Tragic

May. 25th, 2009 02:18 pm
lantairvlea: (uncertain mrr)
[personal profile] lantairvlea
So the last two weeks weren't necessarily ideal. Mom had to go into the hospital for a GIANT blood clot that ran from her groin to mid-calf. She got out the day I graduated, but was not able to make the ceremony.

The next week we took Réo (pronounced "Rayo") up to Utah. He managed the trip quite well and I put Moab in with him the next day to give him someone to buddy up with before turning him out Tuesday evening.

Well, Wednesday afternoon I was heading off to run some errands and caught some movement out of the corner of my eye. Réo wasn't moving right. On closer look my heart sunk and I swung the truck around. Something was seriously wrong. I crawled under the fence and ran out to meet him. He was stumbling about. He had a gash down the right side of his face and a huge scrape on his forehead (not bleeding, but all the hair was gone). His right eyelid was swollen and cut and his neck was tremendously swollen. He was having a really hard time walking and I knew that something was seriously wrong neurologically. I thought it might have been head trauma ... I wish it had been head trauma.

He stumbled and went down. I called Oma and told her she needed to call the vet. NOW. I sat there with him and took off my sweater vest and laid it under his head. I called my own vet, at this point I was rather distraught as my grandparents couldn't get a hold of a vet and I needed some advise as to how to make him more comfortable. I told the vet what was going on, having to pause on occasion to regain composure and asked what I should do until we could get a vet there. He suggested at least getting Réo up on his sternum so he could breathe better and, if we had it, giving him some bute or bannamine. Unfortunately we had neither.

Opa suggested colic and founder and at both suggestions I lost it a little more because I knew it was neither.

It was some two hours before a veterinarian finally arrived. Before she got there I did (with Opa's help) get Réo up on his chest, but as soon as he was there he was wanting to get up on his feet. For the next half hour I walked beside him and softly guided him towards the gate leading outside the pasture. He really wanted to head out in the field with the other horses and it took quite a bit to keep him guided in a loose circle somewhat close to the gate. At one point he paused as a dripper sprinkled him as he moved along the fence. He clumbsily backed up, sucked up some water, and let is cool his sides before starting off again, determined to head out in the pasture, but I kept him close to the gate. On one swing back towards the gate alongside the arena he acted like he was going to graze, dropping his head to reach for some grass, but his legs buckled and he was down again. I'm rather positive that he was not trying to lay down.

From there he would think about getting up, but he didn't stand again. The vet arrived and looked him over. We got him some water and hay. He drank greedily and chewed readily, swallowing both well. We talked about options and possibilities and what was close to another hour later, he finally got some pain killers.

I sat out there with him when the vet left and Opa went inside. The sky darkened and I asked for a blanket as Ré was getting cold. I leaned up next to him and sketched, keeping him company until the next vet arrived and it started to rain. We brought out a second blanket to keep him warm as they set up the x-ray machine.

The results weren't good. Réo had managed to break his fourth vertebrae. The vet said that it was a compression fracture and, judging by Réo's other injuries, he probably fell, hit his head against the ground, and the rest of his body probably pressed in and probably either flipped over or went to the side, but the point is that the bones of the neck were so compressed that the vertebrae failed, like a plastic cup that is crushed. The top and bottom of the bone essentially burst out. This was causing pressure on his spinal cord, thus resulting in the ungainly movement and lack of coordination.

We called Mom and told her, or rather, the vet told her and he was put down. I lost it again, though I tried my hardest to keep it together. I'm loosing it again now just thinking about it.

Egads, what a day. Of course, it happened to fall on Chris and I's anniversary and were were several hundred miles apart. He in AZ, I in UT. Four years now.

So Réo passed, just barely a year old. It's not fair that we took him up there to "grow up" and he went and broke his neck, but I guess life happens. I think I'm more upset over watching him suffer rather than the fact that he is gone. He wasn't even my horse.

It wasn't until around 9.00 that evening that the guys turned up to take his body. They were supposed to get there at 7.00.

Needless to say the rest of the week was much better. It had started out as a pretty good day, actually. Opa and I went out on the first trail ride of the year with Sassy and Cinnamon (not Strudel, this is Dakota's daughter and Sassy's older half-sister) and they did pretty well, despite all the water and flooding and the snow and such.

It's just tragic, though. Tragic.

Date: 2009-05-26 12:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] placetohide.livejournal.com
Ugh, I'm so sorry you've had such a bad bunch of things crop up all at once. :(

Date: 2009-05-26 06:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lantairvlea.livejournal.com
Thanks for the condolences. The good news is that Mom's doing fine and has an excellent prognosis, but I feel like I'm still processing Réo's death. It's just a bit unreal all in all. Hopefully this meets by "bad stuff happening" quota for a while, hrr.

Date: 2009-05-26 05:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rantingmule.livejournal.com
Oh my god. I am so, SO sorry. That is...unthinkable, horrible. Tragic. Poor fellow...did anyone see him fall?

I feel so badly for you, to have to go through that, too.

Date: 2009-05-26 07:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lantairvlea.livejournal.com
Thank you.

No, no one saw it happen. I kind of wish I had as we would have been able to get to him faster and I don't know how long he'd been wobbling about before I saw him.

I was sick thinking that the other horses could have beaten him up because I'd just turned him loose with them the evening before. It is a HUGE pasture (somewhere between 5 and 10 acres and there were only five horses out, including Réo), I figured there wasn't a chance that he'd be injured by the others and they'd had a couple days to see each other through the fence. The vet's explanation that he fell makes me feel a little better about it, but doesn't stop it from being gut-wrenching-ly tragic. It would be nice to know what happened, but I guess it doesn't change the outcome any.

Date: 2009-05-26 10:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rantingmule.livejournal.com
*nods* Even so, you did everything you could. I hate to say it but it sounds like a freak accident. I'm just so sorry it had to happen to you and to him...it seems terribly unfair.

If you ever need to talk about it I am more'n willing to listen, ok?

Date: 2009-05-28 09:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lantairvlea.livejournal.com
Thank you very much and I'll keep your offer in mind.

I know I did what I could for him and knowing that it was a freak accident does help alleviate that misplaced guilt. Doesn't make it any less tragic, but it happens.

Date: 2009-05-27 11:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] silivrenwolf.livejournal.com
I'm so sorry for your loss *hugs*

Date: 2009-05-28 09:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lantairvlea.livejournal.com
Thank you.

And I'm sorry to hear about Dingo. Hopefully you guys can find him. Have you checked with the pound?

Date: 2009-05-28 09:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] silivrenwolf.livejournal.com
Yep I've called all the local shelters, vets, etc. Left my number and details on him. So far no luck. Though we think he maybe coming to eat his food at the front door. But can't say for sure if its him or another animal. Right now I'm trying to see if I can rent or borrow a big live trap to see if its him or not. I have no clue why he ran away or whats wrong with him =( I'm so sad!

Date: 2009-05-28 09:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lantairvlea.livejournal.com
A live trap might be a good idea. Posting signs around the neighborhood might be a good idea too as someone might have "taken him in." I lost Appy once. She was only gone for a night, but it was still a distressing experience.

Date: 2009-05-28 10:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] silivrenwolf.livejournal.com
Yeah I'm in the process of doing that. Last time I did it he came home that same night. Which sucked because of all the effort and money I spent making the posters. lol This time though I think its for real that he's missing since I think he was lost sometime on the 19-20th or so. Not good!

Date: 2009-05-28 10:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lantairvlea.livejournal.com
Good luck and I hope you find him!

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