July 25, 2011:
The NC Triad Region is sheltering a mare and foal from a Virginia County case. Both are emaciated and required a shorter hauling distance to a shelter that could give medical and nutritional needs. The mare has a nasal discharge and is running a fever.
Veterinary examination revealed that the mare is about 20 years old. Needs dental work but not an immediate concern in her current condition (it will be done when she's stronger). She is producing a small amount of milk. The filly has never been handled, so her age could not be determined but it is estimated by visual that she is no more than 2 months old and has a small hernia. The mare is on a re-feeding program to start gaining strength and, hopefully, more milk. The filly is being started on extruded grower concentrate with milk powder to supplement her until the mare's milk supply increases.
July 27, 2011:
Sadly, the mare went down this morning and after many valiant attempts to rise, and with assistance from a professional large animal rescue team, NC SMART, she was humanely euthanized to end her suffering. The surviving foal, now named "Stori" was transported to the USERL NC - Triangle Region rehab farm for critical needs.
NC Specialized Mobile Animal Rescue Team members ready the mare for one of many attempted lifts to get her up.
The orphan filly, now named "Stori", has settled in at the rehab farm in the NC - Triangle Region and is doing well thus far in this difficult transition for her.
Stori is thus far transitioning well to bucket feedings and due to her lack of milk prior (mare did not have very much), she already eats hay and is accepting very small amounts of a extruded feed mixed with milk replacer. However, the mare had a nasal discharge and fever, and foal is showing signs of respiratory illness as well. So for now, she is quarantined by herself until more is known about the infectious illness she has. A full veterinary workup is scheduled today to implement a rehab plan. More updates will be posted, so check back to see how she's progessing!
Support and sponsors are appreciated for this baby as she will require extensive care to return to health! You can make a tax deductible donation online via Paypal.
Or you can mail a check to:
9660 Falls of Neuse Road
Suite 138 Box 300
Raleigh, NC 27615
July 28, 2011:
Stori continues to do well, eating very good and now very friendly with her caretakers (she had not been handled by people prior to arriving to USERL). She is eating hay very well for a foal her age, as well as her baby mush (extruded foal feed with milk replacer). Since she had been dependent on forage prior to her arrival due to her mom's decreased milk supply, she had already adapted to solid food at an earlier age than most 2 month old foals. Stori's feeding regimen at this time is small, frequent feedings (10 times per day) of alfalfa/orchard hay and foal feed/milk replacer "mush".
Stori has several health issues that need to be addressed. Her mom had a purulent nasal discharge, and other horses on the property she came from were reported to have signs of a respiratory illness. She also has a umbilical hernia that is just large enough to be a concern and needs to be monitored carefully. Stori's legs are difficult for her to be as mobile as she should be at this age due to weak tendons from malnutrition. This will correct itself in time with good nutrition.
She had a full veterinary exam today. A complete rehab program will be decided upon with the results of the bloodwork and fecal tests. The hernia is large enough to be an issue if it doesn't close on its own, which is probable at this point since she's already 2 months old. It will be monitored daily, and if any issues occur she will need surgery. Otherwise, a surgery plan will be needed when she is much stronger (5-6 months old) to repair it if it doesn't resolve on it's own.
Stori enjoys some turnout time in a shady area.
A video about Stori and her mom, and their struggles.
August 1, 2011:
After a rough couple of days with the heat and transitioning to life without mom, Stori is now doing very well on her rehab program. Friday she was quiet, lethargic and not as interested in food. A misting fan was placed in front of her stall to cool her off. She loved it! She slept quite alot the first few days here. By Saturday, she was eating well and staying hydrated.
She has been buddied with two mares, the foster farm's personal mare, and a USERL pony, Lil' Gypsy. They alternate keeping Stori company which has helped her recover from the loss of her mom. She will follow either of them and now grazes peacefully alongside her nanny mares. She is being slowly introduced to grass, as it's quite lush here right now. Her hernia is being monitored
Bloodwork showed severe anemia and low protein plasma, typical in malnutrition, and her white cell count was normal (no sign of infection; thus her body is fighting the bug that may have infected her mom). "Red Cell" is being added to her formula to help boost her anemia recovery. Fecal results were negative, however, since she's only 2 months old the parasites may have not matured yet to egg laying age. So she will be started on a progressive deworming program, which will also help with some lice that have hatched out since she arrived. She is not heavily infested, but any further drain on her blood supply needs to be resolved. The deworming, along with daily topical pyrethrin spray will resolve that issue.
Her daily feeding care is 8-12 oz of formula every 2 hours. Although she is 2 months old, her body is the size of a newborn, so she is being fed as a newborn. A foal starter feed that is extruded (doesn't cause issues if she doesn't chew it well) is mixed with her formula to get her started on a concentrate for later. It also helps slow her down as she gulps down the formula otherwise! She is bucket feeding her formula, which is much easier on her caretakers than bottle feeding.
All the hard work to get her on a feed/formula program to get her the calories she requires has paid off. She is now much more energized for longer periods. Below is one of the turnouts today for Stori to graze and exercise today. Stori is now acting more and more like a typical 2 month old foal!
Stori enjoying her turnout with Lil' Gypsy, a USERL pony that has just recently completed her own rehab.
August 3, 2011:
Stori is still doing very well, despite the return of high temperatures. Her body temperature is monitored to make sure she doesn't overheat, and the misting fan is on her when she needs it. Stori will let you know when she wants the mist on by sticking her head towards it and lifting her lip!
