Dolly's previous owner had taken this mare in to care for her as she was starved. Neighbors called Animal Control when they noticed the skinny horse in the owner's yard. AC went out in December and then again in January and instructed the owner to have a vet check done with blood panel by a certain date. Dolly's owner called TIER as they did not have the funds for veterinary services and indicated they were willing to surrender Dolly to TIER. We spoke with Animal Control and it was agreed that Dolly would come to TIER.
Dolly is appx. 14.2 hands and weighs about 700 lbs. She has an old injury to her left front flexor tendon which appears to be a rupture and ringbone. She does not exhibit any lameness. Her teeth need major work, but due to her current condition, dental work will be done in intervals.
Thank you ALL for helping us assist Dolly across the Rainbow Bridge. I had hoped she would leave us differently, but we cannot always have our hopes realized exactly as we wish. She crossed quickly with diginity and grace. I cannot say I handled it as well as she did. My computer won't recognize my floppy drive for some reason, so it will be a bit before I am able to post her last pictures.
Vet was delayed due to an emergency surgery so he didn't get out here until later in the day. Because of the hour, her body will be picked up this morning. In fact, they are on the way as I type
Nope, it apparently wasn't just a hip out. Vet thinks maybe she had a tumor for a long time that eventually attached to her spine. We didn't see any problems until recently. He thinks the rolling and then subsequent problems with her gait were basically a coincidence that caught my attention. I thought she was rubbing herself to try to adjust herself, when in fact, she was rubbing because of internal irritation. He doesn't believe she was in pain.
Yesterday morning and afternoon she was galunking around, bucking and being really feisty. One of those things that makes you think you made the wrong decision and she was going to be okay. Hope is what it gives me and then reality sets in.
Dolly played hard to catch and then settled down. Our vet adminstered a tranquilizer and that silly, "done with humans!" mare began to snooze. He administered the final injection and she passed very quickly. Grace, Dignity & Respect were all apparent.
I let her buddy Honey (Reg AQHA Name: Golden Lashes) who is 34 yrs. old out to say her goodbyes. Annabelle the Donkey also went out to say goodbye. I left Honey out over night so she could be with Dolly's remains if that was her choice.
I know that after they remove her remains is when I will have a hard time. Looking at her empty stall and remembering her huge expressive eyes, her Saucy little swish of the tail, her "Leave me alone I've had enough from you Humans .....unless you have a Graham Cracker of course" attitude.
Dolly, Honey & Annabelle shared a whole box of Cinnamon flavored Graham crackers yesterday. The other horses got plain Graham Crackers.
So, all in all it was a terribly sad day, but I know we did the right thing for the right reasons.
Again, THANK YOU!
Funds received over & above the cost of euthanasia & removal will be placed in the Emergency Fund.
I should have gone into more detail in my original post, but I was a bit shocky about finally making the decision.
Dolly has a ruptured flexor tendon in her left fore. She came to us that way. This, coupled with her new problem of moving after she had rolled led me to believe that her hips were out.
Prior to that, she had been rubbing her tail quite a bit. I cleaned her rear end & teats and moisturized. She continued to rub. Although she had been wormed recently, I wormed her with Panacur. She continued to rub and began causing rawness/swelling around her vaginal area. Vet was called, she was checked....and nothing. She continued to rub despite continued use of aloe type lotion. One day I walked out and saw a protrusion from her vagina. Round, soft, not an open sore. Vet came out and thought perhaps it was caused from her continual rubbing/aggravation of the vagina and we tried using preparation H, Derma Gel, and Biozide Ointment at different times. We had begun to think she was rubbing due to her hip/tail being out and scheduled the chiropractor to come out. In the meantime, another protrusion appeared and she had rubbed so hard that she was bleeding. The protrusions weren't bleeding...she was bleeding from her vagina.
She had found a rough spot in her corral where she vigorously rubbed when she was not being observed. I moved her to another pen without any rough spots, yet she continued her antics. It wasn't until about 2-3 days ago that the other protrusion appeared (I can't remember what they are called).
