Diesel arrives at his new home
Lois, Diesel and Christine as he leaves for his new home with Lois and Paul
In addition to his strangles abscess, Diesel was the smallest and skinniest of the three that arrived. He was dehydrated, had parasites, fever, was weak and had a few other abscess areas that were starting to swell.
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Still thin, we keep him blanketed at night because he doesn't have the muscle mass yet to thermo-regulate is his system and colder fall weather and raining days and nights have settled in. We were blessed by an angel that sent both Diesel and Bambi their own blankets to keep warm. In this picture he is about 12 hands high (48 inches) at the shoulder and approximately 240 pounds.
I write this on Nov. 18, 2011 and he has put on even more weight. Probably at least 30 pounds. He eats well, drinks well and I no longer worry about his ability to pull through. His health is well on the way to recovery. He still has one abscess left on his neck which has been draining for a weeks and should soon be done. I hope that is the last one. All the others have healed and you can't even see where the big hole on his jaw was anymore. He is healthy enough now that we have been able to start a de-worming regimen that will allow him to gain weight even faster.
He has let me start to clean his hooves which had thrush so I am glad that is healing too. No runny nose, no fever, doesn't seem painful anymore and no longer sounds like a Diesel truck. Without the generous donations from lots of people, we would not have been able to provide him the expensive meds, IV fluid therapy and all the supplements to bring him from the brink of death. Continued donations will provide the ongoing supplements he will need for months, quality hay, de-worming treatment and the vaccines he will need shortly.
He gets brushed everyday and though much of the wound and other treatments were a little painful, he has been awesome to handle. He loves being brushed and will walk over to be handled, sometimes just laying his head on my shoulder if I am taking a break and sitting on the lowest pipe panel. He is one of the sweetest horses I have ever known. He is SO stoic. To me just amazing the fight he has to live.
UPDATE: Well on his way to a full recovery, Diesel was adopted by Lois and Paul on Jan. 16, 2012 and has been growing up nicely. He has his own Facebook page titled 'Diesel the Orphaned Foal' so please 'Like' that page to keep up to date on his life.
Here are some pictures you may enjoy!
Strangles is highly contagious so Diesel and the other two foals were quarantined immediately and kept away from the other horses. Biosecurity (cleanliness) measures were put in place immediately.
With the help of volunteers we got halters on all three, checked them for injuries and started to clean their wounds. You can see from this picture that the abscess drain tract on the side of Diesel's face was very large and needed cleaning a couple times a day and salve to keep the flies away while it healed. Along with this abscess he was running a fever so pain meds were given right away.
This is Diesel getting ready to be loaded on a trailer to leave the slaughter bound feedlot in Fallon, NV. on 10-27-11. An orphaned foal, his mother was shipped to a Canadian meat house and this small horse was left to fend for himself with other foals, mares with foals and pregnant mares. You can see he is much smaller than the other horses making the trip with him.
He had an overnight lay-over in Bishop, then another in Hemet, CA, before we were able to pick him up with two others (the filly to his left and one not pictured) and bring them to EqWBR. They arrived the afternoon of 10-29-11 tired after so many days of travel.
Here are links to some of the blogs about the babies:
Donations are still needed to care for all the rescues horses and if you would like to make a donation you can just click on the button. Thank you SO very much. From all of us at EqWBR
See how much weight I have put on????
Equine WellBeing Rescue, Inc.
On a scale of 1-10 for body weight, Diesel is a one and only about 225 pounds. In fact, he has such small muscles that when I went to give him a shot the only muscles big enough for a needle were on the back of his legs (thigh area). Since the strangles had already started to drain, we opted for an antibiotic called Exceed that required two injections 4 days apart, while very expensive, it is time released and would require him to have to swallow pills or get lots of shots everyday.
He got his name because one of the abscesses he had was causing restriction on his throat so when he was breathing it he made a rumbling noise that sounded like a diesel engine. The name is cute and fits him well, but the swelling also caused pain that made it difficult for him to swallow. Pain medication could only do so much and he was soon having difficulty eating and drinking and started to fade on us quickly. By Thursday of his first week here, I was unable to get him to stand up - just too weak.
I was able to clear his throat from food he was sucking on and using a large dose syringe to slowly dribble water down his throat. After doing this he was able to get up, started eating and over 3 hours drank about a gallon of water. Still extremely dehydrated, Dr. Dawn Brown (on the BOD at the time) came out and we installed a catheter and over a two day period gave him over 3000 units of Lactated Ringers solution to re-hydrate his system. That made a world of difference in his health.
During this entire time he was still getting antitbiotics, pain reliever, ulcer medication and supplements of electrolytes, vitamins, mineral and amino acids, and the continued cleaning of his abscesses. He had more abscesses that popped and the infection in his system was still so great that he started to have pus drain from the site where the catheter stitches were the second day. So we had to remove the catheter and discontinue the fluid therapy sooner than we wanted. Very sick, but closer to turning the corner and recovery.
Each day his appetite increased and he finally learned to eat pellets so we added Purina's Enrich 32 supplement and also powder colostrum to help rebuild his immunity. Now he was finally eating and drinking normally and looking better on a daily basis. Here is a picture of him after being here 10 days. You can see he has put on weight.