She continues to eat very good and has good energy for short spells. She's much like a newborn rather than a 2 month old, both physically and mentally. Her hernia has stayed the same thus far, and her legs are getting stronger and straighter every day!
Above, Stori grazes with the rehab foster's dog. She is still making many new friends:)
August 8, 2011:
Stori continues to get stronger and is behaving more and more like a two month old foal shouild! She's eating great and her energy level increases daily. She continues to be carefully monitored for any changes, and is still on a two hour schedule for feedings.
Below are some photos from her turnout today with her nanny mom.
August 16, 2011:
Little Stori continues to do very well. She's gaining weight, running, playing and grazing. Her legs are getting nice and straight with no issues involving the joints from the hyperflexion she had upon arrival. Our only concern is the hernia, which bulges more and more as she gains weight. Our veterinarian wanted to wait as long as possible to correct it, having the surgery at 5-6 months unless complications began. A consult and followup with the vet will be coming up and this will be discussed.
Surgery for Stori to correct the hernia is estimated to be $400. If you would like to donate for this need, click her paypal button below, or checks can be mailed to:
FUNDS RAISED. THANK YOU!
Stori enjoys her turnout during the beautiful weather we're currently having. And she's so sweet, she shares her milk with friends!
September 18, 2011:
Update on Stori! It's been difficult for the foster to do photos the past few weeks due to storm damage from Irene, plus it's apparently not easy trying to take photos of an energetic foal on stall rest. Below are some pics from her daily walk on September 12th. Stori is healing very nicely from the hernia surgery and taking her stall rest in stride. She has one more week of hand walking/stall rest and then can be turned back out again.
Stori has been weaned down to less formula, and more feed concentrate, too. She still receives 4 meals a day (creep feeding was tried, but she always wants to finish everything put in front of her, so it's too risky for fear she'll colic/founder from overeating at the buffet).
Next update will be late this week as Stori is turned back out to pasture!
Stori grazing during a break from hand walking.
Whoops! That's not walking! She wants to run so badly.
Only one more week to go!
October 17, 2011: UPDATE!
Stori has had quite an up and down rollar coaster ride with her health this past month. The last week of her 30-day Stall Rest (hand walk only) following her hernia surgery, she began to cough. Still ate great, no temp - but seemed quieter. Began antibiotic treatment after vet consult just in case. Four days later, Stori colicked severely on Friday night, September 30th. She didn't respond to treatment, sedatives, etc. We feared the worst and lined up transport to NCSU Vet School if she didn't improve in a few hours. After hours of off and on walking, and a second round of sedatives for pain, Stori pulled through and was doing better the following morning. While the vet was there for the colic, blood was pulled to compare with prior bloodwork. Her fibrinogen was very high, strongly indicating Rhodococcus infection (the source of her cough).
Rhodococcus is a bacteria found anywhere, but on breeding farms such as the one she came from, concentration levels can be much higher and risks of infection for foals breathing it in from dirt/soil is much greater. Foals exposed to high concentrations of it in the first weeks of life often don't show any signs of illness, usually alittle cough, until abscesses from the bacteria have grown in the lungs (usually around 1-3 months of age). Mortality rate is high if untreated, and treatment must be agressive.
Antibiotics for Rhodococcus were ordered from a pharmacy in Florida immediately and Stori has now been on them for 10 days (full treatment is 2 weeks though she may need another round). She's lost some of the weight she had gained and is quieter than usual, but is improving. She had a bad night Thursday and all day Friday last week, but was doing much better over the weekend.
We are thankful this was caught early, as Stori doesn't have much reserve to fight infections like this (great job Neuse River Equine!).
USERL would like to thank 4H Adventures of Virginia for their fundraising effort for Stori! They raised $391.25 for Stori, and it couldn't have come at a better time with her colic and infection!! Stori's battle isn't over yet, so if you would like to donate for her future, you can make an online donation at the paypal link below,
or mail a check to:
USERL - Stori
9660 Falls of Neuse Road
Suite 138 Box 300
Raleigh, NC 27615
Stori walks quietly with her "bucket" buddy this past Friday (she lets him share her food, so the foster has to keep him away at feeding times).
December 23, 2011:
Stori is doing great! She has been off the antibiotics for one month with no reoccurance of illness. Stori's activity level has climbed back to what a normal foal should be, and her muscle tone has improved with her new activity level. She still has some catching up to do, and tendons to tighten up in her legs alittle more. But she's well on her way!
Thank you to all that supported Stori - she's running with the second chance given to her!
May 29, 2012:
Upon her after arrival to USERL and shortly after her mother died, Stori had many obstacles to face for a long, healthy life: being raised as an orphan, a large umbilical hernia that required surgical repair, a rhodococcus infection contracted from the farm she was born at and one hind leg that was shorter than the other due to stunted growth the first month of life - to name a few. Today, ten months later, Stori is sound and healthy and has quite a story to tell anyone that meets her! And she will soon be cleared for adoption! Below are some photos of her during turnout today - she's very energetic and playful!
Stori is a Tennessee Walking Horse and gaits very easily (most of the time)!
She wasn't sure what to think of the big tractors across the road!
Inquisitive and energetic, Stori will need an experienced home with raising young horses.
Her favorite thing is a good roll (and many of them)!
A big Thank You to all that contributed to her care, and her success in recovery! From volunteers helping with her care at the rehab farm to monetary donations for her medical and nutritional care -
it takes a village to make a difference!