Monday, July 12, 2010

Saying Goodbye is Never Easy

I am sad to report that my friend Jenny's mare, Jazzy, had to be humanely euthanized this morning, following a 24 hour-long battle with colic. Colic is a very scary word to those of us who love these big, brave, and surprisingly fragile creatures. Of the horses I've mentioned on this blog, four have suffered serious colics, and two died. The reasons tend to remain a mystery, but often, we can point to a recent stress or poor or uneducated care. Jazzy had foaled two months prior, and torsion colic is extremely common in mares within the first four months of foaling, for the obvious reason that their gut had to make room for a baby, and then, must migrate back into a fairly large space. That's the logical reason, but we'll really never know. Daz had been living in a field while leased by a young girl, and was not getting enough food, therefore developing a serious sand colic. His did not require surgery but it was touch and go for a few days. Mystic went too fast to even dream of getting her to a facility, and we will never know why she colicked. And of course my beloved Charisma battled a full torsion for 12 hours before she was on the surgery table. She had just made a two day trip in a trailer, returning to very hot temperatures, and I am fairly sure this caused her a great deal of stress and dehydration. The ensuing complications have been a constant source of stress, not to mention expense, nonetheless, I am thankful for each new day with her. I will never forget the morning I saw the sunrise reflected in her eyes as she nuzzled my foot to wake me, and I knew she'd live. Worth every second of stress, every night spent in a lawn chair outside an ICU stall, and every penny, but no place for the weary heart to tread, that is for sure. Surgery doesn't guarantee success, and, the complications can be endless and costly. Ten months later, I still have many a sleepless night and heart stopping episode to go through, as her body continues to sort out the internal changes. I pray to get her to the "magic" 12 months post-surgery, supposedly the point of proof that your horse is now no more likely to colic than any other horse-not much consolation actually. Weigh it all out, friends, and do what your heart tells you. We will all miss Jazzy very much, but we all, those of us who knew her, knew that surgery was not an option for her, and I have deep admiration and respect for my friend Jenny, who made a very difficult decision to free her mare from pain. Jenny provided love and good care to this OTTB rescue, and, thankfully, will get to go forward with her stunning son, Fabulux, by Rulon(Arthos). My thoughts are with you Jenny, and still with you Kayla. For those interested, here is a super article discussing the different types of colic, and has valuable information for what to do.
http://www.horsechannel.com/horse-health/colic-surgery-guide-20107.aspx