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Xena was a beautiful six-year-old roan Quarter Horse mare who had not yet been trained for riding. She had become injured in a trailer, and had a significant puncture wound in her neck and two lacerations on her face, one of which was over the eye. She had been given pain medication, and arrived at Wild Apple Ranch very soon after the injury at 11 p.m.
The veterinarian’s instructions were that wounds be cleaned and treated with antibacterial ointment and to ice the puncture wound area to prevent edema. Antibiotics were given twice a day and pain medication was given from the next day. Upon examination, it was seen that she had limited neck mobility and the wound vicinity and chest was quite warm to the touch, and so coldpacks were applied every two hours throughout the night. Fluids which had begun to weep from the swollen wound area were reduced, as was the swelling, by morning. Icing continued throughout the following day and evening, and the healthy neck area was protected from irritation with petroleum jelly.Icing was continued, while keeping the wound open to allow draining, and ointment application was continued for several days while performing wound care. A hoof abscess was also discovered, presumably having happened at the time of the accident, and was successfully treated by a farrier.
Considering her limited experience with human handling, we appreciated Xena’s willingness to withstand the continuous treatment in the sensitive face and delicate eye area. Xena went home with very little scarring after nearly a month, and was ready to embark on the road to training.
To see all the photos of Xena, click here.
Shyanne was a strong yet willing 15-year-old bay Quarter Horse mare sent to us for observation by Jensen’s Animal Hospital, suffering from ataxia, loss of coordination, and a reluctance to move without stimulation. Also, she had tested suspect for EPM.
Along with general monitoring and documenting, our task was to give intramuscular injections of B-Complex and administer oral medications. In the following days, our examinations revealed normal vital signs, but warmness to the touch, lameness in front feet, and labored breathing. Upon reporting updates to the veterinarian, additional medications were prescribed and symptoms brought under control. Consistent monitoring at Wild Apple Ranch has recently led to the diagnosis of Cushing’s Disease, which she is now being treated for and is again stable. Due to potential Cushing’s Disease–related insulin-resistance, dietary precautions are being taken.
In consideration for removing them from possible exposure to EPM and respiratory irritants, Shyanne’s pasture mates—mother and two brothers—have also been taken under observation at Wild Apple Ranch. We are pleased to see that attention to environmental conditions and a thorough health regimen has markedly improved their well-being: 30-year-old mother Annie, 17-year-old Tookers, and 13-year-old brother Cherokee.
Philly was a dignified and independent 32-year-old retired Quarter Horse mare who was being treated for all symptoms of Cushing’s Disease.
Philly underlined the fact that it is crucial for equine caregivers to notice even very minor changes in elderly horses, as they are less able to rally quickly. This constant observation, attention to her dietary needs and monitoring of her medications were central to Philly’s care, as well as veterinarian-administered acupuncture.
At the conclusion of her temporary retiree resident stay, she returned home with her owner, both of them happy to be reunited in their familiar surroundings.
Gunther was an approximately 10-year-old grade gelding, full of patience and tolerance, who had been used for children’s lessons. He had a severe laceration on the left cheek, extending to the throatlatch. The wound had been previously sutured, but several sutures had broken loose, and he presented with a gaping hole that had been contaminated with dirt. The horse was brought to us for cleaning and wound care.Read more...
J.C. King Bask was a spry 31-year-old Arabian chestnut gelding. He arrived at Wild Apple Ranch for retirement with his perfectly-groomed coat and flowing mane and tail. A sociable and beloved family member, J.C. touched the hearts of everyone who met him. He was "King of the Barn" and his curiosity and animated personality entertained all.
Because J.C. had endured colic surgery in his younger days and also due to his age, he required a special nutritional program. This program included a formulated supplement and feed plan. His dental condition also required that we soak his feed source and provide him with soft palatable hay that was easy to chew. We took pride in designing this feed program, insuring that we provided him with a digestible feed to overcome his nutritional issues.
J.C. was with us for two years and passed away of natural causes in March of 2012. We miss him dearly and always think of him with a smile.
