Friday, November 5, 2010

BowTie and Gem ~ Deanna

Boston Terriers are susceptible to various forms of canine eye disease due to the prominence of their eyes. Over the last decade, we have experienced many and have become adept at identifying most.

Wednesday at 12:30, I took BowTie to Animal Eye Center, aware that she had developed an ulcer in her left eye. Dr. Thomasay said the ulcer was deep, 80% through the cornea, and she was in danger of rupturing her eye. Bow was a surgery candidate for a skin graft to repair the hole. We were given a protocol of autogenous serum and ofloxacin drops, to be given hourly ten minutes apart, with a recheck in the morning. BoBo was to be ready for surgery, just in case. There is already scarring from a previous ulcer in her right eye, which is somewhat opaque and inhibits vision.

Diligence paid off! Epithelial tissue has covered the entire ulcer, adding strength. Her eye is red as blood is imperative in the healing process. The protocol is reduced to six times daily with a revisit in a week. What a relief to avoid surgery, which would have been necessary one way or the other ~ to repair the eye or remove it. Even with a generous discount, the surgery would have been expensive.

Ulcers are quite painful, so she is given two pain meds.

We are so thrilled that such healing is taking place. It should only be a few more days.

Drowsy from the Pain Meds

On October 30, a sweet four year old Appaloosa mare arrived as per an agreement made back in April with Pregnant Mare Rescue in Aptos. We couldn't bring her home until her foal was weaned. Here is what Founder Lynn Hummer shared about Gem:

Originally pulled off a feedlot waiting to go to slaughter in Yakima Washington at approximate age of two, perfectly sound. Brought to California and sold. This person caused injury to her leg and then bred her. Broke his own leg and didn't want to deal with her. Brought her to me in September 2009. She was vet checked immediately. Pregnancy was confirmed and x-rays were taken of her leg. Our vet consulted with Steinbeck Equine Hospital. A volunteer dug around a bit & discovered she had been cowboyed up harshly in a deep sanded round pen. Seems no vet was called to examine.

Steinbeck recommended a brace, which didn't work, or surgery to fuse the bone. She appears to move without pain when her hooves are trimmed and kept in good condition. My farrier came out and put an extended shoe on her hoof and we began the task of watching her weight. She really only has three good legs. She is blessed with a long back and I think that helped her carry her foal successfully. She foaled on April 4, 2010 (Easter morning) without incident. After the birth, I had an equine chiropractor come out and do an adjustment, then an equine acupressure specialist, and I have had Reiki healers out four times.


Knowing her background, I was still shaken when I met Gem. Not only was she nervous about being hauled to a new place, watching her move made me cringe. All I could think about was the mindset of the man who bred this horse.



The following morning, Lydia came out and gave Gem some Reiki. Here is a video clip that clearly shows Gem relaxing and enjoying the attention. We watched her move all around the pasture. After all, she's been dealing with this gait (video clip) for at least 15 months ~ 11 months pregnant and four nursing her foal, Este.

I have not heard back yet from Lynn as to what type of brace they tried, but we have one in mind. In 2002, I learned about a company in Manteca that designs custom orthopedic leg braces for dogs and horses. They purchase supplies from Interstate Plastics where I worked for two years. I'm glad I remembered the company name because their site is not active. I called Monday night around 9pm expecting to leave a message. To my surprise, Tim Niswonger answered the phone and we had a lengthy conversation.

The dog brace website is up, but some unsavory experiences coupled with sporadic interest caused Tim to close the equine site.

Tim's been manufacturing orthodics for people for 30 years and began applying his knowledge to dogs and horses, working with Serenity Equine Hospital, Oregon State University, Pioneer Equine Hospital(Oakdale California), Littleton Large Animal Hospital, and Kesmarc of Kentucky. Every brace is 100% custom. Tim e-mailed a photo of a leg that looked just like Gem's, belonging to a horse that they experienced great success with. We're hoping to have a cast made by our vet sometime next week.

{Aside: Tim manufactured a leg brace for Gene Ovnicek who is recognized as a pioneer in the study of wild horse hoof form and function.}

Gem also needs to see a dentist. Biomechanically, the feet and the teeth are closely related. The muscles in Gem's forehead are highly developed, there is swelling in her left jaw.

This little mare has been through a lot and we look forward to giving her some relief. We expect the combined costs to eclipse $1,000 ~ any donation you might like to make for Gem will be greatly appreciated.

6 comments:

Chantel Elder said...

I love Bowtie! I am a Boston terrier Mom of two and that breed melts my heart!

Misti said...

I'm a volunteer out with Pregnant Mare Rescue and I want to thank you for taking in Gem. She is a wonderful, good natured mare and was a great mom to Este. I'm often up your way and hope it will be ok to stop by and say hello to Miss Gem. Thank you, again, for the work you do!

Anonymous said...

Isnt this the same mare that PMR got a newspaper to do a story about to raise money to "fix" her leg. If I remember correctly they got about $1200 in donations for Gem. Wonder what that money was used for, since her leg looks the same. The vet recommended fusion surgery or a cast...the cast didnt work but they never did the surgery and now you get the mare in this condition and needing a dental??

Anonymous said...

Yea, I thought I recognized this horse as soon as I saw the photo of the leg. I sent a small donation to that pregnant mare place for her quite awhile ago after they made a plea for donations. So what did they do to help this horse other than put a special shoe on her??
Well Im glad you have her now, maybe she will get better care.

Lynn said...

I believe her excellent care continues...At PMR both our Vet, and Steinbeck Equine Hospital recommended the shoe and constant weight management over the failed brace. The surgery would have created a peg leg (fused at the bone) and the medical professionals recommended against it. Gem received the utmost in care during her entire stay, and numerous consultations were held discussing what her best option would be. Because her leg looks the same doesn't mean it has been ignored. If you have questions regarding any of our horses or their care at PMR I would ask that you direct your questions or commentary directly to us so that we may respond. Negative statements posted anonymously only create wrong impressions and hurt feelings. We work really hard to do right by our rescues. Thanks for reading.
Lynn Hummer~Founder/President Pregnant Mare Rescue, Inc.

Anonymous said...

GEM....WHAT A LOVE....PMR...AND LYNN WERE VERY WONDERFUL TO GEM AND HER COLT ESTE......I ADMIRE ALL THAT PMR DOES FOR THE HORSES NO-ONE WANTS....HORSES HURT CONFUSED AND SCARED ..NOONE WILLING TO TAKE A CHANCE ON THEM....LYNN DID THAT FOR THIS MARE...SHE WAS LOVED AND WELL TAKEN CRAE OF....ALSO I WANT TO THANK CHANCE FOR BLISS...WE CAN REST KNOWING SHE IS WITH YOU......YOU HAVE A WONDERFUL HOME FOR ALL OF YOUR ANIMALS....BLESSINGS YOUR WAY....THNK YOU CATH