Monday, August 12, 2019

Week old foal attacked by cougar, saved by Equine WellBeing Rescue

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Lary carrying the injured foal 7-7-19
Late in the day on Sunday, July 7th, we got a call from a family in Lakeside, AZ, 30+ miles south of us explaining that an injured foal was in their yard and they didn't know what to do with it. They didn't think it would live through the night. They had called the sheriff's department because the foal walked off the Apache reservation where the fencing was down, had crossed a gravel road (Rim road) and into their yard. After speaking with the authorities they contacted us for help.
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Upon arrival we realized he was a new born foal, perhaps a week old. They told us a cougar had attacked the small herd of wild horses and chased them away. The colt was miraculously alive and left behind, no one saw what his mother looked like. Twice he was standing in the road and others put his inured little body back on the tribal side yet he found the strength to walk across the road and into their yard. He was carried into our trailer and when we got to the rescue Lary carried him into a stall. En-route we contacted Dr. Helzer and determined he would die if hauled hours away to an equine hospital so we bottle fed him mares milk-replacer, gently cared for his deep wounds and let him rest, keeping a close eye on him till the Dr. Helzer, Tammy, arrived.
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From what we were told it had been 24 hours prior to our picking him up since he had been attacked by the cougar. Then he wandered around without any way to nurse because the herd did not return to the area.
He was so weak that during the surgery to clean and repair his wounds no sedative was needed, just lidocaine to numb the wounds. He had a very deep wound over the jugular area of his neck and it was a miracle the cougar missed his veins and arteries. In addition to all the neck wounds, he had some scratches on his body and a very deep puncture on his right hind leg in the thigh area.
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Lary assisting with IV fluids
Repairs were made, a catheter placed and IV fluids administered. Detailed instructions were given to us as I continued his round the clock care. We were relieved to find out he could drink the milk replacer out of a bucket and with IV fluids we administered 4 times a day he quickly started to perk up. He was also getting pain meds, 2 kinds of antibiotics, probiotics and ulcer meds for his stomach and several supplements in addition to cleaning and dressing his wounds several times throughout the day and night.
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His neck wounds made drinking difficult even while healing.
We immediately posted his needs on Facebook and I have tried so hard to get an email and blog post done, but the few hours I have had not caring for him or the other equine I really needed to just catch my breath.
Much of the time at first it was eat, get his treatments and sleep, needed rest to heal. David and Ruth, having a colt of their own, sent our foal a large teddy bear to keep him company. As he got stronger his wounds started to heal, he gained weight and grew taller. So many neck wounds he had trouble swallowing for quite a while.
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Thank you David & Ruth for the big teddy bear.
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Thanks to our friend Raymond Patterson at www.SoxForHorse.com, (long time supporter of the rescue) we were send a set of Silver Whinnys that were modified to fit his neck and with the silver woven throughout help with the healing process and help protect his wounds from any flies.
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Getting bigger and stronger
Steadily each week he has gained weight and gotten stronger. With the use of Dr. Helzer's dog scale we were able to measure his weight gain every other day till we were sure his gain was stable. By August 5th, he was 101.9 pounds. He had gained over 50 pounds since his arrival and had grown 2 inches in height. The only big issue was the puncture in his right hind leg was causing him to not be able to carry his weight for long periods of time. We kept watching closely for issues related to the puncture.
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Abscess site post surgery
Last week he was running and bucking on one of our daily walks and was truly full of piss and vinegar but by night time his leg was swollen and the next morning I contacted the vet because it felt like a large abscess directly in front of the puncture site. That was on Friday, August 9th and sure enough when aspirated it was an abscess, probably brewing for many weeks and broken to the surface by his bucking. More surgery. We lanced it, flushed the incision site, treated and installed a drain tube to help any residual infection come out.
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Learning to walk with a halter and lead line
We continue our walks 2-3 times a day and dress the surgery site and neck wounds at the same time and they all seem to be healing. He is on antibiotics again but no more pain meds or other medicines. He has been getting great supplements, probiotics, colloidal silver and is now eating hay, foal feed and we can see his growth continue. In the past week he has gained 14 pounds and grown another inch and he can put weight on his hind leg. Thankfully we can now feed every six hours and that seems to work well....I can get a little sleep.
We have named him Rimson because he crossed Rim Road to Dennis and Gail's house and this is considered Rim Country. Meet Rimson, "Son of the Rim Country".
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Photo by Leslie Brucker Photography
People have been sending well wishes from all over the world, France, England, Australia, Canada and across America. If you would like to send Rimson a card the address is: Rimson c/o Equine WellBeing Rescue, 8369 Buckskin Trail, Snowflake, AZ 85937.
He has quite a few followers with our daily posts on Facebook and he wants to tell everyone how much he appreciates your prayers, all the volunteers and practitioners stepping in to help, donations, the wonderful gifts and cards. Many have come to visit, some from out of state.
In fact, so many have wanted to visit that there is no time remaining in the day so we have decided to host an open house on Saturday, August 31st, from 10am - 2pm. Just a short and simple event so you can have the opportunity to see the rescue, meet Rimson and the other 24 horses and donkeys, and learn a little more about our mission to help equine in need. More details to come on that very soon.
Rimson is not out of the woods yet. He has another week of meds and a few weeks for his latest surgery to heal, but we can now say we anticipate a full recovery. We keep a constant eye on him and he is up to it he meets the horses and donkeys over the fence and knows he is not alone. He has sure touched many hearts, especially ours.
If you would like to help Rimson and the others here at the rescue with a donation there is a button below to click. With 24 horses and donkeys in our care every dollar is appreciated so very much and you know they are put to very good use.
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Photo by Leslie Brucker Photography
I would like to give a huge thank you to my friend Leslie Brucker for the beautiful and charming pictures of Rimson which tell his story so well.

