velessa: (Horses - Waldo & me2)
The last time I posted it was only to my horse-people filter, so if you didn't see it, that post is here. Basically about six weeks ago my horse Waldo had to have emergency life-saving surgery. He was so unbelievably sick that everyone was amazed that he survived it at all. And not only did he survive, he bounced back incredibly well and has been on a steady road to recovery ever since.

Until two nights ago when he suddenly went off his feed and spiked a small fever. We thought perhaps he was just tired of eating pellets (he was put on an all-pellet diet after surgery), because he would still eat all the grass he could find, and he would eat as much hay as you would give him. We were keeping him off of hay, but at that point we wanted him to eat whatever he would eat. His temp kept fluctuating between in the normal range and slightly out of it. I spent the day letting him eat anything he would, but I decided to take him back to the hospital when his temp stayed up (101.6), and he stopped pooping and drinking or eating altogether and was looking too dull.

I had already taken him back to the hospital one week before this for a recheck, and everything had looked great. We were getting ready to take him off antibiotics altogether. One week later, his bloodwork was so abnormal the vet would have sworn this was something that had been going on for a long time if she hadn't just done the same bloodwork on him a week ago.

Bottom line: his liver is failing. :( The super acute onset points to something called Theiler's disease/serum sickness as the cause, an incredibly rare condition which can occur 4-10 weeks after the horse receives a horse-derived product, in his case the plasma he was given when he had surgery.

Horses with this disease either recover or fail within a few days. If they can keep him stable (and get him eating) for the next 3-5 days, his liver might have a chance to recover; we don't know how much damage has already been done to it. Last night the vet was pretty sure we'd have to put him down that night with the way he looked, but he managed to stabilize overnight. I went down to see him last night and all day today; he looks terrible, but apparently a little better than he did before I got there. I don't know. Everything that's possible to do to support him and his liver through this is being done, but we just have to wait and see if he responds. :( The vet has advised continued treatment as long as it looks like he still has a fighting chance, and for now he does, so that's what we're doing.

It's so unfair that he's already been through the wringer once, did fantastic against all odds, and now has to go through it again. I'm hoping for a second miracle. He's just the best horse ever and losing him would be absolutely devastating to me. ;_;

He is insured, but we used up all the insurance money getting him through colic surgery and the aftercare for that. This new bout of hospitalization and treatment will be out of pocket, and we're looking at something like $3,000-5,000 if he can make it through. My wonderful friend Kim has set up a fundraising site to help with his treatment costs. So please, if there's anything at all you might consider contributing to his care, Waldo and I both would be so very grateful: Waldo's Emergency Care Fund. Please feel free to share far and wide.

Thank you and keep your fingers, toes, everything crossed for him!!

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velessa

May 2014

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