When the chiropractor came out he felt that there was something going on inside (perhaps tumor growth) that had had an explosion of growth...most likely aggravated by her rubbing. Chiropractic would not help as she would continue to rub because of the internal discomfort. She is in her late 20's I would think (if not older). Surgery really isn't an option due to her age & her difficulty with her right fore foot.
I spoke to our vet who will be coming out tomorrow. As he is aware of her situation/health status, he will have the final say. But just from talking to him he indicated that he is leaning toward agreeing with the Chiropractor as to quality of life. If he concurs after examining her in the morning, we will allow her the grace, dignity and respect she deserves and help her to cross the Rainbow Bridge.
My head is still spinning with how quickly this escalated into something like this.
The chiropractor was out this morning to see if he could help Dolly with her hip problem.  She had rolled, had difficulty getting up and was then moving awkwardly.  Sadly, he doesn't feel that he can help her and recommended euthanasia.  I've been back and forth on this for sometime as she was experiencing other complications beside her hips being out.  I have a call in to the vet to see if he can come out tomorrow afternoon.  Breaks my heart, but doing the right thing for the right reasons is not always easy.  We owe it to her to allow her to leave with dignity, grace & respect.  Her quality of life will only deteriorate and it would not be fair to her to ask her to keep on going.
The chiropractor noted that she was spirited & spunky, but that does not deter from the fact that her problems will only get worse.  She has given so much to TIER, groups of children, volunTIERS, that it is only right that we extend to her the final gift.
Due to the downward trend in donations because of the economy, our emergency fund is quite thin.  We would appreciate any donations towards vet fees and (dare I say it) fees to remove her body once she has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  The total cost will be 300.00.
We are hoping to generate enough funds to get Dolly an appointment with a chiropractor.  She was rolling in the arena and seemed to have a bit of difficulty getting up.  She did get up in a few minutes, but seems to have some stiffness in her hip.  Since she had a ruptured flexor tendon when she came to us via Animal Control, her gait has always been compromised.  I would imagine that her way of walking isn't helping the stiffness in her hip.
She is eating & drinking well and we have added Bute to her breakfast of soaked pellets/senior feed, MSM & Redmond Salt.
In March, Dolly started shedding that unhealthy coat she had been wearing. We became a bit concerned as she was BALD in all the spots where her coat was leaving her fuzzy body!!
By the time April 2004 rolled around, Dolly seemed to be filling those bald spots with a dark colored hair! Both our vet and farrier agreed that she was going to be "one of those chocolate palamino type horses".
In May 2004, the pictures show a completely different colored horse than the one who arrived here, Not only had she put on weight, been wormed, a pedicure and a visit from the dentist, but thanks to Bobbi F., Dolly's Sponsor Mom, she has also had a recent visit from the chiropractor. Even though she seems to want to hang onto those fuzzy leggings of hers, her coat is becoming an even darker/richer color with each passing day.
Talk about the Ugly Ducklying turning into a Swan!! WOW
New pictures of Dolly will be up soon. Just waiting for the last of the unhealthy reddish coat she was wearing to shed out. I have to say I am totally surprised at her coloring. Not at all what I would have expected, but then again, I ain't no expert.
Dolly's sponsor, Bobbi, came to visit and help us bathe her. Dolly wasn't real pleased with us splashing water everywhere and getting ourselves soaked in the process. She went along with all the hoopla with a disgusted look on her face. But, when it came time for brushing, she was in seventh heaven. Dolly does love to be brushed and brushed and brushed! Bobbie managed to get most of loose coat off her but she still has the fuzzy reddish stuff on her legs and neck as it didn't seem ready to fall off and reveal the beautiful coloring underneath.
Just in case you might be wondering what color she is turning out to be, here is a hint: Can you say Chocolate???