Many, many thanks to all of you for all you do to help the rescue! Christine

Friday, June 28, 2019

Celebrating Sydney's first birthday!!!!!

20180627 Momma and Sydney
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It has been a year since we rescued this little foal and her mom, and brought water and troughs to this small herd of horses in desperate need during last years exceptional drought. Steve and Leslie Brucker saw this small band of horses on the White Mountain Apache tribal side of the fence line along the national forest, where the wild horses in the Lakeside Ranger district had been receiving trucked in water by us for a few weeks. They contacted us and together we went in to action to save this little herd.
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Priority number one was to bring them all water and then to rescue this sweet foal and her very sick mother. This is Sydney watching over her mother who was too exhausted at that point to stand.

With great effort a small group of us were able to load both Syndey and her mother into a horse trailer and bring them to the rescue. Sadly Momma's body was already shutting down and there was nothing we could do to save her. At least Sydney was not left in the forest at just a few weeks of age without her mother and trying to survive on her own.
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This is a recent picture of Sydney growing up happy and healthy at the rescue. We chose the anniversary of her rescue to be her birthday...the start of a new life filled with love and lots of TLC.

To help us celebrate and in an effort to help us provide for all the equine at the rescue, An anonymous donor has offered $500 in matching funds for donations to the rescue. We can't thank everyone enough who already sent us a donation for the four neglected horses we rescued this month and the Feller's donation was offered with this challenge to hopefully double their donation and help defray the medical expenses of the four neglected horses and feed and care for the rest here at the rescue.
Update on Rocky the stallion...he was castrated on 6/21/19 and is recovering well at our fellow rescue Healing Hearts Animal Rescue in Cave Creek (who we work closely with on many rescues. They are providing the space and hands-on help and we are paying all expenses till he is recovered from his surgery and can be moved to the rescue. Kix has started Microcurrent therapy by Rebecca at Simply Equine Co and he will be getting treatments twice a week in addition to the massage therapy I am doing daily. Jenna at Hope Botanicals has sent us 16 day supply of CDB horse pellets to see if that will also help . We are hoping, praying that we may see some positive change for him in the next few weeks.
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If you would like to help us celebrate Sydney's first birthday and raise funds to help with all the equine by making a donation to meet the Feller's matching funds challenge, just click the button below and meet their challenge.

We appreciate all you do to help in so many ways.
Happy, Happy birthday sweet girl!!!!

Many, many thanks for all you do to help the rescue! Christine

Monday, June 24, 2019

So hard to write this...four horses in extreme need.

