Category Archives: Mama Tess

Update on Mama Tess.






Well, it has been a rough coupla days…

The first day looked promising and then, well…

…there hasn’t been any miracle cure as I had dreamed.  In fact, she might be a bit worse.

When I arrived at the hospital, she was being trimmed without medication!!

When I arrived at the hospital, she was being trimmed without medication!!

HERE IS WHAT IS UP

Tess arrived at the hospital.  Upon further examination, it was concluded that she had necrotic tissue on both (yikes) of her front soles.  Her backs have bruising.  The bruising could be from them being too long because we couldn’t trim her – or from abscesses starting (praying that this isn’t it).

Dr.E glued on shoes to raise her soles off the ground.  He added hospital plates so he could treat/harden her soles and keep the area clean.

To my amazement, Tess was able to stand and have all of her feet done without pain medication or blocking.  Wow!  I felt encouraged.  I even shed a few tears as I saw her there.

I was totally relieved to see her back hooves trimmed.

Patient and DR.

DR, patient and master farrier.

THE NEXT DAY

The next day, however, she showed signs of pain.  We aren’t sure if it is because they removed her hoof cinches in order to apply the shoes… or if it is something else.

Here is my email exchange with Dr. E.

FROM DR E. (10:40am Sunday)

Dear Dawn,
Our girl looks better this morning. Her digital pulses (is a subjective reference for inflammation within the hoof) are decreased when compared to yesterday. She is moving a little better. Her soles are still draining from the abscesses and the edema of the visible tissues underneath her sole is slowly decreasing. These are all small changes but at least they are not drawbacks. She liked the extra support provided to the rest of the foot. Is she still weight shifting and lifting her limbs? Yes, no doubt. She has a lot going on and a long road ahead.
 
I THANK YOU for sending me the information and for staying active and engaged. All options and suggestions will be considered and executed if appropriate. Things to keep in mind are that because of the condition of her soles, abscesses, etc. it is not possible to use some types of therapeutic methods such as wooden shoes, casts, epona shoes, etc. I need access to the bottom of the foot once or twice a day to check progress, change topical medications, clean foot, treat abscess/drainage… That is one of the reasons she has a reverse shoe with a treatment/hospital plate. I can access the toe area and the entire sole this way. Once I receive the straps (Hoofcinch), depending on how she is doing, I may nail on a reverse shoe, so that I can have access to the hoof wall as well and be able to place the straps. If the reverese shoes are not working by then, they’ll come off then or sooner. We’ll see when we get there. One day at a time. :) One more comment I’ll make is that even though the rotation may not be severe….for some… the condition of the foot is one of the biggest challenges/limitations. Such condition is not visible on x-rays, yet extremely important. “Dont treat the x-rays…treat the patient!” :)
 
Keep the info coming…keep the prayers coming…keep the love for Tess coming…we need it all!!!
 
Sincerely,

Eduardo De La Cruz, DVM
Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center
2973 Penryn Rd.
Penryn CA 95663
(916) 652-7645

Her amazing and awesome fan!

Her own personal and amazing and awesome mister fan!

FROM ME (SUNDAY AM):

Thank you for the report.
I will come visit her later this afternoon.
She was horribly droopy when I first arrived yesterday but after she had the fan and mister, she brightened considerably.
Langdon was very considerate.
(I have less time to visit her next week so I am doing what I can now.)

–Yes, I know it is bad – worse than the X-rays… and thank you for giving me the formulas to why some things work and some things won’t.
Equations and formulas help me pull the big picture together.

Please don’t give up hope.  This mare has great strength and resiliency, and so do I.
I owe her the best since I listened to my vets instead of my gut for the last month.  I feel responsible for not having asserted myself and just driven her to Loomis/Davis/Alamo Pintado when I thought I should… I know shuda/coulda/woulda doesn’t work here, but it weighs heavy on my heart.

I have a fleet of angels and the support of thousands of strangers – I know this cannot cure her, but if I call in all my favors from my army – she at least has a chance.
Tess will tell us if she’s had enough… I will be strong for her if the time comes.

Carry on, my friend.  And, thank you.

MT is listening to the food cart going by... She looks so regal with her fan blowing on her like that!

MT is listening to the food cart going by… She looks so regal with her fan blowing on her like that!

