Remember Barbara – the filly with the wry mouth? Well, she had her surgery!

Remember Barbara?  She was the filly born with a wry nose – we fund raised for in April.  You can read her story here.

Barbara in April. She was too young to have surgery then to have surgery. But in July she turned 6 months old and had her surgery!


Here is an emailed message I received from Allen Pogue, who prepared Barbara for her surgery and is also her trainer.  He did a wonderful job – teaching her to lead with a rope collar, load easily and to drink through a tube.  All great prep for such an invasive surgery.

Here is the note from Allen:

 “I spoke with Dr Schumacher this morning.. Barbara was ‘off’ her feed ( milk from a bucket).. not wanting to drink.. so he gave her a nerve block on the maxillary nerve that deadens the front of the face.. within a short time she started drinking.. That told him she was experiencing post op pain. , not at all unexpected, so he applied a Fentanyl patch and started a localized lidocaine drip ..
Her nose airways were not open enough yet from post op swelling to remove the trach tube , so he is waiting on that until the swelling goes down.. this procedure is pretty radical and these issues are common. 
Dr Schumacher is the most experienced surgeon probably in the world so she is in good hands… I looked up this procedure on the internet and found a paper he wrote on thirteen case studies.. “

Barbara with her staples, post surgery

Barbara, with some gentle pain meds on board, was willing to eat after surgery.


Here is the news article that you can read here.

Click image to go to the original article and watch the video.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) — A young horse from Texas, going by the name of Barbara, managed to capture the hearts of many and has made the journey to East Tennessee for a rare surgery at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.

Barbara was born in January with a wry nose deformity that pulls her nose to one side, making it increasingly difficult to breathe and even eat sometimes.

Many owners would put the animal down simply for the cost of corrective surgery. Barbara’s owner, Martha Carroll-Talley, learned there could be a second option, but that meant coming to Tennessee and leaving with a nearly $30,000 hospital bill.

Previous story: Texas horse with rare defect readies for trip to Knoxville for needed surgery

“What lesson does it teach our children if we just dispose of things because they’re a little different?” says Carroll-Talley.

“It was a pretty complex surgery and it was composed of a lot of smaller surgeries so we had to cut the hole in her neck to allow for air,” says UTCVM surgery resident Tanner Snowden.

Thankfully the surgery was a success with no complications and Barbara is now on the road to recovery with her second chance at life.

“It’s great to see her stand up. I saw her before surgery with the nose but it wasn’t until she stood up that we saw the finished product,” said Snowden.

Breathing is temporarily a bit different post-op because of a tracheotomy tube in Barbara’s throat but that is expected to come out soon. The surgeons had to take out one of Barbara’s ribs on her right side for a bone graft on her jaw. If all goes well, Barbara will be back home to Texas in six weeks.


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