Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Indifferent Dreams - My Horse Mindy Lou

     Those who follow me on social media, know that my horse Mindy Lou (registered name is Indifferent Dreams) has had trouble with an abscess since 6 October.  I have been off-line a lot, taking care of her, meeting with vets who examined her three times and took x-rays twice, until it was recommended that an MRI was needed as she still was not better.  She had the abscess come out, but it didn't seem to be enough.  That didn't include working my full time job -  had to take time off for this - filling jewelry orders - seeing my other horses - and trying not to freak the heck out.  Mindy is my second horse of all time.  Southern Belle, the first.  She is the matriarch of the herd now, large and in charge in her field - lame or no.

Mindy still wrapped at the farm - still not comfortable

     I had help taking my girl to the Virginia Tech Marion Dupont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Virginia - a premiere and state of the art facility with the right machines to get a look at Mindy's hoof.  

This was how uncomfortable she was - almost folding over her hoof

     Mindy settled in, albeit not very well as she had not been confined to a stall for many years.  The staff were quick, efficient, and so very personable.  Mindy hit the lottery as Dr. James Brown was on site that day.  They took my girl in without having more than my name, and I called them immediately to give my information.  I let them know they had THE PRINCESS in residence, a true great-great granddaughter to Seattle Slew.  If you do not know who Seattle Slew was - a legend - you can read about him here.

Can we go home now?

     An MRI was scheduled for the next morning, it was reviewed and consulted, and exploratory surgery done in the same day.  Dr. Brown had also just come from doing a colic surgery for another horse, and I am grateful that Mindy could be taken in so quickly.  The good news was that the abscess and infection had not traveled up into her coffin bone, muscles, tendons, or navicular area.  That meant she had a chance of full recovery.  So we went for it!

Mindy being wheeled into the operating area

     I watched while Dr. Brown, Dr. Benjamin DuBois, and other technicians and staff took the greatest care of Mindy during surgery.  It was mesmerizing and horrifying all at the same time, but God put these people on the earth to perform these miracles so that we can have our animals a bit longer with us.

Dr. Brown taking out the infection while Dr. DuBois holds onto Mindy's hoof

Mindy going into recovery to wake up from the surgery

     Mindy came through her surgery just fine.  They were very happy with her recovery, and plans are now being made for a hospital plate type shoe made and put on by Paul Goodness, one of the best farriers on the planet - or the best - to cover the area taken out of her hoof that was diseased.  I have no idea how she got the infection, and that it was so bad that it required surgery.  

Today looking outside

Mindy has lost a lot of weight since she was in pain and not eating well, but she will enjoy the very best of food to put it back on

Weight on both hooves today!

     She should be home this week, and then the healing begins in a stall for about 2-3 months while her hoof grows back.  Don't worry, the hoof walls are still there, but half of the inside is gone, and that requires stabilization, antibiotics, some pain management meds, and lots and lots of love (and peppermints - her favorite treat).

     Thank you all for your prayers, your wonderful thoughts, and for supporting my business.  I will need to sell a lot of jewelry to cover this expense, but that is what the business is for, so keep those orders coming in!  I hope to see many of you at my next show.

     As a note - since I am so into history, I am grateful to Marion DuPont Scott for her gift to Virginia Tech which made this place possible to take care of so many horses, including my own.  This is what money can do, this is what being born into privilege can do for those with the right intentions - to give back.  It gives those of us without the same opportunity to have a chance to save, in this case, my horse.

     Finally, this is the second surgery that I have sat through for one of my horses, the first was for my Southern Belle during her colic surgery.  I did not think about taking photos of that at the time.  I watched the entire thing, and at that time she was at The Piedmont Equine Practice where Dr. Sarah Dukti performed the surgery.  Dr. Dukti had actually worked at the Virginia Tech Marion DuPont Scott Equine Center prior to going to Piedmont, and I watched an angel that day performing something I'd never even thought possible.  I, at least, had her four more months afterwards.  Well worth every single minute and every single penny spent to be with her.

     The link to my Etsy shop is here (SignoftheGrayHorse) if you would consider purchasing some of your gifts for the holidays this year from it.  It would go to off-set the over $6K bill I have received so far.  Yes, I know horses are expensive, and yes this is my burden to bear - but my shop helps me care for all of my horses - and it is greatly appreciated to those who support them and me.

NOTE:  Posting this on 1 November to also recognize Haymarket Veterinary Service who worked with me to help diagnose Mindy's issue.  The veterinarians Dr. Linda Neimeier, Dr. Jenny Alonge, and Dr. Sarah Jo Luby were instrumental in helping me get Mindy to the next step of her recovery.