What started as a Halloween that felt cursed, turned in to a month long battle that showed us with a little love and a little magic, anything is possible.
On October 25th, our three Gryffindor ponies, Ron, Harry & Hermione, arrived after a long journey from the Kaufman Kill Pen in Texas. Right off the bat we noticed Hermione had a hoof that was long overdue and had started to roll in on itself. We let them all settle in and scheduled for a vet to visit to see if Hermione was pregnant.
During the weekend we started to notice that Hermione didn't seem like she was comfortable. We were happy that the vet was already scheduled to come out that Monday. The initial ultrasound showed us that she was no pregnant, but did present with the symptoms of colitis (inflammation of the colon from an infection). We put her on a medication to help decrease her swelling and diarrhea and thought after a few days of treatment, she would turn around and go back to normal. Little did we know the rollercoaster we were about the embark on.
Two days later, Hermione had a weak appetite for her dinner. She was still eating, but needed encouragement. The next morning, she was completely lifeless, just shaking in her stall. At this point we made the decision to take her straight to the hospital. She was admitted right away and they began testing. Initial blood results showed that Hermione was fighting two things: the infection that kickstarted her not feeling well, and hepatic lipidosis.
"When a horse stops eating or drastically reduces the amount of feed he consumes (often the result of another factor such as colic or stress) his body does not get the energy it needs to carry out daily functions. When this happens, the body tends to find another source of energy. In some cases the body will mobilize fat into the blood stream and send it to the liver to convert it into glucose. As fat builds up in the bloodstream, the liver, and other related organs, the horse’s body stops functioning properly.When the liver is overcome with fat and isn’t able to clear toxins out of the blood, the horse often feels uncomfortable and will typically reduce feed intake even further. This lack of consumption simply adds to the problem, increasing the amount of fat circulating through the bloodstream and into the liver." (thehorse.com)
The hepatic lipidosis was going to be our biggest hurdle. A normal horse's triglyceride levels from a blood panel are between 40-60. Hermione's came back at 2200. We made the decision to do everything we could to save her. After a few days, her blood panel came back and her levels were at 400. Still a very dangerous level, but moving in the right direction. After about a week, we finally got Hermione's levels back to normal, but the fight didn't stop there. We were still trying to keep her hydrated with IV fluids as she had constant diarrhea. It would get better for a day or two and then come back.
The vets recommended we do a fecal exam to find out exactly what bacteria or virus her body was fighting. Results took about 5 days to come back and we found out Hermione had Salmonella and Coronavirus. The Salmonella was our main target for treatment. After about three weeks at the hospital, we finally started to see improvement in Hermione. She was eating more regularly and started to get a little more life in her. We had to wait for more fecal tests to come back negative for Salmonella as her body naturally fought off the infection, but finally, after a full month at the hospital, Hermione was cleared to go home.
It's been a week now that we've had Hermione back at Little Hooves Rescue. We are happy to report she's settled in nicely, gotten some of her sassiness back and is eating everything in sight. She's going to be a special needs mini for the rest of her life. A low stress environment is key so that she does not have another episode and she will live on probiotics to keep her intestinal tract happy, but she will get to live out her life with a family that loves her.
As you can imagine, after a month at the hospital, we racked up a very large vet bill. It was a hard decision to make if we wanted to push on and keep trying to save Hermione or use the money to save other minis, but we are thankful that we did. She has been a fighter and she proved to us that she was worth it.
If you would like to donate to Hermione's vet bill, please visit our Donations page on the website.
Hermione will be available to adopt to the right situation. If you are interested in Hermione, please email us.