4 years young, Sweet Storm is our May Bucket Fund mare. (Here is her story.)
She is the unluckiest lucky mare because …
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…!!
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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…
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!