Sad news my friends. Sigh. After picking Pepper up from the vet's yesterday, (He is doing VERY well!), I arrived home to find Opal in distress. She was breathing heavily and her legs were shaking uncontrollably. Blair had called the vet and he was on his way. That morning I had administered 2 cc's of Banamine to make her a little more comfortable and had also given her the antibiotics prescribed. I did not want to give her anything else until the vet arrived in order not to compromise whatever treatment he deemed necessary to help her.
The vet gave her a shot to ease pain. Due to her very high white count (1,700 as of the day before), her obvious distress, unable to get up even with assistance, gums were white with dark pink around the front teeth only, tongue was very white, heavy breathing, etc., the vet did a belly tap. He obtained a dark yellowish-red fluid that had a decaying odor to it. It was thought that perhaps a bowel had ruptured, peritonitis or the bladder had ruptured. Because of her age and obvious distress, the decision was made to assist Opal across the Rainbow Bridge where she would suffer no more pain.
The vet did a field necropsy and found that she had advanced colitis. He also found a grouping of walnut sized growths that looked like large grapes. The growths had twisted around several times, thus hindering blood flow to her bowl. He thought they were tumors and opened one up. Sigh. They were not tumors, but very large abcesses. Cause unknown. The vet also indicated that she had been well taken care of until she became sick. Apparently, when she became sick is when she was sent to an auction. The vet said her problem had been going on for awhile and had escalated within the last week. IF she had been given antibiotics at the onset, she would have stood a better chance of survival.
Although Opal was only with us a short time, she was deeply loved and will be missed. We are grateful that we were able to help her cross the Rainbow Bridge rather than die in agony within a few days.
Opal, run free!