Georgia Draft Horse Rehabilitation and Recovery, Inc.
Tala "Jack" was just 5 years old when he came to us in February of 2016. We knew when we got him that he had a grave prognosis after having suffered with severe rotation and bone loss in his front hooves. We immediately began working with our veterinarian and farrier to attempt to bring him enough comfort that he could live a good quality of life. On Easter 2016, Tala suffered from bone penetration through the sole of his front left hoof. He was having a very difficult time standing, he had an extremely high increased heart rate in response to the pain and had showed us no signs in the time he was with us that his body had the ability to generate new healthy sole. With all of these factors considered, and due to the fact that we could not get him out of pain, we elected along with our veterinarian, that it was in Tala's best interest to be freed from his suffering. He crossed the Rainbow Bridge just before his 6th Birthday. Rest in Peace sweet Jack.
This loss hurt a part of my soul that had never hurt before.. Luna came to us in October of 2015 along with 6 others. She was the reason we became involved in this particular case. She was just 3 months old, she had a ruptured left eye and was grossly underweight. She had been pulled off of her mother and put on feed prematurely. Within the 1st 24 hours with us, she showed us very quickly that she was very, very ill. She was seen by our primary care vet twice in those 24 hours before being sent to the University for emergency life support. There we were told she had 2 areas of severe impaction colic, and pneumonia. We admitted her to the hospital prepared to fight for her life. The next morning she told us she was done. She was far too weak to continue fighting. I would have done anything to have had the opportunity to have found her sooner, so that more could have been done. This was a little innocent life lost far too soon due to neglect and ignorance, but she was a warrior for the other 6 who were saved all because of her. I will never forget this little filly.
Penny came to us in October of 2015. Penny was very thin when she came in. Her weight gain and physical rehabilitation was very slow to show progress, then after being with us for about 5 months she developed an acute onset of horrible diarrhea. The diarrhea was accompanied by a very foul, abnormal smell so our vet was immediately contacted. We ran some blood work on Penny and started her on antibiotic injections, a rectal GI antibiotic and a hay only diet. She did not run a temperature and her blood work did not reveal any significant findings, but we saw her appetite steadily decrease over the next 1-2 weeks and her weight dropped dramatically. We took her to the University of Auburn for further diagnostics which included: more blood work, ultrasounds, radiographs, an abdominal tap, a scope procedure, stool cultures and biopsies of the rectum and small intestine. Her biopsy results revealed she had Lymphoma (cancer). Her disease was in the advanced "end of life stages". She was have explosive diarrhea at this point, refused feed/hay and was becoming painful quickly. We elected to humanely euthanize Penny as there was no chance of her ever recovering or being able to achieve any quality of life due to her disease.
Lewis arrived the night of 11/13/16. He was a retired carriage horse who was well into his 30's. Lewis has severe generalized arthritis. He has consistent back pain and he would sometimes go down in the hind end as a result. He was also diagnosed with extensive internal melanoma while he was with us. In July 2017, we were no longer able to manage him pain. We made the decision to have Lewis humanely euthanized. He passed peacefully with dignity and honor. We laid him to rest on our property by the pasture he spent most of his days while he was with us.
Lady is a Percheron mare who joined us in April 2016 from the Bastrop, LA Kill Pen. Lady was thought to be between 15-18 years old. She came in significantly underweight and had growths (Melanoma) in both sides of her mouth. She was not progressing as we would have liked for her to and we had issues with her going off of her feed for unexplained reasons, after having had her teeth checked/floated and bloodwork which was within normal limits. We decided it was time to move forward with an abdominal ultrasound per our Veterinarian's recommendation. On June 13, 2016 Lady went down at our farm. We worked with Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services and our Veterinarian to get her up for several hours. We were able to get her up and on a trailer, and we headed for Auburn University due to her still critical condition. She went down in the trailer on the way there. They worked with her throughout the night and following morning, but she was deteriorating. That afternoon she passed away on her own. A necropsy revealed she had Melanoma tumors spread throughout her body. The AU doctor suspected that they were putting enough pressure on her brain via manifesting in the sinus cavity that she was experiencing neurological symptoms. This is most likely the reason she went down originally.
Tina came to us in November, 2015 from the Bastrop, LA Kill Pen. Tina had a very similar injury to that of Tank's (story above). She had an old barbed wire injury to her left hind leg, except her biopsy revealed the overgrowth of tissue was only granulation tissue, not cancerous. Regardless, she had many obstacles to overcome. She had severe Lymphedema in the leg, and a severe chronic infection in the hoof. She had the hoof debrided at Auburn University which went remarkably well. From there we worked to manage the Lymphedema. We were able to keep it under control and the wound was healing nicely. On the morning of March 21, 2016 I arrived to the farm to find Tina had unexpectedly passed away of what appeared to be natural causes sometime during the night. A necropsy performed by the Diagnostic Lab at Auburn University revealed that the most reasonable cause of death was Myocardial Fibrosis. We were heartbroken by her sudden passing, but we are grateful to have shown her love and compassion in her final days.
The Tank Man "Tank"
Tank came to us in July, 2015 from Fort Payne, AL. Tank was surrendered to us due to a bleeding tumor on his left hind leg that resulted from an old, neglected barbed wire injury. Tank was diagnosed with an aggressive Fibroblastic Sarcoid Tumor. Due to Tank only being 4 years old and otherwise healthy, we elected to attempt to treat the cancer. He had the tumor surgically debulked at Auburn University, followed by radiation therapy. He came home after his treatments and was very happy and comfortable. Unfortunately, we began seeing side effects of the radiation occurring, so he was admitted to the University of Tennessee where they offered Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Saltwater Spa Therapy. Initially, these therapies were showing some improvement in the healing of the surgical site, but we never could get ahead of the infection after trying various antibiotics. Tank fell ill running a consistently high fever, heart rate and respirations. We did a biopsy in the non-healing area of the leg which revealed the cancer had unfortunately recurred. With his condition, treatment was not an option and this point; between this diagnosis and the inability to clear the infection, we elected to humanely euthanize Tank in December of 2015. We spent a long 5 months working diligently to save Tank along with Dr. Erin, AU and UT. We lost our battle against Tank's cancer, but he was an inspiration to many people in his short time with us. Rest in Peace Tank Man.
Clyde was a TWH, estimated to be in his 20s, and came in as a starvation case. He was an owner surrender who had his "for sale" just prior to him joining us. Clyde was examined by our veterinarian immediately upon arrival in January of 2017. She diagnosed him to be in advanced congestive heart failure, and she felt it was due to his severe state of starvation. Clyde only lived a couple of days here with us before he went down. We attempted to support him in a sling, but it was apparent he was experiencing cardiac exhaustion. He passed away on his own less than 12 hours later. I would have done anything to have found him sooner, when there was still a chance.
"Dedicated to healing"