Get Well Ben... flood victim horse
Anyone who has met Ben will attest to the fact that he is an amazingly special horse. He is a "people person," is sweet and kind and funny and smart, and an athlete to boot! He and I just had our 10th anniversary, as I got him for my birthday 10 years ago. We have been through thick and thin, moved from CA to TX and back, and he has been the best therapist and buddy a girl could ask for.
Ben is one of the victims of the catastrophic flooding of Coyote Creek in San Jose in late February of this year. Miraculously, all 28 horses involved made it out to safety after a few days.
On link above, scroll down to see video titled "Stranded horses in flood." They zoom in on Ben as he tries to eat through his fencing.
When flood waters rose exponentially, and without warning from the city, Ben and 27 other horses were stranded at their barn when it suddenly became an island, with flood waters rushing too strongly for us to even get to them to check on them, let alone feed them or get them fresh water. By looking at the water lines in his stall, it is clear that Ben was standing in water up to his shoulder for at least a day with nowhere to escape.
They went a day and a half without fresh feed or water before we could get over with boats. It was not until 3 full days had passed that the flood water had receded enough to consider riding horses out. I rode Ben out late in the afternoon on that third day.
Considering what he had been through, he seemed to pull out with flying colors. He had a fungal infection and a slight fever, but other than that seemed fine.
Well, with his high pain tolerance, and people-pleasing attitude, Ben was hiding that he wasn't fine. His body was seriously taxed. Sunday, March 12, he suddenly went off his feed and stopped drinking as well. We treated him for colic and began ulcer treatment. As of Wednesday morning, March 15, he was still not eating or drinking, so we trailered him to the large animal hospital first thing. They put him on an IV right away to get him as much fluids and nutrients as possible, and are monitoring him closely in hopes that he will bounce back to his perky self.
As of 5pm Wednesday, March 15, he was grazing, and that was a first in over three days! They hooked him back up to the fluids for the night.
Anyway, prior to hospitalization, his vet bills have already been over $800 since escaping the flood. The hospital will run us somewhere around $1500 per day.
I know that the story of the horses trapped in the flood touched many hearts, and that thousands of people were wondering how they could help. Ben and I would be extremely grateful if you could help him get back out on the trails in no time.
We hope you had a nice weekend. Ben had a great weekend complete with apples, carrots, another vet visit and his first gallop since this whole ordeal!
We decided to lance the infected pocket at the IV catheter site to allow it to drain more freely. This was an easy procedure, as Ben is such an amazing patient! The vet had previously taken a culture of the infection to see what it is and test different antibiotics on it so that we can choose the most effective. Ben started on the chosen antibiotic Saturday evening.
Sunday we went out to check on Ben and clean his neck. I turned him out in the arena to wander around and roll before cleaning him up. He rolled and said hi to all the horses around the arena, then trotted and galloped around, having a blast! That was so great to see. What a happy boy.
Our boy is doing so much better. What a fighter! Yesterday he had a much-needed visit from his amazing chiropractor. In addition to some massage and adjustments, she did a laser treatment on his infected IV catheter site in hopes that it could kickstart some healing there.
All blood levels are 100% normal and he is cute and silly and spunky and full of his wonderful personality.
The vet will see Ben again Saturday and we will start him on an antibiotic specifically targeting that staph infection and evaluate whether we should cut it open a bit to help it drain more.
More recovery to come!
Thank you all so very much for the continued support, and have a wonderful weekend!
Thank you for the continued support and for checking in on our boy and for continuing to share his story and to send wonderful energy his way!
He continues to head in the right direction. He is eating really well and getting less picky daily. He is visually filling in as we work to get some meat on those bones.
He had his first checkup on Saturday since returning home and did great. We are awaiting the results of blood drawn then to see how his cell counts are and make sure we are still in the right range.
He is still fighting the infection on his neck at the IV catheter site and I am helping him out with that by cleaning it out at least once a day. He's not a huge fan of all the poking and prodding, but is really being so patient. He's amazing.
This coming Saturday he sees the vet again and will get another checkup as well as his Spring shots.
We are tending to his IV catheter site, and continuing antibiotics and ulcer meds for another 1.5 weeks at least.
He is skinny and needs to put weight on, but he is eating great!
Here's a pic of him today after having his hooves trimmed.
Thank you for all of the support!!!