a bit of manure, but nothing that indicated an impaction. Then she intubated him and drained a lot of bile. I held Harley's head while the vet discussed my options. She recommended he go to one of the nearby clinics where he would most likely need surgery, or euthanasia. He was in a lot of pain, but his vitals were strong and good still, if we wanted to try surgery. My heart clenched and I held back a sob. John and I had always said surgery was not in the books, but with euthanasia the only option, I swallowed my tears and asked what the process would be and about how much it would cost. Hell, it's only money--I could pay the penalty and cash in a small CD/IRA. The bank isn't paying squat, but Harley has brought me so much joy he deserved the chance to pull through. I felt it was worth a try.
We have no truck or trailer and needed find a setup to borrow pronto. Our wonderful vet offered up her rig at home. Her husband drove it over and sent us on our way to the clinic, after helping us load Eeyore (doped up, he still hates trailers as you may remember). At the clinic he was immediately set up for surgery while the vets ultrasounded him, did another rectal, and pulled more liquid through the tube. I stood there, holding Harley's head in my arms, whispering "You're going to be ok, my boy"
During the ultrasound his stomach began to rumble and gurgle. This was good and we all hoped Harley would rally round and keep improving. It was hard to leave him that day and go into work for the evening. My mind kept drifting off--I was pretty useless. No calls meant good news, so I assumed.
When I called the clinic Tuesday morning, he was much better. They wanted to keep him another day to get his fluids back on track and be sure he could eat without issue. I went to see him on my lunch break, and again, got all teary eyed telling him he'd dodged the big one. We brought him back home Wednesday (after another go-round of hauling Harley onto the trailer), but he's on light turnout for a few days until he's back to eating full rations. My poor boy has contusions under his eye, his elbow, and his stifle. I keep imagining what he must have been going through down in the pasture and wish I'd been there much sooner. This is convincing me all the more that we need to have a place where the horses are in the back yard--where I can keep tabs on things more closely.
Thankfully all turned out fine and I haven't had to close out the CD fund. I'm giving him a few days to settle back at home before resuming exercise. He was quite happy to see his girls again!
|The 2 patients in a small enclosure|
Harley and Rolex are the two patients now. Amidst all this, Rolex cracked a rear hoof badly and needs time to grow it out. St. Butch tried to put on a special shoe to hold in the edges, but she promptly threw it out in the pasture. So it's back to the Easyboots for her until we can get a shoe to stay on and the hoof grows. Harley has recovered, but he dropped some weight, so I'm trying to put the pounds back on him. Nobody likes a skinny Thoroughbred with winter approaching! I rode Harley for about an hour today--just a walk up the road and in the woods. He was feeling good and pranced a bit, spooking at silly things, just to show me he's A-ok!
Last weekend we took Ruffy and Harley for a jaunt together. Here's Ruffy looking dashing in her white fly bonnet! She was very good today, a lot less stressed about footing and branches touching her. Although I still think she prefers open fields, close to home!