Junior is our wonderful 9 year old family horse which we purchased in October, 2017. Though our time with him hasn't been long, he has fallen into step with us seamlessly. Three weeks ago we were lucky enough to move him to the barn down the road from our house. It has been so nice having him so close. We made lots of plans with wonderful people & horses to go trail riding. My children were excited to show him this summer, and my husband was going to learn to ride. We were living the dream, well until about 10 days ago.
On Thursday morning as I pulled into the parking lot at work, I got a call that Junior kept laying down and wouldn't get up. Great colic. I immediately went to the barn. He was down in the field. I got him up, checked him out and called the vet. We talked off and on all day and since he was still trying to eat she felt he would be ok with a pain killer and a LOT of walking. He did end up seeming to feel better and...well I will spare you the BM details.
The next day, he wasn't much better so the vet came out and confirmed he was impacted and tubbed him to get things moving a little better. There was a mass, but it felt like a swollen lymp node. We were to revisit that once we got him feeling better. More walking. A few more BM's. Things seemed to be looking up. Nope, Saturday morning was much of the same except he was in a lot of pain. Out came the vet and off we went to Myhre Equine Clinic (about 1 1/2 hours away & is a fabulous facility). He had surgery that night for the impaction, but it ended up that he had peritonitis and his colon had flipped. At that point, things seemed promising.
The next day the blood work looked better. We were hopeful for a semi-quick release by the end of the week. We had a nice visit on Tuesday, and things weren't going as great as planned, but not bad either. But the next day is when things really started taking a turn for the worse. Junior started spiking high fevers. His blood work was not looking too great. His appetite decreased. The blockage was coming back and so was the peritonitis.
This morning we went for a visit. Despite Junior being semi happy to see us and giving us some really nice snuggles, the news was grim. He is back on an IV. Lots of pain medicine and a different antibiotic. His heart rate was way up. He looked glum. Basically, if the antibiotics don't start working and his heart rate doesn't go down, then there is nothing left to do but put him down. I can't tell you how devistated we are. Especially my 9 year old. He is just crushed.
As of yesterday, our vet bill was just under $10,000. WOW, right?! Horses are expensive. It was a risk we were well aware of (especially myself having horses for a good portion of my life) and willing to take when we purchased him. But now with the realization that we most likely will be taking an empty trailer home, a dented savings account and a lot more credit card debt then we had a week ago, we cannot even afford to try to pick up the pieces. And to add insult to injury, we just got Junior's stall sign in the mail...ugh.
If you are still reading this, thank you for taking the time to read Junior's story. Please know that he is well loved and that we obviously would go to the ends of the earth for him. Your kindness, prayers and well wishes are most appreciated. This campaingn was started so that we could put money towards our vet bill, and if need be, to help keep my children's (17, 14 &9, but mostly the 9 yo) dream of riding and showing alive.
- Devon Peterson
- Saul Bamaca