Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lacey's Eye Problem Follow-Up

I recently spent some time going back over some of my older posts, re-reading and refreshing my memory.  There were two posts that I realized I never followed up on, mainly because the subject matter was sad and for quite a while I had a hard time dealing with it.

The first post was written around this time last year and concerned the eye inflammation of our quarter horse mare, Lacey, I had gotten for my granddaughter.  I had left off where I was going to be taking Lacey to the vet to have him check out the growth in the corner of her eye that had not gone away.  I mentioned that my vet had told me it could be one of a few things: conjunctivitis, a foreign matter in the tear duct, or squamous cell sarcoma.  I was really hoping that it wouldn’t be the last – and it wasn’t.  It was worse.  After taking the growth out and sending it to two separate labs for biopsy, the report came back from both that it was malignant lymphoma.  All of us were crushed and the vet said that best case scenario would be that we would have 2 years yet with her.  But it was not to be.

In some respects, Dr. Harms told me that I was lucky that I had found out exactly what was going on with the mare as most people whose horse was suffering from this had no idea what was wrong and only found out when the horse died and an autopsy was done.  He told me that the only outward sign, usually, was that a horse would start losing weight for seemingly no reason and would come down with fevers and infections that would be very hard to recover from even with large doses of antibiotics.

With that being said, I should have suspected what was going on with Lacey when she started losing weight in October.  But it was a nasty month here, cold and rainy, and all I have is a three-sided shed for shelter.  It was taking more feed than normal for all my horses to keep their weight up and I just figured she needed more.  I was in denial and was concentrating on the “2 years” that I was supposed to have yet with Lacey.  Therefore, I took her to the barn where I board my mare, Joon, and Lacey loved it there.  Inside a large stall at night, lots of food, plenty of attention, and she picked her weight up nicely.  Ah, problem solved...I thought.  But then Lacey got an infection in her foot in January that wouldn’t heal no matter what we did and she went downhill from there.

The second post I could have commented on was done last January regarding emergency instructions for my horses before heading off on my vacation to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  I had left copies of a letter with my friend, Max, and with the barn owner where I was boarding Lacey at the time documenting what I would like done with my animals should an emergency occur.  How thankful I was that I had done that!  Neither Max, nor Eric, had to waste time trying to locate me when Lacey collapsed and needed to be put down immediately.

It was an extremely sad event but at the same time I was so thankful I'd put in place a plan for this very reason.

In retrospect, I should have called my vet out to look at Lacey in October and he most likely would have advised me at that point to put her down.  I feel badly that I probably put the poor mare through more than I should have, but what’s done is done and I have learned from the experience.

Lacey, you were such a good girl and you are missed...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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