Giovanni was an impressive and engaging 22-year-old Hanoverian bay gelding who came to Wild Apple Ranch as a retired dressage champion and also a training partner for children with special needs.
He was suffering from joint pain and lameness and distress upon any conventional human usage. He was put on joint supplements to help with pain management and allowed to rest in a peaceful environment. His playfulness at pasture seemed to show his enjoyment for the time he was with us.
Gio eventually moved on with his owner, but continues to be a part of the barn in the delightful memories he left with us.
Cowgirl, a 12-year-old registered American Quarter Horse pregnant mare, arrived early in November to acclimate to her new environment before her May due date. She was a confident mare and seemed casually amused by the extra attention that we gave her as a proud mother-to-be.
As part of our mare care program, we evaluated and adjusted her nutritional requirements and began monitoring and charting her physiological changes. When she gave birth in April to a strong healthy filly, we observed and documented events such as the passing of meconium, the first nursing, the passed placenta with placenta weight and examination findings. Both beautiful mare and lively foal were later examined by a veterinarian and returned home without incident.
While advocating allowing a mare to handle her own pregnancy and proceeding as naturally as possible, we monitor the pregnancy and birth closely, and are ready to react with an appropriate response if needed.
Cash was a gorgeous 12-year-old award-winning Quarter Horse show horse with a severe coffin joint infection in the left front leg. The cause of the infection could not be established, and he had been taken to Michigan State University Animal Hospital for treatment. The prognosis was grim: a 35% chance of returning to normal activity, and only a 50% chance of survival. Cash had already undergone three surgeries and had endured extreme pain. As he came to Wild Apple Ranch, we could see that he was surrounded by a family who desperately wanted him to heal. and he had a heart big enough to do anything we asked of him. Read more...
April was a spunky 33-year old Standardbred mare who came to Wild Apple Ranch with a left eye infection. Her veterinarian specified flushing of the eye with an antibiotic several times a day and a flushing catheter was inserted through the nostril. After several days of 4 daily flushings and no response, a different antibiotic was prescribed. The nasal tube was removed and replaced with the patience and time required for April to become comfortable enough to allow direct eye flushing by hand. The treatments continued for another seven days. As her eye healed, a nutritional evaluation was made, her feed was adjusted, and April gained some needed weight. Her lively manner continued to belie her age, and she went home ready to get back to the trail.
Splash was a beautiful 7-year old gelding Paint with a two-week old puncture wound in the left front leg that would not heal. With swelling and heat in the leg, the veterinarian instructed us to wash the wound once a day and also treat with ointment, bandage, and give an oral antibiotic twice a day. As the wound did not respond, and a small bump was noticed above the wound area, we notified the veterinarian who gave new instructions. We were to flush twice daily, apply warm compresses 3 times daily, administer penicillin twice daily and Gentocin once daily for five days. While flushing, we noticed a pocket that appeared, and notified the veterinarian who took x-rays and placed a drain tube to allow thorough flushing. We flushed twice daily, applied warm compresses 3 times daily, and administered oral antibiotics for 12 additional days. The wound showed improvement, and after six more days, we removed the sutures and the drain tube. Splash happily went home to his stablemates in perfect condition.
Virginian Snow was a very striking 15-year old gelding Thoroughbred with lameness in all four feet and chronic hoof problems. He also had cellulitis in the right rear leg and white line infection. His veterinarian prescribed penicillin to be given twice daily, and phenylbutazone twice daily. His farrier advised treatment with Clean Trax, and we soaked all four feet in a warm bath for 45 minutes each, then applied plastic vapor bags for 45 minutes each. This was followed by the scraping and cleaning away of the blackened and rotted hoof wall, and then a thorough application of iodine on all four feet to help with the infection and harden the hoof tissue. The "bute" was decreased, and hoof cleaning 3 times daily continued until he was comfortably healed. Virginian Snow's impressive frame somehow pleasingly contrasted with his gentle manners, making him a very endearing patient.