Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Little Horse that Could - an Update on Our Rescue

If you missed it, you can read about how Francie came to live with us over Thanksgiving weekend here

Francie has been with us almost two weeks now.  During that time, she's bravely endured a number of hassles.  On day 2 at our house, I noticed quite a few pinworms in her manure, and decided I couldn't wait to deworm her (I had hoped to wait a bit until she'd adjusted).  I dewormed her with a mild ivermectin.  The next morning, while waiting for the school bus with Pierce, I bent over and was horrified to see thousands and thousands of threadlike red worms in her manure.  As it turns out, these were small strongyles, which are particularly nasty because they can burrow into the intestines over the winter and make a horse very ill.  They are the most unwanted of all the equine parasites.  They can migrate to different organs in the body, and they can kill.  Indeed, they had affected Francie's urinary tract system, and her growth is stunted.  I took a sample in to the vet for analysis, and found out that she also had roundworms.  A triple whammy.  The vet recommended I deworm again right away, with Panacur.  When I did this, Francie started to get sweaty, roll on the ground, and bite at her sides.  Horses can have delicate digestive systems, particularly when they are infested with worms, and Francie was starting to colic.  I promptly got her up and spent a good chunk of time walking her in the arena.  She finally went to the bathroom, and felt much better afterwards. 

Francie had her feet done, and she tried her best to stand still for the farrier.  He was able to trim all four feet, but she didn't like the rasp.  He held off on that until a future trimming.  Thanks to the advice of a childhood friend, I fed her small amounts of Purina's equine senior, slightly increasing the amount every 3 days.  Plus plenty of hay.

On Friday, a week after she had come to us, the vet finally made it out to see her.  He'd had a busy day, full of emergencies, and was four hours late.  It was dark when he arrived, but I was thankful he made it out.  He said that Francie had the worst case of strongyles he had seen, and unfortunately, these worms can be very resistant to treatment.  He recommended a double dose of Panacur for five days, followed by a full dose of Zimectrin Gold.  He gave me a bottle of Banamine to have on hand in case she were to colic from such strong doses of dewormer.  While I'd hoped to move Francie into a pasture with a shelter before an ice storm passed through, he told me that because her worms were so severe it would be best to keep her in complete quarantine until she finished the complete deworming program.  Francie was able to get all of her vaccines, and a Coggins test.  The vet wasn't sure about the funny curl in the tops of her ears, but he promised to do some research on that and get back to me.  He feels she is around 2 years old, and is some type of gaited breed. 

We moved our horse trailer into the small paddock before the ice storm came in.  I filled it with shavings and fresh hay for Francie, and we are leaving it open so she can walk in at will.  It isn't the best shelter on earth, but it's better than nothing until Francie is parasite-free and can move into a larger pasture.  Francie's personality is already starting to shine.  It took a few days, but I saw her trot for the first time, so I know she's feeling better.  She whinnies now when I walk down the driveway to see her. 


I've had a few people contact me about wanting to help Francie or the other two horses left behind.  One kind soul donated the money for the parasite analysis, another is donating the cost of having the stud colt gelded (!!), and yet another has made some large purchases in my Etsy shop.  If you would like to help, let me know!  The two horses that are left behind need the same rigorous deworming program as Francie if they are to get healthy.  The Panacur type of dewormer normally runs $9 a tube, but as the stud colt is wild he will need grain dewormer, which is $11 a dose.  I have two people who have pledged to buy a bag - but it would be great it we could get the total of 12 pledges to do the complete process for both horses!  I can receive Paypal through my email address, and I am also putting all proceeds from my Etsy shop towards Francie's vet bills this month. 

Stay tuned for more updates on Francie and the horses left behind soon!  Thank you readers, for all your support and kind words. 

36 comments:

Terri Buster said...

I'm glad she is being treated- those worms can be deadly for sure. I hope you can save both horses!

Sunnybrook Farm said...

You have had a time of it. Glad the horse is doing better, it should be in good shape by spring. Today is supposed to be a cold one but if the animals can stand in the sun they don't seem to mind it.

Out on the prairie said...

more than what was expected, sad to let animals get so bad

Steve Surratt said...

Glad to see her perking up!

Jacquelineand.... said...

Oh Lisa, what a time you've had of it, but I'm so glad that Francie and the colt have good people like you and your family to help them!

With your permission I'd like to put this on my Pinterest board so, I hope, others can be moved to help out as well.

Barbara said...

I'm so glad that Francie is doing better!! You are an amazing person for taking her and taking such great care of her.

Laura Lee said...

How frightening to see worms in the manure!

Lynn said...

OH MY GOoDNESS-at least she is mending and thank goodness for you and the others. I would like to help. I do have PayPal but this is where my not being able to hook up to emails in a profile page and poses a problem, if you email me when visiting my place we can connect.. good luck on this endeavour! My heart goes out to these horses.

