Friday, August 19, 2016

RIP our red-haired Danny Boy!

The rain started to gently fall as we were putting the last of the dirt on his grave.  Tears from heaven as the angels knew our hearts were breaking.  How fitting for this beloved horse that brought so many so much joy over his lifetime.  A horse that exuded love from the moment he arrived four years ago.
To our surprise we found out he had been a lesson horse for many, many years when our friends Nancy and Katie came out to visit us in Snowflake during the holidays in 2013. That is when he was reunited with Katie after more than 10 years. Danny had been the first horse she had ever ridden during a summer camp as a young girl. It was a tearful reunion for all and a chance for us to learn more about this gentle mannered horse. For old times sake she saddled him up for one more ride and he obliged.  The smile on her face lit up the day. What are the odds after he'd been so many other places before us, they would have the chance to share this touching moment in time.
It was obvious that Danny loved children and he was always willing to show them the love of a horse. Zara came with her grandparents hoping to get a chance to see some horses, her dreams came true when she got to ride Danny around the ranch with her grandfather at her side. 
Each time our niece Alex would come to visit he was a favorite of hers to care for and ride. He was so very good with the children.  Our four-legged babysitter. 
He followed Alex everywhere!
Arthritic joints and the aches and pains of a 28 year old horse, Danny really started to slow down this year. Even with his pain meds we didn't think he could take another winter with those poor old joints. His eyes started to get hazy, possibly cataracts, making his sight more difficult and most recently he started to loose weight too. We took good care of his teeth and fed him complete feed so his body just wasn't processing the food like it should.  He mostly just wanted to rest. 

In an emergency many times you are forced to quickly make the decision to let them go to immediately relieve pain, but when it is not an emergency, making the decision is so very, very difficult.  Our goal is for the equine here to not suffer or to have continued bad days. Danny got to the point where food didn't interest him and he would refuse to take his pain meds. He was telling me it was time, but I wasn't ready, I'm never truly ready because my mind reasons over my heart and it takes a while for my heart to catch up.   

The barn and pasture seem so empty. His bucket, fly mask and halter reminders he is gone. Very thankful we were able to bury him at the ranch in a special place we picked for him long ago. He touched our lives with his antics, gentleness and love and he will be missed everyday. But I look to the heavens and know his soul is there with those that went before him, reunited with old friends. 

RIP - Run in Paradise our beautiful friend. Until we meet again.  
1988 to 8-16-16

Friday, August 5, 2016

Update of Sig

First of all, THANK YOU to all who have answered our call for prayers and donations for Sig, the response has been just so wonderful and we have received donations for Sig and all the equine at the ranch which is such a tremendous help.  

Sig is doing better as each day goes by.  His appetite has picked up and his snarky attitude is starting to return which are all good signs he is on the mend.  But he is not out of the woods yet.  He still coughs but not as much and still has opaque drainage from his nose but not as frequent as before.  

He finished his doses of Excede and today we started him on a round of Uniprim based on the lab results from the culture sent in last week.  I may also put him on an expectorant help with the phlegm. We are very glad we did the culture because the results were not as expected.  The pneumonia he has is from an uncommon bacteria and we can't rule out that it could have been caused by the dental issue we have been dealing with, periodontitis, the infection in his gums causing his canine teeth to be loose. We will continue to treat the pneumonia and treatment for his periodontitis over the next several weeks. 

Additionally concerned about lungworms we have given him a dose of Moxidectin (Quest) since he has already been treated twice with Ivermectin.  I was surprised to find this in his stall this morning and likewise happy that we gave him the addition treatment which is eliminating more worms from his system.   You can see the small white deceased worms being eliminated in his manure.   I know the picture is gross, but hey, this is a learning process for us all.  We usually do Moxidectin once a year because it will treat tapeworms and Ivermectin doesn't, so we will get them all the equine a dose of it soon too.  I costs quite a bit more than Ivermectin, but with the recent donations I can get enough for all 22 on-site. 

I am happy with how his recovery is coming so far.  I am tearfully joyful that you have helped us so very, very much.   This is such a huge team effort and we all can play a part.  Thank you, thank you so much for being part of the team the cares for these donkeys and horses in need.