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This is one of the hardest messages I have ever had to write. Even finding the words has been tearful, maddening, frustrating and emotional. We were sent several messages on 5/31/19 as we were driving to Scottsdale to pick up 2 horses (one adopted from us) that are staying with us for a few weeks before transport to their new home.
The messages said there were four horses whose owner has not been able to feed them properly for over a year, one with long hooves that can no longer get around, all are very thin...is there any way we could take them? Above was the first picture sent to me of the four horses. Below is a 20-25 year old gelding, the same horse picked up the very next day and taken straight to one of our vets in the valley. "Unable to walk, emaciated, most severe state of neglect witnessed by DVM personally.", "advanced state of suffering", Recommend to Euthanize based on quality of life was grave." Quotes directly from the vet records.
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This is a 20-25 year old mare, picked up the same morning with the gelding and also taken directly to the vet. Two trailers were used to give both horses room in case they were unable to stand the short drive to the vets office.
"Uncomfortable at a walk", "Weak", "Emaciated, laminitic. Horse is in an advanced state of suffering" Diagnostics showed coffin bone rotation and very thin soles, she was in pain standing or walking. "Recommend to Euthanize based on humane reasons" are some of the notes in the vet records.
With tears of all who were there, these two sweet souls were released from their pain only hours after being rescued. To realize there is nothing else that can be done is devastating. The helplessness felt over their condition, your minds asks and tries to reason, "how could someone let this happen?". The grief is palpable.
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But two more still needed to be rescued. Having seen them and knowing they were in better shape, our friends/volunteers doing the transport were able to pick them up the following day, a Sunday, so they were each taken to a foster home where they could be assessed and vet appointments made as needed. The owner never even asked what happened to the gelding and mare.
This is the 15 year old stallion who needed special accommodations away from any mares after pasture breeding for many years. He was in the best condition of all, but still underweight with over long feet with a high worm load.
He was castrated this week after going to our fellow rescue, Healing Hearts Animal Rescue in Cave Creek who is caring for him for us during his surgery and recovery during the next week or two. He will then need to be transported to us and kept in a separate enclosure with no access to mares through his entire recovery. He is rideable when ready will be available for adoption.
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The last of the four is this pretty paint gelding said to be 8 years old, but his teeth look like he is much older. This sweet guy came up to the rescue this week after the same vet saw him and extensive diagnostics were done.
Sadly he is riddled with osteoarthritis in both his hind legs and pelvis/hip area and his conformation makes it so he stands with his hind legs underneath his belly rather than straight up in the back as they should.
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Because he stands with his hind legs under him, his spinal area has an upward curvature where it should be level, some refer to it as 'roach back' and he is lame on his right hind with fluid in his hock in addition to both hocks being fused. His pain level is so high that sedatives were needed to trim his feet.
Radiographs were done to see if he too was laminitic, but other than being over long, his front feet were ok. Blood tests showed anemia and fecal showed large tapeworm load. Both he and the stallion have been treated for large worm loads.
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He wobbles on his hind end when he walks and his muscles are weak, the vet has recommended we try to strengthen them over 30 days to see if it helps or he continues the same level of pain. "The horse was difficult to work around as it rears and kicks when palpated. If PT cannot be completed to strengthen hind muscles either due to behavioral issues or if the horse becomes painful during a 30 trial or rehab than humane euthanasia is recommended." are what the vet notes state.
We have already unsuccessfully tried hydrotherapy using the equine swimming facility at Welcome Home Ranch in Gilbert, but he did not adapt well and they felt it was unsafe to continue therapy. Huge thank you to Johnny and Makenna for at least giving it a try for him. Last Friday Lary and I made the trip to the valley to bring him to the rescue where we hope daily walking and exercise may help those muscles. So far we have seen no improvement. He is underweight, but we have to be careful with weight gain which adds extra burden on joints and muscles. Lots of prayers are being said.
The woman who contacted me said, the owner contacted rescues but was told they were all full. I find that hard to believe if the same pictures shared with me were sent to them, or if she told them she could not feed nor provide any care.
We are full, but there is no way I could in good conscience say 'no' to horses in such condition so I contacted friends local to the horses in the Phoenix area to see if they could help us. Working with those caring folks we were able to get these horses from the owner over the next two days, to the vet who determined the extent of their neglect, do the needed diagnostics and follow the treatment plans prescribed. Many tears have been shed and so many sleepless nights worrying about these sweet souls. My mind just can't fathom this.
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Looking at the sweet and sad face of the once beautiful palomino mare and knowing how these horses have all suffered for so long our hearts ache for them and I still wake at night unable to sleep wishing we could have done so much more, yet knowing we have done and are doing all we can.
How anyone could do this is beyond me. What is even worse is this person works at a feed store...unconscionable...there simply is NO excuse for such cruelty. We have been in contact with the authorities and pray there is some justice for these beautiful creatures but we know that takes time.
For now we need your help and we are asking for donations to help us cover the costs for these innocent horses. Current vet bills, transport cost, foster care, etc. total $3322.80 and we will have addition transport cost to bring the gelding to the ranch and more follow up vet costs. So we need to raise $4000. I realize this is a lot, but they were in desperate need and we needed to do what was/is right for them so any help you can give us will be so appreciated.
If you can help with a donation of ANY size just click the button and you can do so via PayPal, credit/debit card or by sending a check (instructions when you click the button.). Your kindness and generosity for them is uplifting in spirit and will make such a huge difference.
As we have updates we will share them. Keep the horses in your prayers, keep all who helped us with this rescue in your prayers as their hearts are aching too. We are so thankful for the selfless people who have helped us save these horses for they stepped up at a time of great need. Wonderful, wonderful people.

Many, many thanks for all you do to help the rescue! Christine

Friday, May 17, 2019

Spring 2019 FUNdraiser - bidding open May 17-20th

Spring FUNdraiser title page
Bidding has opened for our "Spring 2019 FUNdraiser" online auction. The button below will take you to an album with photos of each prize.
There are over 160 great prizes to bid on donated by merchants and individuals which include restaurants (both here and southern CA), Golf packages, new household items and decor, FABULOUS artisan jewelry, New purses and totes, travel and entertainment, tack items for equine, various services both local and available nationwide....and SO MUCH MORE!
Simply click on the photo of the item for a description and make your bid in the comments below the picture. Click this button to view and start bidding:
Bidding closes Monday, May 20th at 7:00pm MST (Snowflake AZ time). So check back to be sure you don't get out-bid on the items you like.
These funds are used to purchase hay, feed, supplements and provide training and health care needs for the horses, donkeys and minis at the rescue so EVERY dollar means so much.
We want to thank all of those who donated awesome gift certificates, services or items for the auction, without you this simply would not happen.
Please forward this email to your friends so they can join the fun too and THANK YOU so very much for bidding, sharing the FUNdraiser with your friends and helping us raise these much appreciated funds.
The 30 equine in our care appreciate you too!!!!!