UPDATE on Autumn, our November Bucket Fund Filly.

As many of you read last Friday, our Bucket Fund Charity for November is little Autumn whose emaciated dam (while pregnant with Autumn) was dumped in an auction yard only to give birth then die leaving Autumn alone without any food for 18 hours until she was she was fed by Whatcom County Humane Society and finally rescued by HOPE FOR HORSES.

You can read the full story here.


It has been determined that Autumn was a premature foal which is why her swallowing mechanism is not quite mature.  She should be able to swallow in time.  Since she cannot swallow well, they don’t want her to take a bottle because she could aspirate it into her lungs and cause an infection.

So, she has a nasal tube to feed her milk replacer as well as some solids.  They also have a large IV going into her neck to keep up her fluids and essentials.  They wrapped her back legs to keep the shavings from rubbing.  Her tail is wrapped because of the slight wet manure.  That is almost gone.

Because she is a preemie without having had colostrum, there is always a risk of infection.  That along with her inability to swallow has prompted the hospital to make the decision to keep her for another week while they feed and monitor her.

Autumn Sunday afternoon. It was determined that she was a premie and that is why she is having trouble swallowing. They put a nasal tube into her for nutrition. Her swallowing should get better with time. Her back legs are wrapped so the shavings won't rub. Her tail is wrapped because she was having some wet manure.



I received this email from Jenny at Hope for Horses:

Sunday morning: 

Just got a call from Dr. Mollat, the primary vet caring for Autumn at the moment.

Autumn is still not accepting the pan feeding, so they have inserted a nasogastric tube and are beginning to introduce milk replacement and minute amounts of solids via the tube.

They are leaving her on the IV drip for now to supplement liquids and nourishment.

The big issue is that the diarrhea has finally abated.

The risk of infection is still huge at this point, so she is still being monitored very closely.  John and I are the only allowed visitors for the time being, so I will send photos in just a bit.


Autumn accepting a visitor... with her ears back like that, she looks like a little goat!


Sunday afternoon:

Autumn is looking really good this morning.  She was animated and interested in her visitors, sucking on fingers and cheeks, and moving around a lot.  They have begun feeding her via a nasogastric tube though because she is still having trouble swallowing.  This is not unusual in preemies, and should continue to improve over time.  She seems to have grown a bit, but it’s hard to tell because her bedding is very deep and placed on top of a thick padded mat.


Autumn supervises as John cleans her stall



Here is a video from Sunday.  You will see that Autumn is alert and lively.  Very cute…  Click the below image or click here to watch the video.

Click image to watch Autumn with the vet tech. She is perky and sweet!



The not-so-good news is that the vet bills are escalating ($6000+).  So, I have increased the goal a bit and if any of you would like to donate to help this fighter filly, please DO!  Thank you!

If you receive this via email, click here to donate!

To watch the donation thermometer rise, click here!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!



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HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

5 comments have been posted...

  1. John

    Just saw Autumn and Bizzy. The big news is no news. For the first time it’s 24 hrs with no issues. Autumn is still on an IV drip but that should end today. She is much more pushy trying to get out of her little stall. Bizzy is completely disinterested. She has done her duty this year and though she will accept being milked she just isn’t all that interested in another baby. The end is in sight!

    As an aside: after seeing Bizzy over the last 24 hrs (my first extended time around a Friesian) I realize that our mini horse Brody is a clearly a Friesian mini gelding. Stand by for side by side pictures.

  2. John

    It’s been a busy 4 days. It’s Sunday morning and Autumn has been in horsey intensive care for 9 days. Thanks to Dawn and her facebook readers we found a milk mare in 10 minutes on Friday morning. We had 4 cups of mares milk to Autumn within an hour and by the next morning (Saturday) the vet had cleared us to bring the mare into Autumns stall. Thanks to Dawn and John (Mares owners) she came to Pilchuck in the afternoon and it’s now a different world. Baby is tolerating a mix of Mare and goat. Diarrhea is a thing of the past and the future looks bright. The chain of people who have each saved this foals life, one after the other is long and distinguished. I cannot tell you how amazed and thankful I am.

  3. John

    Wednesday morning was better than yesterday. She developed an infection at the site of her long line IV catheter so the whole thing was removed (maybe a day early). She is eating well and regularly out of a pan but she had a soft (pudding) BM that I hope was just caused by the stress of 3 of us visiting her. So 2 steps back but one big step forward.

    She got up and walked around with her new untethered freedom but still in the microstall. Thanks to you all we feel no pressure to get her out of the hospital until she is truly ready.

    Thanks also to the Vet techs and Doc who are taking such good care of her we know a good deal more about what works and what does not. The hardest thing for us has been leaving her there and alone through all this. Our goal is back to HFH on Friday or Saturday.

    Thanks again for your generosity and your good wishes.

  4. John

    Monday afternoon at the hospital. It was a big day. Autumn pushed out a solid dookie for the first time in her life. I gasped and forgot to take a picture. It was wonderful. She is eating out of a pan and got almost a full ration of milk replacement. She is not happy with the tubes and tape which is new since just 2 days ago she was too sick to notice. Nasal tube should come out tomorrow morning. IV feeding will be stopped tonight and IV fluids will stop tomorrow.
    Current plan is for her to come home Thursday or Friday.

    We are overwhelmed and humbled by your incredibly kind support.

    Tomorrow (Tuesday) I will reconnect with all the very generous people offering nurse mares. We will be needing one and I will contact all the parties that have offered. Frankly it scares me, the risk to Autumn and to someone else’s mother horse. I will need to reach out and get as much help as is available in the Seattle area. Some how in the past we have miraculously been able to save the mares in rescue situations so this is new to us. Luckily we have volunteers to staff 24/7 in the stall for as long as it takes to make this work.

    We will do our best.

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