Thursday, September 24, 2015

When it rains, it pours! We need your help....

I started to write this on 9-3-15   We are on day four of rain. Not throughout the day, but sporadic thunderstorms mostly in the afternoon. It started Monday when the winds picked up, I went out to further secure the carport shelter in the new donkey enclosure. I was holding on to one of the supports when a micro burst picked the shelter, me and some of the pipe panels right off the ground. I landed about 20 feet away and the shelter way over by the hay barn. Worried that it would continue to fly through the air like a projectile, I drove the tractor to it and put the bucket just above it so it would go nowhere.  A few bruises and sore muscles but I will be better in a few days.
Shelter after the micro burst that carried it over 50 feet.
Last Tuesday I noticed Gwen was extremely swollen on her right chest (pectoral) area and initially thought she was kicked. Then I heard from Dr. Christianson that there were several reported cases of Pigeon Fever, also called Dryland Distemper, in the area. I spoke to a friend who also had a horse showing symptoms and her vet also report several cases.  So we quarantined her and have been keeping a close eye on her.

UPDATE 9-22-15  This has been a grueling few weeks and it seems the storm was just the beginning. I have healed from my scratches and bruises and we have fixed that shelter and assembled another so now all the donkeys have cover.
Much of the last few weeks has blown by as I have been providing nursing care for several horses. Gwen did have pigeon fever and Duncan also developed it, though with our tough bio-security measures, quarantining the sick and making sure people and animals stayed away from them, we have been able to keep the others from catching such a highly contagious sickness.
Paco, one of the donkeys that came to us from the Humane Society of N TX, came down with a runny nose after shortly after the donkeys arrival the end of August. He has been put in a separate quarantine enclosure and getting antibiotic treatment as we watch to see if this might be tooth related since he sometimes chews oddly. When he is a little easier to handle we can check his teeth. In the meantime, twice daily meds.
Paco Lips in quarantine with a runny nose
A little over a week ago we had unwelcome visitors, someones dogs were running loose. I chased them away from the barn but it was later that we realized both Autumn and Princess had puncture wounds in their right hind leg just above the hock. With the stress of movement in the area the punctures quickly stretched to large wounds and they two are getting antibiotic treatment along with tetanus shots.  They are getting better but require cleaning and bandaging daily.

Continued 9-24-15  A second storm came through two days ago leaving puddles and mud everywhere.  We got over an inch and since we are down hill from many places in the neighborhood we had rivers running through our pastures. We lost about $150 worth of hay that got wet and has since mildewed. Lots of clean-up, but blessed that we were able to house all the horses in the barn during the worst of it.

Gwen has produced new abscesses, just when we thought she had healed fully. Yesterday I lanced the newest one and about 3 cups of drainage came out of her chest. She had a slight fever so we are treating that along with cleaning the area, expressing any new fluids and tight fly control. She seemed to be feeling a little better today.
It is with great sadness that Duncan lost his battle with pigeon fever. His abscesses were internal and statistically only 40% of horses can recover from that. At age 27, he was in great pain when the abscess ruptured internally on the 18th. His vital signs were off the charts and he was in obvious pain so the difficult decision to put him down was made.  While his initial freedom from pain was instant, the emotional pain has taken its toll on us. I will be doing a separate blog post in his memory.
Some good news to share is that 7 of the donkeys are available for adoption. Joey has been adopted by a local family that we love and he is in a great new home as a family horse. Liam has finished several months of training including lots of time out on the trail and working with various obstacles to see how he would be as a competitive trail horse. He has a solid mind and very steady.  Now he just needs to find the right family that wants a well loved horse to make their own. CC Bloom, one of our Dann Sister horses has also finished her training, went to her first horse show on Sunday and is now with a potential foster family.

Princess has been with us for 3 months and is now at a very good weight and her mood is awesome. As soon as her leg wound heals she will be back out with the herd again. She does require senior type pelleted feed every day.  As a member of the A Home For Every Horse Program, we received coupons from Purina for 20 free bags of feed which went quickly with her eating 20lbs of feed a day. But we are thankful to have gotten the coupons and love being part of that program.
We also received vaccines for 10 horses from the AAEP and Unwanted Horse Coalitions "Unwanted Horse Veterinary Relief Campaign" in coordination with Merck Animal Health as savings to us of approximately $509.

On August 8th we hosted an ATV open house for people who enjoy both off-road riding and have a love for horses as a way to introduce some to the rescue and thank others for their support. We had a nice sunset ride and dinner and a good time was had by all. The hit of the event was everyone meeting Chancer, Raylan and Avery.  They loved the babies. We raised a little over $400 which was so appreciated.

This has been a very busy summer. A new enclosure was built for the donkeys, shelters purchased for that and the outside quarantine enclosure and pipe panels with costs totaling $1850. Training for Liam $1000. Veterinary expenses for all the recent health care $554.25, medicines, health care supplies and bandaging over $400. Upcoming expenses include hoof care, dentals, vaccines and the castration of the 3 colts, Avery, Raylan and Chancer with estimated costs of $2500. Hay runs $375-$400 a week and pellets and supplements $70 a week.

Updated 9-28-15  It just keeps getting better....over the weekend while trenching to put in more exterior faucets throughout the property and also some irrigation, the electrical wiring to the barn was damaged and now need to be repaired.   I am beginning to feel like we are being tested to see what we can handle.   Eleanor Roosevelt said, "A woman is like a tea bag, you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water."

We need your help! While we try to find homes for the donkeys and horses that are adoptable or can be fostered and continue the health care for the sick and injured, we would appreciate ANY donation that you could make to help us meet our expenses.  100% of your donation goes to care for the equine.  I have never taken any salary nor does the rescue pay rent, we continue to donate our time to keep costs down and help everywhere we can.   If you can help now it is really, really needed.

Checks can be mailed to PO Box 2722, Snowflake, AZ  85937 or you can click this link to our PayPal account:

We currently have 22 equine and one cat at the ranch from ages 10 weeks to 27 years old that have been saved from bad situations and your donations make all the difference in the world to them.
Chancer's life is in our hands!
Thank you, thank you so very much!