Young, Sweet Storm, the Luckiest Unlucky Mare, Fights for her Life against the Insidious Infection.






4 years young, Sweet Storm is our May Bucket Fund mare.  (Here is her story.)

Sweet Storm, awaiting her surgery at home.

Sweet Storm, awaiting her surgery at home.

She is the unluckiest lucky mare because …

Well…

Storm was an unhandled, solid-colored, pregnant 3 year-old mare from a breeding farm who was sent – along with 24 of her pregnant solid-colored herd mates – to a feedlot to be
sold for meat…. but Storm was lucky enough to be one of only 5 who were adopted off the feedlot… but then she developed this wither infection so the initial adoption fell through… luckily Annette stepped up to help Storm but Storm was still wild and needed special attention…   Annette had the time and they bonded – lucky for them both – but the infection worsened even though Annette cleaned it daily… then NERN (National Equine Resource Network) became involved and was able to work a deal with UC Davis for the surgery (very lucky), but it was still too much money until NERN asked the Horse and Man Group for help, and then, luckily, the money was raised (THANK YOU) and the surgery performed – yesterday…!!

But now…

The UC Davis surgeon found that the infection was far worse than ever imagined.  The procedure was much more involved and her recovery will be much more extensive.

Here is what Shirley Puga from NERN had to report:

(As an aside, Shirley actually rode up from Southern California with Storm and Annette as they made their way to Northern California and UC Davis. That is dedication.)

From Shirley:

The 2 ½ hour surgery was very invasive.  A lot of necrotic and infected tissue was removed and infected bone tissue (spinous process) was debrided.  Fortunately, neither scapula (shoulder blade) seems to be involved in the infection.

Annette talking to Storm the day before they set off for Davis...

Annette talking to Storm the day before they set off for Davis…

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Storm’s bath before her trip.

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The cavity created by the removal of dead/infected tissue was packed, and that packing will be removed under local anesthesia (if possible), in approx 72 hours.  Drains were installed to let fluids drain to outside rather than pool in the good tissue and cause further infection/problems.

My favorite shot!  Storm loves kids and she met these children at a rest stop along the way from Southern CA to Northern CA.

My favorite shot! Storm loves kids and she met these children at a rest stop along the way from Southern CA to Northern CA.

 
The wounds will have to be monitored closely/daily for any changes.  Further debridement and flushing are expected, and a possible follow up surgery may be required to remove additional necrotic tissue.

Bathed in Golden Light the night before surgery - at their layover spot in Dixon, CA.

Bathed in Golden Light the night before surgery – at their layover spot in Dixon, CA.

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Storm frolicking in the early morning hours before she headed off to UC Davis.

 
Storm was slated to be moved to a boarding facility (after surgery) for 30 days of lay-up.  At that time, we anticipated only minor wound care/cleaning would be needed.  Now, she will have to remain under the care and watchful eyes of the UC Davis veterinary team for the next 30 days.

Annette and Dr. Galuppo at UC Davis.  The team at the Equine Hospital was read for Storm.

Annette and Dr. Galuppo at UC Davis. The team at the Equine Hospital was ready for Storm.

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Storm’s Xrays.

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Annette walking her girl into the hospital…

(We are now) waiting for culture to determine what type of bacteria is involved so they can tailor antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals to help fight it
Waiting to see if all infected tissue was removed, or follow up surgery will be needed.

Shirley Puga from NERN paying the surgery deposit... Thank you UC Davis for the huge discount.  Thank you all well wishers, donors and The Horse and Man Group!

Shirley Puga from NERN paying the surgery deposit… Thank you UC Davis for the huge discount. Thank you all  – well wishers, donors and The Horse and Man Group!

Storm sedated and on the table for transport.

Storm sedated and on the table for transport.

Racing her into surgery...

Racing her into surgery…

 
It will be a lengthy recovery… 30 days in hospital care, then months of at home care.
 
Fortunately, she is young (4yrs old) and strong of mind, body & heart.
 
Annette and I believe she will make a full recovery.  Vets are cautiously optimistic, but warn that it is a lengthy process.
 
Annette is 100% committed to her care, whatever that entails.  They have a very strong bond & trust
 
With Storm’s love for children, Annette hopes she can eventually be part of a therapy program with kids/youth.

This is a small piece of her very graphic recovery photo - the wound is huge and draining but she is one lucky mare!  The surgery was not a moment too soon!

This is a small piece of her very graphic recovery photo from this morning- the wound is huge and draining but she is one lucky mare! The surgery was not a moment too soon!

HERE IS WHY I SAY SHE IS THE LUCKIEST UNLUCKY MARE…

Storm can survive this… and her team of humans is dedicated to pulling her through with the best possible care available.

But, the recovery will be 3 times as expensive as they thought when they went into the surgery.

A huge blow.

Of course no one is willing to abandon her at this point…

For me, I’m thinking, C’Mon, give the mare a break why don’t you…!  Enough already!

I think maybe it is time for the tables to tip once and for all – in her direction…

Can anyone donate their Starbucks money for this lovely, young mare - to turn her luck for good!

Can anyone donate their Starbucks money for this lovely, young mare – to turn her luck for good!

So, Anyone feeling like donating their Starbucks money for this mare?   If so, Please send your latte dollars her way.  We still have 2 more days in May to help her!

Many, many thanks!

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

Fundraising Thermometer

Sweet Storm... she loves kids most.

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4 comments have been posted...

  1. Annette Garcia

    Thank you Horse and Man and all of the kind hearted animal lovers who have contributed in helping Storm. She is a survivor and a strong girl!
    She has so much love to give and receive!
    Thank you so much!!!!
    Sincerely,
    Annette Garcia

  2. Deborah Slagle

    I agree with Holly!!

    My husband was a sales rep for the Wound Vac in NC for a while- there were MANY wounds that doctors had all but given up on that healed using a Wound Vac. I do not know if it has ever been used on an animal… but I am beting it would work the same wonders on a horse that it does on a human!
    Not only does it help pull out the infection/drainage, but it promotes healing by increasing the blood flow in the area of the wound.
    They really should look into it!!

  3. Holly

    It sounds like she needs a wound vac. I don’t know if they use them on animals. But the wound vac, which is a small machine, acts like a vacuum on a wound. Special sponges are used to pack the wound. There is a special covering with a small attachment for a tube which is connected to the wound vac. It literally sucks out the infection. We use it on humans. So I’m sitting here thinking it may be a good intervention. I’m also thinking how this could be placed on her, perhaps around her neck. I’m also wondering if the veterinary world has such a machine already. It seems to me, this could be a great treatment for her. If this system has not be tried on animals, this could be a great pioneering possibility, “one for the books” as they say. Best of luck with this special spirit. I’m out on disability due to an accident in January, which makes it impossible at this point to make a donation. However, I have shared this on my page. Please keep us updated…….

  4. Nancy Kendrick

    Already donated to this sweetie earlier in the month, but we can’t leave the job unfinished, so a little more today! Love to Storm and all making her better!

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