"If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." — E.B. White

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sick pony, sad boy, prayers needed

Today's a big day.
We are praying hard for our perfect pony Merit.
We're into the 3rd week of sadness.

Poor Jack is trying hard to be brave but it's wearing thin.
He adores his pony. And it's mutual.
Merit's been sick since we returned home from our trip.
I'd planned on updating trip pics, but constant care has taken over my thoughts (and time).
Merit was hugely swollen along her jaw line.
Her right side only.

Five days in the vet was finally able to find a soft spot to lance and drain.
Apparently it's an extremely delicate area with numerous nerves and vessels so it's only safe to approach areas that are clearly fluid/pus filled.
Boy was it.

We thought the worst was behind us.
Nope. It got much uglier.

Then we were worried that it might somehow be a highly contagious sickness called "strangles." Even tho it didn't present like strangles, our farm would need to be quarantined if it was. 
Maybe MORE of this?!
No new business. No shows or events or outings.
Starting at my busiest time of year.
After a miserable winter.

After that, she coliced on a zero degree night.
She probably had bad stomach ulcers from the intense pain and meds.
The vet and I were out late putting warm water and oil in her via nasal tube.
While she dripped copious amounts of pus.
And I tried to decontaminate with bleach water.
Now I had a very, very sick pony AND a pus n blood n bleach skating rink in my barn aisle. 

We kept medicating, examining, tubing with water n oil and praying.
And praying.

More pus eruptions and drainage by her ears.
Sad pony and little boy.

We thought she was making progress and might eat or drink on her own and bounce back.

Then, two weeks in, there was new swelling on her "good side" but much lower.
Then matching swelling on original side neck muscle...
And heat in her hooves.
Which could possibly indicate her body was unable to process the infection and she might "crash" badly.
I had a day full of lessons and (FINALLY) warm temps.
But I couldn't bear another minute of worry.
Our wonderful vet, Dr. Sarah Link, agreed it was time to ship Merit to the big vet hospital. 
She's now at Marion  dupont Scott Equine Medical Hospital in VA.

Today she undergoes a major surgery to open her jaw and neck 
and try to remove all infection.
It's risky and expensive.
We are grief stricken but putting our faith in God and the surgeon.
Any additional prayers are welcome!


Alison said...

Oh, Leslie, how stressful! I will be thinking of you and Jack and poor little Merit. I hope this surgery is the answer to her troubles.

Lori O'Brien Photography said...

Prayers for all of you and dear sweet Merit!
I'm so sorry for all your grief.

Lisa Tucker said...

Oh no...I hate to hear this! Just sent prayers up....hugs to you all.

Lori Skoog said...

Sorry for all that sweet Merit is going through...and all of you too. Hopefully they can help her. In a way, it does present like strangles. We were quarantined once. I let a group use our indoor and the next thing I knew I had horses showing symptoms. It did not test out as strangles (no draining or pus) but was a strep infection. I went nowhere and no horses came here for many weeks. Our horses ended up being fine, but it was not a happy time. I'm glad you took her to the Equine Hospital, and hope you hear good news soon. A big hug to you and your family from Skoog Farm. Please keep us posted.

4RRanch said...

Oh what a beautiful pony. I know you are heartsick. Prayers for the Vets at the EMC. I did a rotation there in vet school and it is a wonderful facility.

brooke said...

I read this at work the other day but can't post comments there. I have been thinking of you guys often. Please post an update when you have a minute.

Vintage Country Girl said...

I'm SO SORRY. It's crazy how much we do for our animals, like they were our own children...because THEY ARE. Prayers for your sweet pony and all of you!

Janette's Sage/Simply Your Decor said...

So sorry...praying and hoping you can post an update soon. Praying!