Thursday, September 24, 2020

Smoke inhalation almost did her in - CA wildfire victim


20200810 Bunny cropped

Bunny 8-10-20 days before rescue

In late July our board secretary, Karen, at a house near her discovered three horses and a bunch of other livestock and poultry in desperate need. She contacted the family whose patriarch is a wheel-chair confined paraplegic to see if they would accept our help. Not quite willing to accept help, Karen advised them on feeding the skinny horses and recommended they have the veterinarian out. Sadly it took the death of the oldest horse before they were open to our help.

20200810 Grace skinny

Nutmeg (formerly Grace) on 8-10-20 in dire need of food and care.

Finally allowed in the property Karen and her ranch manager found animals without food and water, manure and feces everywhere and carcasses of deceased poultry. The family admitted they did not have the time to regularly feed the animals even though the hay and feed were right there.

It was agreed that we could come feed the horses while preparations were made at Karen's to bring the two pony mares. During that time it became clear that both ponies were fractious and fearful of people. After a few weeks of our care they still were not responding to human contact so Karen's daughter Hilary contacted her friend and trainer who offered to squeeze them into his training calendar because of the seriousness of the situation.

20200902 Bunny

Bunny groomed, gaining weight and getting basic training.

September 1st, Luke Castro and his fiance gently coaxed the two pony mares into their trailer and took them to the training facility. The first goal was to get them haltered and next was grooming which is always a great way to teach a horse that human contact can feel good and relax them. They both seemed to enjoy the grooming and were both putting on weight.

20200902 Grace

Nutmeg groomed, gaining weight and getting basic training.

Things were going great till the wild fires in California pushed deep smoke all over the area. Within a short time Nutmeg was extremely sick. The vet was called immediately only to find her dehydrated and suffering from smoke inhalation induced asthma.

The worry was great that in addition to the inflammation in her lungs it could quickly turn into pneumonia. She was given several drugs, put on electrolytes and we started ulcer meds preventatively because of all the stress.

20200923 172024

Dr Esquivel's $1509 invoice for Nutmeg's care.

The heavy wild fire smoke continued and on the 15th, Dr Esquivel returned to give Nutmeg her second round of antibiotics. With her distressed breathing she was so dehydrated that 10 liters of IV fluids were needed. At this point things looked very grim and we were praying she could pull through.

After 12 days the smoke started to ease, the asthma and other meds were doing there job and finally on the 21st Dr. E felt she was doing good and could resume light activity which would help increase her lung capacity bringing more oxygen into her system.

20200922 Bunny - Nutmeg at luke right side 2

9-22-20 Bunny is doing awesome in her training and weight is good.

Nutmeg is doing better and back to a light training schedule. We are SO THANKFUL it did not get worse and to all who helped monitor both mares during the heavy smoke from the wild fires. It has been so very scary.

Luke posted this picture of Bunny who has continued her training on his Facebook page saying how thin and not confident at all she was on arrival and that she is now looking better and they are still working on her confidence.

Karen worked with the family to deal with the other animals needing help and all have found homes. We were able to step in and help before any more died making a huge difference for all the animals and to ease the owners pain that this happened because they were no longer able to handle everything on their own.

In our efforts to help these two sweet pony mares we were immediately hit with unexpected expenses, training $1100 for September, vet bill for Nutmeg's smoke inhalation $1509, Ulcer meds $250 and October first we will need to cover another months training to ensure they are both more confident, to see if they are saddle trained and more ready for possible adoption. Our goal is to raise the $5000 needed to cover their initial feeds, emergency vet care, training and other expenses. Please, please consider helping us with a donation of any size. This was a dire situation and the CA Wildfires made it even worse.

With your help we can change their lives and eventually find them homes were they will be safe and loved forever. Thank you, Thank you so very much!

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