Maggid said...

Thank you for doing the work!!!

mail4rosey said...

Sounds like you got to her with good timing!! I'm glad to hear she trotted and that she whinnies when you're coming to visit. Sounds like she's starting to feel at home!

Sandra Morris said...

The horses are lucky to find rescue homes!
I hope the worming regiment works and she is feeling better soon!

Willow said...

What a great thing you are doing for this poor little mare . How did I miss the post about her rescue I will have to back track . I also now need to find your Etsy shop.

Rob-bear said...

You really are working hard with Francie to make her life better. Best wishes to both of you.

Blessing and Bear hugs!

TexWisGirl said...

poor little girl. so glad you've kept her quarantined until she can rid her system w/o risk to your other horse and pony.

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

You have done so much for these horses, Lisa. I want to help. Will email you.

Starry Dawn said...

Hi Lisa,
You have done so much for your new horse. I hope you can help the other 2 horses left behind.
Parasites can kill horses for sure. Some folks just don't care.
I am still Overseas. Of course, if I were closer, I would help you...
Thank you for posting updates about your new horse, and for all help you are providing to her!
You are blessed, and a great super friend for people and for animals as well!!
Happy Holidays, Lisa, family, loved ones, and animals too!
Big Hugs,
Starry.

Ginny said...

I got so involved in your update! And I am glad she is so young, she will survive these things better than an older horse. You really are a TRUE animal lover! We have been giving our cats the flea and tick stuff once a week forever now, at least six months. And it doesn't seem to bother them! But they will scratch a lot more right after each treatment. Amazing that she can tolerate all the worm medicine as well as she does.

Karen said...

wonderful thing you are doing, and I look forward to Francie's progress. I shall go check out your etsy site!

Our Neck of the Woods said...

Gosh, poor thing! Sounds like she was in pretty bad shape. I hope the medicine works and she feels better soon.

Sonya @ Under the Desert Sky said...

Oh, my goodness! Poor girl. She is very fortunate that she has a home where she can get (and stay) healthy.

Ann said...

I donated via paypal.
I wish I could do more - you are an amazing person to have done this for this animal - I hope helps a little.
Thanks for being such an amazing person!

Michaele said...

I did miss that post. Thanks for the update and the story. This says everything about your character Lisa. Most people would have looked the other way. You took this on because there was no way you couldn't. I am going to do what I can to help. Thanks for letting us be a part.

Harry Flashman said...

What happened with Francis is what happened with Seamus. Once Elizabeth got the horse he needed lots of special help. She has to keep him at a stable since she lives in a little house in the city. I told her she could bring him here and I would keep him for her. It takes a special person to accept responsibility for something as big as a horse. My ferrets are rescues but they are much easier to care for.

BIKBIK AND RORO said...

How awesome! You are wonderful to be doing so much for her. Trust you are enjoying a lovely Christmas season :)

Tiggeriffic said...

WOW that was quite a story.. Poor Francine..she is totally blessed by having you...Keep us posted on how she is doing.
Have a blessed day~! ta ta for now from Iowa:)
Also: Thanks so much for your support in leaving a comment on my blog. It always helps me to do better with my writing...
You are blessing in many ways..thanks:)

alissa apel said...

Those poor horses. I'm glad they have you to help them out. I really don't understand why people have pets or children when they can't afford, or won't take care of them. So sad!

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Thank you for your update,, I wish we had moneys to help.
love
tweedles

Busy Bee Suz said...

Oh my goodness. That poor girl. And the others….just heartbreaking! I'm so happy you are there helping out. Breaks my heart….
I'm reading this just before bed; my eyes are tired and my brain is done.
Can you email me a link to your etsy or paypal when you have a minute this weekend, I'd love to help.
XOXO

gin said...

hoping and praying for a miracle for those horses. thank you for your concern and upfront help.

SweetMarie said...

I'm an animal lover and have done a lot of rescues in my time, but I've never helped horses. There just hasn't been an opportunity for me, but what you are doing for her and the others is so kind. You have a big heart! Bless you!

A Quiet Corner said...

She was brought to you for a reason, Baby Girl and that reason is YOU!!!...:)JP

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I'm glad to read this update--was wondering how she was doing. You are such a good person to take care of her!

Linda said...

Aw, poor Francie! Well, she is so lucky to have you helping her recover her health! God bless you.

Lin said...

Hooray! I'm sorry that they are so sick, but I'm glad that you noticed them and are helping. I'm also glad you are getting help with the cost!!

I hope they all get better soon! Thank you for what you are doing!

Michael Manning said...

Bless you, Lisa for having such a huge heart. The horses are on my mind and in my prayers. You are their best friend!

GardenOfDaisies said...

Lisa, can I just say that I think you are wonderful!!? Thank you for loving horses and doing everything you can to help this little gal!