Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A REALLY rough weekend

I haven't written in a while because I wasn't sure what the end of the story would be...I know that seems weird, but I didn't want to start writing one story for it to end up as a totally different story entirely...

As I wrote in my last post, things have been INSANE with getting ready for the wedding, which is a short 4 days away now...EEEEK! On Thursday night, Shane and I were just sitting down to dinner and relaxing. It was a rare moment of calm for just the two of us when the phone rang. He is waiting for a call about a job, so he answered it. It was our barn manager. The line was extremely staticy and all he heard was horse and colic. THE DREADED C-WORD!

We slammed the TV and DVD player off, dressed VERY warmly VERY quickly and took off to the barn. When we got there it was my worst nightmare. Trinity... 1 year ago to the day from the colic that ended in a surgical suite. She was exhibiting most of the same symptoms as before. She was kicking at her stomach, trying to fall over, and just looking very dejected. I called my normal vet with the vitals and he told me to call the hospital and have them come out (he was out of town).

The vet came out and felt a severe impaction in the Pelvic Flexure (NOT SAND!! YAY! I guess...), but said he also thought it was very serious and may need hospital fluids. We are very short on funds, so we decided to give her the night and see how she did with the oil, epsom salt, and electrolytes. We were up every hour to check on her and she seemed okay, but not better. By morning she was worse. I couldn't miss work, because I had only been there a week! So, Shane called our vet's on-call doctor and she came out to see Trinity. She said that she couldn't feel the impaction, but that he arms were much shorter than the Emergency Vet. She gave Shane instructions for the day and left.

The Pelvic Flexure is Letter E on the bottom of the image.

I got the call at about 3pm that it was time to head to the Large Animal Hospital. Not again...but yes. We got a hold of the trailer person that the hospital recommends, loaded up and headed out. When we got there the same vet from Thursday night examined her. He said he definitely still felt the same impaction. He did an Ultra Sound and wanted to put her on fluids for the night.

We also had a decision to make...Were we willing to do surgery again. We knew that surgery would fix the problem immediately, but we were just not in the position. It was very very hard to make the call, but we said that we couldn't do surgery again. Friday night and Saturday morning, Trinity was very tired and slept most of the time. They let fluids flow open and free to get things moving.

Poor Baby! They left the nasal tube in to drain her stomach every three hours, so that is why she has the muzzle on. 

Sleepy Pony...

On Saturday mid day, we went to visit and she was looking so much better. They let us take her for a walk and she was closer to herself. She was nuzzling us and neighing to the other horses. I was feeling very very encouraged. 

Mom, I look like a unicorn...don't take pictures!

Trinity, from the magical land of ICU. 

Then it happened...Sunday morning I got a call saying that she had taken a turn for the worse. We rushed to the hospital thinking the worst. We decided that we could only fight this for so long. It wasn't fair to Trinity or to us to keep pushing her. We met with the vet and he said, the diagnosis was not good. The entire impaction had moved to the small colon.

See where the intestine narrows between letter E and letter F? That is where it was sitting. 

 As I have explained before...I HATE the equine anatomy. Whoever thought it was smart to have the horse digestive system need to defy gravity in order to complete the cycle, was on crack... I digress. Basically, most impaction break-up before they hit this point, but hers was like a cork plugging up the hole. On top of that, Trinity's White Blood Cell count dropped to .8. A normal range is 5.5-8. This put her in extreme risk of developing a secondary illness. She had been classified as "Yellow" in ICU, which means that all tech's had to glove up, wear booties, and a gown to work with her to avoid giving her something. The vet was concerned of tissue death, due to the plug pressing against the intestine wall and not allowing blood flow to circulate. He said she had 24 hours to pass it before we were critical. 

Shane and I spent a large part of Sunday crying and fighting and loving on her. We knew that by Monday night, if she hadn't gotten better. We were going to have to make the worst decision of our entire lives.

Daddy loves sick pony.

Mommy loves her more!

As we were leaving, I gave Trinity a talking to. I told her that I needed a phone call by 10 from the vet with good news! I meant the 10am phone call that the vet promised to make after his staff meeting. At 9:56pm the vet called me and told me she had passed a fairly large pile of fecal matter. He said it was very dry and not the whole impaction, in the least, but it was good news! I never gave Trinity and am or pm, so she DID listen to me!!!!

On Monday morning the news was even better. She had passed a few more piles and her White Blood Cell count had gone up to 1.4. It was still VERY low, but the news was encouraging. On Monday night we went down and she had passed 4 more piles throughout the day, and they had started feeding her small amounts of hay several times a day. THANK GOODNESS! My pony is here to stay! She is such a fighter!

The biggest concern now was the White Blood Cell count. Shane and I are leaving town Thursday morning (for Golden, only about 40 minutes from the hospital) and then Sunday we are leaving town for Mexico. My concern is bringing her home too early and her catching something. Then I would be out of town and then what? We spoke to the vet and they have a small rehabish type barn for a fairly reasonable price. Once she is off fluids and had a high enough WBC count to be safe, they are going to move her there. This way we can enjoy Mexico and we don't have to worry about her being exposed and without vet care. 

This morning, we got a call that the WBC count was up to 3.4! We are getting better. The vet said this is a really goo pace to be increasing. Too fast and that would indicate a secondary issue. We are doing good though! THANK EVERY HIGHER POWER POSSIBLE!

The tough conversation will remain...what if this happens again. As much as I hate to discuss it, she is apparently predisposed to colic. She has coliced 3 times in 20 months. 4 times in 5 years... We can not afford to do this again. So, we are going to do a lot of preventative supplements and care. Nevertheless, we are going to have to have the discussion... and I hate it...


  1. I am SO GLAD that Trinity is doing well!

    And enjoy your upcoming nuptials!

  2. My heart was in my throat the entire time reading this. I'm SO HAPPY that she's doing better and hope that it's the final colic episode for you guys!

  3. Reading the post stressed me out- can only imagine how it was for your guys! Sending thoughts to Trinity and tell her no more colic episodes allowed!
    Well wishes for your special day - enjoy it.