Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Getting Ready for Spring - - More Problems

Part 1

It only took me a couple of days to realize part of what I was seeing was the mare had lost a lot of muscle. Evidently Solidare was only moving if she absolutely had to, so many of the muscles in her body had begun to atrophy from lack of use. The mare wasn't just loosing weight, she was loosing body mass as well.

This situation sent up a ton of red flags of its own. I couldn't even imagine what it would be like for a mare to try to give birth with her body compromised by wasted muscle. There has to be some kind of muscle tone to push that foal out. Without that, both the mare and the foal could die.

As soon as I became aware of this situation, we began hand walking the mare. I hoped this forced exercise would remedy this problem enough to keep Solidare and her foal from jeopardy. I knew full well there probably wasn't enough time to build the kind of muscle really needed for such a task.

If we could get back some of what the mare lost before foaling, maybe it would be enough to get the foal safely into the correct position and maybe even into the birth canal at the appropriate time. From there we could intercede in such a manner as to not compromise the mare's health or that of the foal.

It was hard to see Solidare's shuffling gait as she was walked around the farm. Always trying to please, the mare went as asked but it was clear that she was uncomfortable with the task. Still if there was to be any hope for her and this foal, this exercise had to be done like clockwork.

Since the mare was dropping weight too, I made arrangements to get her to the vet. Her teeth had been recently done but she again had some points I could feel. With her impaired balance, getting her teeth floated would be more easily accomplished in his palpation chute, than on my farm so I loaded Solidare up and took her to him.

While I knew Solidare's problem really shouldn't be about her teeth, I was hoping it was something that simple. The mare looked as bad as she had when she first came to my farm. There had to be some kind of explanation for this.

When the vet walked in he was taken back by Solidare's condition. "Boy........this isn't what I'm used to seeing on your farm." he said with a worried look on his face. I knew exactly how he felt, I felt that same way too looking at this lovely mare in such dire condition.

He asked me about feeding, worming and the like. Everything was as it should be except for the condition of the horse standing in front of us. It just didn't make sense but something was terribly wrong.

Besides doing her teeth again, we would run all kinds of blood work looking for the culprit. The obvious one could be her thyroid wasn't working properly but kidneys and liver can do some strange things too. Oh, and one more thing, the vet didn't think she could possibly still be pregnant. If she was he doubted the foal was still alive..

As I suspected when the vet checked her teeth, they were not the cause of the mare's problems. She did have some mild points but nothing that would interfere with her eating her food or digesting it properly....... and at this point we were thinking it had something to do with her utilizing her food.

After the blood draws were done, the vet decided to check the mare to see if she really was still in foal. It seemed to him like he reached in there forever but he did indeed find Solidare's foal. Not only that but it kicked out when he thumped it on the head to see if it was alive. There wasn't much doubt at least one of them was healthy.

To be continued.............................

The Discovery

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  1. Sure hope she is okay and wondering what is going on. Glad to hear the foal is alive and kickin'!

  2. My heart's breaking for you and Solitaire, poor baby. I hope the vet can figure out what's wrong and keep her and the baby healthy.

  3. Seriously? Twins!?!?
    Oh gosh, I am so worried about her now. She is so beautiful but looks to be in such poor health. Poor baby! When is she due to foal?

  4. Pony Girl, I was relieve to see that foal kicking too because it meant it wasn't just barely alive but doing pretty well.

    GunDiva, it has been a strange journey. Hopefully we're going to make it to the end ok.

    Fantastyk Voyager, don't even use the "T" word. I've had all the experience with that I ever care to. There was only one there for her ultrasound and I don't think she's anywhere near the size she would be if there were two.

    Her due date is April 19.

  5. Oh sorry, I misread that last line totally! I thought you were implying that there were two foals. That would be just too much!!
    Poor mare, I certainly hope she can heal up. It must be so scary for you.