2017 Miniature Horse World FALL 2017 - Page 30

miniature tales By Tara Needham Stampede of Love Therapy Horses on him. I feared an enterolith stone. The veterinarians pulled a blood panel, did x-rays, an ultrasound, and a liver biopsy- luckily no stone. But his liver enzymes were very high, and they could not sort out why. They would know more after the liver biopsy results came back. They held him overnight and sent him home with six medications to be administered two times per day. They were aggressively treating him for an undetermined liver infection and would retest his blood in a few weeks. A week went by, and he seemed to improve, and he showed a bit more interest in food. His attitude seemed better but not for long, as he completely went off of food two weeks later. The next blood panel indicated that his enzyme levels had again increased. The liver biopsy was not helpful as the only result they seemed to notice was mild fibrosis. So the medications were changed up. Some dropped, a new antibiotic added. They indicated that this was our last chance to save him. If these drugs did not work, his prognosis was grim. The Fight of His Life... First of all, I’d like to clarify that I am not a veterinarian. But I have experienced enough of a change in my horse to feel compelled to share and let others form their own opinions. S ome of you may be familiar with Stampede of Love. We are a small animal assisted group located in Raleigh North Carolina. Leo, our founding equine ambassador, began his volunteer career as a yearling in 2003. Through the years he has visited hospitals, schools, nursing homes and numerous community events in five different states. He is a handsome fellow, fifteen years young and stands a mere 27” tall. Last March I noticed that he was going off of his feed. Now, this was not entirely unusual for Leo, especially after vaccinations. He had just had his spring shots a few days earlier. He is a picky little fellow and tends to turn his nose up over feed from time to time. But I could tell that this occasion was different. I began to worry about him once a few days passed and I could not interest him in anything. He was lethargic, lots of very loud gut sounds and stretching out. No temperature. Up to that point, I had given Banamine orally and started him on Ulcer Guard. I called out my veterinarian, and since Leo had shown ulcer symptoms in the past, it was concluded that he was having a flare up. Or so we thought. My vet prescribed Ranitidine. Sadly, the blood panel they did a short time later indicated to them that his enzymes were out of control and could not be stopped. They gave him two weeks to live on April 17, 2017- the worst day of my life. They instructed me to drop most of the medications to see if that would help him feel a little better and improve his appetite. They told me what to watch for as he declined and when I should call my vet to have him euthanized. I got home from work that night and decided that he could do as A few more days went by, and Leo was not improving. I transported hi