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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Do not go gentle into that good night.....

Rage, rage against the dying of the night.

I haven't had the heart to write for awhile because of Foxsun's deteriorating health.

About six days ago Foxsun completely stopped eating and drinking. He has been a brave horse and has been ill for a long while. I told him it was OK and we'd some how manage without him. I knew it would be hard when Foxsun reached this stage but I had no idea how hard it would be.

While Foxsun was on his 'death bed' I had one of my brilliant ideas and asked William to go and fetch Fox's old cow wife.

I zoomed in to see how he was doing.

The bull didn't want her to go.

Soon as she hit the uneaten meadow she decided she'd gone far enough and William had to pull her.

The herd started honking very loudly because they wanted to follow Dandylyons.

Dandylyons eating dandelions.

Foxsun was pleased to see her but didn't try to go to her.

She grazed on the lawn for awhile then decided to go into the meadow to eat the tall alfalfa. Fearing she'd bloat we took her back.

Foxsun went under the birch and gave up standing. This is where I lost it.

I went to bed that night thinking I was telling him goodnight for the last time. But as it got light enough to see I looked out to see him grazing. The heart of a horse.

He ate a little that day. I gave him a smorgasbord of thing's to choose from; a bowl of oats, a bowl of soaked beet pulp (he wont try it) another bowl of hen scratch, carrots and chopped apples. The chickens found it and thought they had gone to 'all you can eat' heaven. But Fox ignored the food and just nibbled dried weeds. The next day as we were working in the corrals he wanted to come in there with us, so we opened the gate and he joined us. He just lay down in the dusty ground next to us. Brad forced him up and we took him home.

It was the next day that his body started to shut down. He hadn't drank or eaten enough for too long and he was quickly reaching the point of no return. I had the choice to let him go naturally or call the vet. He was showing no pain or discomfort and wanted to be with us so I decided to ride it out. The vet had told us you can't make a horse eat or drink. "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink....".

I think Brad and I saw the look in Foxsun's eyes at the same time. His eyes where sinking in as dehydration set in. The thought of the light going out in his big beautiful Morgan eyes was too heartbreaking for words and Brad and I decided to do what ever it took to keep our boy with us.

As virtuous men (horses) pass mildly away,
And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say,
"Now his breath goes," and some say, "No."

I scooped up handfuls of water and try to force water into his mouth. We briefly considered starting an IV because we have IV fluid on hand. I thought the bute might have given him an ulcer because he's been on it for so long. So I crushed up a handful of Tums (antacids) made them into a paste and Brad squirted it into his mouth. I then grabbed a powdered sport drink containing electrolytes, mixed it up with some water and Brad put that his mouth... listening for him to swallow.

We then dashed 50 miles to a feed store and bought electrolyte paste and a bottle of penicillin G. When we got home we were happy to see him still standing. Something either the paste or the antibiotic made him feel better because by nightfall he'd sipped a little water.

The next day Foxsun drank gallons of water. He buried his face in the water up to his eyeballs and pawed it with his feet. For two days now he's been eating the weedy dried material along the roads. He avoids the lush grass and alfalfa in the meadow. He nibbles a little grain now and again. The wonderful news is he hasn't had any bute for over 48 hours. We were giving him bute because without it he'd get lethargic and would not eat. We made several failed attempts to cut it back. It was a case of damned if you do and damned if you don't.

These pictures were taken this morning. This is where Fox likes to graze.

This next picture clearly shows Fox's horrific condition as Brad gives him his daily shot.

Foxsun follows us.

To make it nice for Foxsun I haven't mowed the lawn for three weeks and haven't sprayed weeds all year.

Foxsun came down with pigeon fever about a year ago and it seems like it went internal. His body has deep lumps. I can feel them in his throat are area and neck. It seems to go into remission now and again and he starts to regain weight. He was on the antibiotic Tucoprim but I don't think he was on it long enough. Right now he's asleep in the shade on the lawn. I have my fingers crossed that when he wakes up he starts to graze again.


Lea and her Mustangs said...

Oh Arlene, this has been awful for you I know. I hope this doesn't take long and he either will cross the rainbow bridge OR he will get better. My thoughs prayers and love go out to you and Foxy and your family.

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

Oh wow, what anguish to have to watch your old friend go downhill like that. He looks awful. I'm glad he started drinking again.

Ylva said...

Hang on, Foxsun.

Cheryl Ann said...

Arlene, oh, gosh! I'm just a puddle of tears right now. My prayers go out to you and Foxsun. Poor old guy!

Kara said...

Poor Foxsun. I don't know what else to say. I just hope that he gets through this with as little pain as possible, whether he makes it or not.