Dolly has been with us for a month now. Our farrier made a special visit to see if we might be able to help Dolly be a bit more comfortable on her injured leg. As the injury to her flexor tendon is quite old, our intention is to lend support so that there is not so much strain on that leg. An eggbar shoe w/pad was placed on the hoof with the injured leg so that weight might be more evenly distributed. A regular shoe was placed on her other hoof so that she would stand even and wear would be equal. The farrier and I discussed putting a wedge on the foot with the injured leg to lift and straighten the flexor tendon. Since the injury is old, it is thought that this might cause her more discomfort than is necessary right now. Over time, the application of a wedge might be used, but for now we are just lending support to the leg.
Dolly is no finicky eater that's for sure! She cleans up all her hay and licks her bowl with the wetted down pellets clean! She has put on weight in this past month and is no longer as ribby as she was. Her hips and shoulders are still pominent, but she is filling out. Poor Dolly's starved condition was not a short term one. She had been without proper feed/care for quite awhile according to our vet. So, it will most likely take quite awhile to gain the appropriate weight back. Slow weight gain is what we are looking for as we also have to take into consideration her injured leg and how much weight will be comfortable for her.
When turned out, Dolly munches grass and does clean up around Prince's pen. She loves to roll in the roundpen and (when it is sunny) doze by the back fence. She will let you rub and brush on her, but is still leery of anyone moving toward her head and, if you walk up to her while she is out and about, she will quickly trot back to her pen. She hasn't formed any attachments to any of the other horses, but she really hasn't had much of chance to spend time with the others yet as we were waiting for her to gain some weight/strength before putting her in a group situation. The recent rains have limited turnout in the arena area due to the mud.
Dolly has the most beautiful, soulful eyes. She is still mistrustful of contact, but she does daintly take apple treats if you promise not to move too quickly. We are very greatful to have her with us and wish to thank Bobbi F. for her donation towards Dolly's upcoming dental care. Thank you Bobbi!
Farrier - Michael LaGrone flew in from Oklahoma (Barefoot Trimmer) to work on one of our Special Needs horses and we asked him to take a look at Dolly to recommend treatment. Michael's first words were "Poor Girl. Let's make her more comfortable" and he went to work even though it was getting dark and Michael had another client to see before he headed to Northern California. Dolly's feet were quite long as she had not had farrier care for a long time. Michael talked to Dolly like she was an old friend. When she exhibited signs of being uncomfortable, he would let her rest while he stroked her and talked to her. I cannot say enough about Michael, his skills, knowledge and "bed side manner". Plus, Michael felt so bad about Dolly's plight that he donated his farrier work! If anyone is interested in barefoot trimming, Michael flys into Southern California every 4-5 weeks. Once he has visited his Southern California clients, he drives to Northern California to help horses. Michael's contact number is: 405-880-4577.
Dolly needs a lot of food, vaccinations, wormer and time to recover from her starvation. Extensive dental work (150) will be needed, but it will be done a little at a time so it is less stressful for her. As she gets her energy and health back we will be evaluating her to see what kind of forever home will be best for her.
If you would like to donate to Dolly's Dental Fund, be sure to specify that on your donation. Dolly is also available for sponsorship.
Vet exam - Temperature, Pulse & Respiration Normal. Heart murmur. Teeth need more work at intervals.
Sweet little old lady? HAAAAAAAAAAA!! A real rascal! Doesn't want ya to catch her fer nuthin. But, once ya do.....after weaving & bobbing to get her where you can grab her.......she's fine. Poor thing was HUNGRY! She was trying to eat the dead grass as I led her through the back yard to a corral. Ate everything the first night (2 cans of pellets soaked and a large flake of alfalfa). I don't think she came up for air until it was ALLLLLLLLLLL gone. Dived in the next morning at breakfast and finally got full around 10:00 a.m. She cleans up her chow quite nicely and is now taking her time to eat/rest a bit and then eat again. She is bright eyed and welcomes me loudly at morning feeding time. We let her out to wander at will. She is not very interested in the other horses right now, most probably due to lack of energy. Once she begins to put on weight she may be more interested in others. She would prefer that humans leave her alone unless they are the bearers of food! HA!