Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Reflections of Foaling Season 2006 - The Twins Part 13

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12

With as much time as I was spending in the stall with these Arabian horses, I was getting to know them pretty well. Every bump, every blemish, every personality trait got to be more obvious. So it wasn’t surprising that I found a small growth on the mare’s face right next to her nostril. It was a rigid bump but there wasn’t anything about it that was particularly alarming. Over the years, I’d seen lots of bumps on my horses that didn’t turn out to be anything. I just logged it away in my memory banks as something to keep track of, just in case.

It didn’t take long to realize that this bump was not the ordinary bump. In just a few days time it had enlarged more than five times it’s original size. It was growing closer and closer to the rim of the horse’s nostril and it’s location and rapid growth meant that it could cause problems with the mare’s breathing. If it was not removed soon, it could actually encroach on her nasal passage and obstruct the airway.

I called Dr Gillette immediately. He was as concerned as I was and planned on coming to check it out as soon as possible to assess the situation. As fate would have it it was one of those days that had one emergency after another and it was early evening before the vet arrived. But he came prepared with a vet assistant so he could remove the growth. if needed.

It didn’t take Dr Gillette but a minute to decide that surgery was the only option. Ideally the surgery would have been postponed until the twins were older but the rapid growth removed that as an option His preference would have been to take her into the clinic and perform the surgery there.

We not only had the welfare of the horse to worry about, we had the welfare of the twins foals in the balance as well. It was clear that even though their IgG scores had been high, they were showing some signs of dysmature foal syndrome. It was important that everything be done to elevate stress on these young vulnerable horses. Transporting them for this surgery was a bigger risk than performing the surgery in the stall.. We didn’t know for sure what were dealing with and we needed to do everything we could to ensure the safety of the mare. The last thing we needed was for something to happen to the her that would leave these two little horses motherless. It was a catch 22.

As Dr Gillette prepared the mare for surgery, he took extra precautions to be sure he affected the twins as little as possible by residual drugs appearing in the mare’s milk. He checked her weight with a tape and gave her the lowest possible dose of anesthetic. Once the surgery began she was monitored closely to be sure the horse was comfortable. He didn’t want her coming out from under before he was finished. That too would have been a wreck.

The growth he removed was unlike anything he had seem before. It had two parts to it. One was soft and fleshy like while the other was an odd, very hard, porous looking thing, almost looking like a coral formation. Both samples were sent off for biopsy. Due to the lighting in the stall and the location of the growth, Jack wasn’t positive he had all of the growth out but under the circumstances we were going to have to conclude the surgery at this point hoping that we had it all.

By the time the vet finished inserting a drain and stitching the horse’s wound closed, she was beginning to stir from under the anesthetic. The colt and filly were happy to see their mother awake again. Both came up and nuzzled her fondly then off they went skipping around the stall in joyful play showing off for Jack and his assistant. As far as they were concerned, all was right with the world again, it was time to nurse.

To be continued...
Part 14

If you haven't been following the progress of Scandalous Trouble and Scandalous Surprise, the Arabian Miracle Twins you can catch up on the posts from the beginning. Just remember that the first post will be at the bottom and so on. Twins Stories There is also more on the these little horses story on Rising Rainbow Arabians - Rare Twin Foals and you can see the twins live on line Twins Webcam

Don't forget the Horse Lovers Carnival Blog tomorrow on Bridle Path

1 comment:

  1. Hi MiKael

    Didn't get to this one yesterday, will read on and find out what caused the growth with interest. Shame you and these three horses really had a time of it didnt you, if it wasnt one thing it was another.

    Hope all is well