FROM DR. E (2:13 PM SUNDAY):

Thanks! I don’t give up easy, so no worries. We will continue with progressive treatments and ideas. She’s a great gal! Big hug!

Eduardo De La Cruz, DVM

I brought a book and sat with her today.  She was happy to have the company.

I brought a book and sat with her today. She was happy to have the company.

 

FROM DR. E (7:15 PM SUNDAY)

I just looked at Tess. She seemed a bit more uncomfortable than this morning. I gave her pain meds and added butorphanol, an opioid that helps with pain too. Lets see what tomorrow brings.

Eduardo De La Cruz, DVM

A quick drink...

A quick drink…

VISITING HOURS

I visited with her all three days.  HOT.  Wow, it is way more inferno-like in the valley…. Tess was wilting.  So I asked if I could bring down a box fan and mister for her.  They said SURE!

So, I did.

But, when Dr. Fielding saw what we were doing, he ran to his office and rolled down a super-duper fan and mister combination number that he had from the Grand Opening party.

Wow!

MT has the most AWESOME fan/mister set-up.  It blows strong but not wet, if you know what I mean… you can stand in front of it and feel the cool, but you don’t get soaked.

Very nice.

She loves it!

I’m hoping the rental company forgets that it is there – for a while!…

If you need to purchase a heavy duty fan/mister combo, check out this brand.  It is awesome - it doesn't soak you at all!

If you need to purchase a heavy duty fan/mister combo, check out this brand. It is awesome – it doesn’t soak you at all!

If I spent too much time reading, she'd come right over and bump me with her nose... she wanted me to rub her face as she ate nearby.

If I spent too much time reading, she’d come right over and bump me with her nose… she wanted me to rub her face as she ate nearby.

NEXT STEPS

Tess is very sick and they are not sure what is causing the founder cascade.  This is bad.  They have her on every kind of medication that could help with pain, inflammation, Metabolic syndrome, they are soaking her hay and monitoring her every move… her feet are packed and every effort is being made to harden her soles and combat infection.

If she is still sore tomorrow, they will probably pull her shoes and figure some other way to elevate her sole and also have access to clean and apply hardening solutions.

My girl is in trouble.  I’m not going to lie to you – this is not good.

As the farrier who trimmed her said, “Why didn’t you bring her down here a month ago?!”

Yes… I ask myself that over and over and over again.

My response…

Because no one said I should…-?  Is that an answer?

Sigh.  Huge, heavy sigh.

But, we are doing everything possible and available.  If she can hang in there, so can we.

She laid down after eating.  I kissed her forehead and told her the tech would be around to give her pain meds - and that he would reevaluate everything in the morning...

She laid down after eating. I kissed her forehead and told her the tech would be around to give her pain meds – and that he would reevaluate everything in the morning…  It was difficult to leave her.  She hasn’t been off the farm in 6 years.

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Betsy Rose, our July Bucket Fund Mare!  Click here to read her story and/or donate!

Betsy Rose, our July Bucket Fund Mare! Click here to read her story and/or donate!

Use this portal to shop with Riding Warehouse and help the Bucket Fund!

Use this portal to shop with Riding Warehouse and help the Bucket Fund!

 




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



The Specialist took MamaTess to his equine hospital so he could treat her around the clock.






Today has been a whirlwind.

My initial thought is that Tess is where she needs to be in order for any chance of recovery.  She is in the very best place.

The rest of me is very upset that she is this sick and I waited this long to get her to the ER.

It is bad.  It could be worse – which is what I am hanging onto – but it is bad.

She awoke bright and licking her lips for breakfast.

She awoke bright and licking her lips for breakfast.

THE MORNING

The morning started well.  MT was happy to see me and eager to eat her breakfast.  I was very excited and I think she felt that…

After feeding, I ran into the house so I would be ready for the call from the equine nutritionist.

She called as I was getting out of the shower.

So, I took the call in my underwear.

And of course, as I was sitting there in my underwear, there was a knock on the door.

Crap!

I grabbed whatever was closeby and threw on my ‘100 degree pants’ and a top.  My 100 degree pants are the pants that I wear to feed when it is 100 degrees or more outside.  They are very lightweight, flowery, cotton, boxy (ugly but comfortable) capris.  I think they cost about $5.

