Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sweet Belle

Well, I have certainly been absent for awhile!  Hope to keep this more up to date!  Much has been happening on many fronts here so I'll try to catch up a little at a time...starting with our sweet Belle.


Belle is 26 years old now.  That's ancient in horse years. The median age for a horse is 22 so Belle has lived long past that point.  And up to this point, she's been doing pretty well despite the expected joint issues.  Oh.  And there was that fracturing of her tibia a few years ago.  Twice.  That required over 6 months of stall rest.  

But we she recovered!  And she's been enjoying her twilight years well.  Until about a month ago when my vet, who was out to give spring vaccinations, noticed she felt warm.  Turns out, she had a pretty good fever going.


We hit her good with a few different antibiotics.  But it didn't help.  Blood work showed her liver was failing and her neutrophils were out of this galaxy (a normal "high" reading is 8500, Belle's were at 50,000!!)  So we kicked it into high gear and started her on a strong, 2x a day broad based antibiotic.  


And I started to see some positive changes.  She had really dropped off in her grain ration.  Normally she was getting about 6-8 scoops but had dropped down to 2 scoops a day, if I was lucky.  The girl lost weight.  I had written off the drop in grain to the heat of the summer picking up, being turned out 24/7 instead of putting her in her stall at night, and just plain old age catching up.  And we were busy.  Bad thing to overlook.  Because trying to kill this infection, get that weight back on and stimulate her appetite has been a bugger!  So now that she was on this new drug, she was up to her regular grain amounts and instead of hanging out on the fence line, napping, she was wanting to go out with Tommy and hang in the pasture.


She seemed to be a little more perky too.  But then on a different day, she'd eat just a few scoops of grain and be a little more low-key.  So, it's been hard to know if these changes will be long lasting.


Tommy would like to know too.  Because Belle's not looking so great and I think he's a little worried.  


The vet was out today and took some more blood from Belle so we can check her levels again.  We feel like surely they must come back a bit better.  He thought she looked much better than last time.  

And oh yes, there was a "little" addition to the herd last week that has helped perk Belle up...she's found a kindred spirit.  But more on that later...

And say a prayer for Belle, if you think of her.  We'd like her around as long as the Lord wills it...

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