Wednesday a week ago, Ladyhawk apparently was attempting to scratch an itchy eye on her hay rack (which is made of rebar). In the process, she caught and tore her eyelid, and scratched her eyeball. The injury required a trip to the vet ($234.00 vet bill!), and was the first outing for Symphony, who acted like a little pro in the halter!
Then this past Wednesday evening, Ladyhawk showed signs of colic. I was gone running errands, and when I came home, she was in obvious pain, rolling on the ground, kicking and biting at her belly, standing with her head almost on the ground. So, another trip to the vet ($250), and an all night vigil for me. Everything looked just fine until 4:00 am, then the symptoms returned. At 4:15, we were on our way back to the vet, where she & baby spent the day, undergoing treatment and observation. By 4:00 pm, I had picked her back up and headed home. A second all nighter yielded more promising results, and she is finally doing better, although she's tired and gaunted from her ordeal.
For those of you not familiar with horses & colic, it's common and often deadly. About 60% requires intervention, and 10% requires surgery (over half of those needing surgery are poor candidates for it by the time it's necessity is determined). Of that 10%, 60% don't survive. Colic is the biggest cause of equine euthanasia (in part due to the expense--$5,000 to $8,000 is not uncommon, with complications of course, raising the cost significantly), with laminitis (what ailed Barbaro, during and after his recovery of severe fractures during the 2006 Preakness Stakes) close behind. Seeing the symptoms of a colic attack strikes terror in the heart of every horse owner. So far, I've been lucky. Ladyhawk's was the most severe I've had, and the first one I haven't managed to catch early. In most cases, the earlier the better, as far as the final outcome. For the horse's comfort, regardless of the outcome, earlier is definitely better!
So, I decided to dedicate this posting to my lovely Ladyhawk, to honor her for all she has endured in her short 9 years of life. Quite a lady, she is!