The top was a tshirt I happen to have just washed.  I didn’t even know the color but it was sitting on my bed, waiting to be put away.  So I grabbed it.

Oh yeah, and I put on my plastic slip on clogs.

Voila! I was dressed.

Yup, this is what I was wearing - all day.

Yup, this is what I was wearing – all day.

THE VET

The knock on the door was as gentle as he was.

As soon as I saw him, I felt relaxed – as if I had the best hands available before me.

Dr. Eduardo de la Cruz hails from Puerto Rico.  And lucky for me, he delighted in my ‘festive’ outfit…

We walked down to the barn to meet the patient.

Immediately, Dr.E slipped into her stall and whispered in her ear while she had her back purposefully turned as she gazed out her window.

Dr. E was asking her (not me) if he could take her vitals.

She was fine with it.

Throughout the process, he kept asking her, not me, for permission.

She liked him.

I liked him.

As Dr.E proceeded with his workup, he often exclaimed how good she was and how stoic and kind she was…  MamaTess was working her magic – in spite of her pain – the old girl still had it!

Dr. Eduardo de la Cruz

Dr. Eduardo de la Cruz

XRAYS

It was time to take the Xrays so I walked her out of her stall.  Hard to watch.  She wasn’t in the founder pose, but you could tell that every step – hurt.

I asked Dr. E if he knew her history.

He said that he did… but he wanted to hear it again.  So, I told him.

Dr. E listened and when I told him about the ‘traumatic trim’ he almost fell over.   He clenched his fists and said that he battles these kinds of trims so often he just wanted to scream.

I asked Dr.E to explain what happened after the trim.

He showed me a diagram of how the coffin bone sits and where the blood flows in the hoof.  Basically, when the sole is the lowest part of the hoof on the ground and not supported by walls, the bone constantly pushes down on that center sole which (besides adding to the cascade of pain, inflammation, infection…) pinches the major blood vessel that runs along the bottom of the foot and therefore creates a lack of bloodflow which kills the sole.

While this trim style is supposed to stimulate and promote blood flow, in MT’s case, it did the opposite.

I knew it.  He knew it.

I cried a little and told him how desperately angry I was with myself for not being there when the trim happened and for not preventing it.

He pointed his finger at me and told me to STOP IT.  “We do our best.  Let’s move forward.”

She let him do everything to her... no fuss at all.

She let him do everything to her… no fuss at all.

NINJA

Dr. E took the Xrays like a Ninja!  This is the third set she has had in 6 weeks so I had a fresh memory to compare.

Silently he whipped the plates up and cajoled her into placing her feet properly.

Whhhhhip and “stay there girl, you’re doing great”, whip and trigger and Done!

He was awesome.

While others struggled and seemed clunky in comparison, watching Dr. E was like watching an Xray ballet.

Nice.

She was relaxed.

Looking at her weak and soft sole.

Looking at her weak and soft sole.

OUTCOME

The Xrays were not good.  She has severe rotation and some sinkage on her left.  Her right, which was never compromised, is now rotated – but not severely.

She has lost a quarter of her sole on her left.

Her biggest issue is the dead sole.  Without much blood flow, it will be difficult for her to heal and grow more sole.

Without some sort of wall support, her sunken coffin bone will press against the frog and continue to kill off her sole.

If they cannot stop the inflammation, infection and pressure, she has no chance.

He felt the only way to save her would be to treat her 24/7.  So, he asked if I could take her down to the hospital.

Of course!.

AS HE LEFT

As he left, Dr. E told me how bad this was… but also said the he has some hope because she is ‘still standing’ and because her digital pulses are not high.  He feels she has an incredible attitude and is able to withstand pain well enough that she will not collapse under pressure.

He feels that if he could monitor her 24/7, he may be able to find the underlying issue (he feels metabolic), arrest it, and continue to work on hardening her sole and promoting blood flow.

I nodded.

I understood.

Taking the Xrays was like watching a ballet.  He was Ninja fast and very good to her.

Taking the Xrays was like watching a ballet. He was Ninja fast and very good to her.  He was happy to see the Hoof Cinches on her.  He thought that as long as they helped her with the pain, they were good.

LOADING

She knew we were leaving and she was ready – sort of.

I mean, she let me put on her Soft Ride boots and she came out of her stall – and the barn – like gangbusters (for her).

But midway, she stopped.  She wanted to go eat some green grass.  She wanted to look around.  She wanted to go up to the house and eat apples off the tree.

So she took a few steps up a hill (relative) and then her boot went wonky.

I told her to HO!  She did.  I immediately removed her boots.  The last thing I needed was for her to break her ankle.

We gingerly walked towards the trailer.  And then she stopped again.

Nothing I could do would make her go.  I couldn’t leave her there because there was nothing to tie her to.  I didn’t have any treats.  I only had her leadrope and my will.

I tried everything in my bag of tricks.  I even begged her.

She wouldn’t budge.

Finally, I sat in a heap and let loose my tears.  “YOU HAVE TO GET IN.  PLEASE.”

MT raised her head, stood very proudly and whinnied.

The entire ranch erupted in return calls.  Every single one of them called back.

Me (through clenched teeth and tears):  OH NO YOU DON’T.  YOU BETTER NOT BE SAYING GOOD BYE.  I SWEAR TO HORSEGODS I WILL BRING YOU BACK.  YOU CANNOT GIVE UP ON US NOW.  GET IN THE TRAILER AND LET’S GET TO WHERE YOU NEED TO BE.

She pooped and propelled herself up into the trailer and settled, ready to be tied.

Once a show horse, always a show horse.  That’s my girl.

The new facility was very beautiful and state of the art.  Good.

The new facility was very beautiful and state of the art. Good.

THE TRAILER RIDE

I threw closed her door and ran to pilot my precious cargo the hour and a half to the hospital – with one stop for gas.

(We have a rule in this house to never leave the truck with less than a half tank of gas – for emergency situations just like this one.  Yup.  The tank was on empty.)

I yelled out to all the angels, “Clear our path, please, make this easy!”

And they did.  The gas station, which is right next to the only Starbucks for miles that is generally overwhelmed by cars sticking out from the badly engineered drive thru window, was clear.

Yes!

From that point forward all was good.  No traffic.  No issues.  She remained standing.

Nice.

Nice.  The brand new hospital.

THE NEW HOSPITAL.

I knew exactly where the old hospital was since I had been there a bazillion times.  However, I wasn’t quite sure where they had just built their new facility.

…I found it… Huge.  Impressive.  Easy to see from … far.

It is state of the art and beautiful.

Good.  It would do nicely.

Except, I am a lousy trailer parker under pressure and the trailer drivway was not wide enough for me to do my clumsy backing because another distraught owner had parked her trailer haphazardly, too.

So, poor MT had to hoof it across gravel into her huge and freshly bedded stall, which she did.

MT was at the Ritz and she fit right in, regally.

I was hoping that the First Class bedroom would translate across her entire visit.

I am such a lousy trailer backer that she had to walk a ways to her new stall.

I am such a lousy trailer backer that she had to walk a ways to her new stall.

TIME TO LEAVE

I left my girl in her fancy stall.

She had rolled and gotten up.  She had done her business.

She looked contented, not frightened.  She knew she was there to be helped.

She pawed around her new luxury stall and immediately had a roll.

She pawed around her new luxury stall and immediately had a roll.

Screen Shot 2013-07-25 at 5.15.20 PM Screen Shot 2013-07-25 at 5.15.12 PM Screen Shot 2013-07-25 at 5.15.03 PM Screen Shot 2013-07-25 at 5.14.51 PM

I studied her carefully and told her what Dr. E had said as he was leaving her side today.

Me:  “Tessa, do you know what that very nice and handsome Doctor said about you today?”

Tess:  “No, what?  And, he is very handsome, isn’t he… I especially liked his accent.  Very exotic.”

Me:  He said:

“I really like her – a lot.  She is very special and now I’m in trouble.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because I have to save her.”

Tess:  “Good.  I’m glad he understands”

Me:  “Yup”, I said to myself, “I’m counting on it.”

 

Hope.

I took this between the bars of her stall as I was leaving.  A face of Hope.

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

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Our July Bucket Fund mare is Betsy Rose.  Click image to read her story and help!

Our July Bucket Fund mare is Betsy Rose. Click image to read her story and help!

Use this portal to shop with Riding Warehouse and help the Bucket Fund!

Use this portal to shop with Riding Warehouse and help the Bucket Fund!

 

 

 




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