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DiDi - Whither goeth SHe?

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        05-06-2012, 02:19 PM
      #261
    Started
    The recent spring storms have brought wind and rain making the ground locally wet and soggy. DiDi would be best out nibbling at fresh green grass rather than in a stable eating hay but leaving her out in the rain would make her cold. At least in the stable she has some shelter from the wind.

    The fact is however that she is slowly but surely coughing more. Recently her coughing is coming in spasms. Her flanks are feeling taught to the touch. You can feel her trembling.

    We wait for some positive news from the vet that permission has been given to treat her with a miracle cure but seemingly we wait in vain. There has been no news over the weekend.

    What is very apparent though is that without some signficnt improvement we cannot put her in a horse box and move her any length of distance. It is said that for a horse, a mile spent travelling in a horse box is equivalent to a mile spent walking.

    Lady Luck is not going along DiDi's way. Unless the expensive medication which the vet might give her works wonders, then I can't see what we can do to help DiDi. I don't like to admit the fact, but I am beginning to despair.
         
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        05-06-2012, 02:51 PM
      #262
    Green Broke
    Barry you bring me to tears. I never post bc I simply don't have words but I read every post about your beautiful girl. I'm praying for that miracle drug.
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        05-06-2012, 03:12 PM
      #263
    Weanling
    I never thought I could care so much for a horse I'd never seen. But there you go, I too am in despair.

    The trouble with loving is losing. I've gone through this with my own horses, it will never get easier. But deciding whether/when to put a horse down is the last kindness we can do for our friends.
         
        05-07-2012, 05:18 AM
      #264
    Started
    Sad Times

    This is a strange period of inactivity. In the UK despite the grim wet weather, the spring holiday weekend brings everything to a halt including the veterinary practice. We await authorisation from the insurance company to use a magic pill which will slow the progress of DiDi’s disease - however it is very expensive medication and they may not agree to pay. The full six week treatment would cost more that DiDi is valued at. However I suspect the vets are keen to try the medication out to see if it works, since they won’t have many EMPF patients on their books. But we all know that lesions on the lungs don’t heal.

    A horse is what it represents to humans because of three fundamental attributes:
    - the horse can be trained by man to be ridden and controlled;
    the horse is incredibly powerful in its hind quarters,
    And the horse has a massive set of lungs which give it the ability to run.
    If any of these attributes break down then it becomes unfit for man’s purposes.

    We have all heard of the expression ’no feet, no horse’ - in a sense we might just a well say: ’no lungs, no horse’. A horse which coughs should not be worked as the act of repeatedly coughing brings on distress. DiDi is coughing more and more, yet all she is doing is walking around her paddock or standing in the corner of her field in the shelter of the tall hedgerow. On other occasions she will have a ‘freak out’ and run around the field which presumably is when she is feeling some form of distress.
    One day she shows lethargy, the next day she will have bursts of hyper activity and be fractious.

    With hindsight, it was this very pattern of behaviour, be it to a lesser extent, which started us out on this journey of discovery and despair. The unexpected ulcer infestation accounted for some of the odd patterns of behaviour but the mood swings must be associated with the lung condition, unless there is some other ailment lurking about we have not yet discovered. At times she stands oddly.

    The question of moving her to the fresh green valley has been put on hold and only partly because of the length of the journey. I don’t want her going off out of my sight and control. Anyway she can’t be moved far out of the reach of the vet which already knows about her illness unless there is some improvement in her condition. That green valley might have a role for rest and recuperation but to move her there only makes sense if she is showing signs of recovery. If the medication does its magic then we can think again but she is best left where she is for the time being.

    I sorted and cleared away her ‘things’ yesterday. She won’t be needing her saddle or bridles nor all the numbnahs, and the winter stable blankets. Even the nearly new purple lunging surcingle and its blanket will not be needed until she can be exercised again. I sorted them, cleaned them and put them away in storage containers in the tack room at home. All she needs nowadays is her waterproof raincoats and perhaps her fly sheets for when the sun does start to shine and the flies come out in force. Her summer coat has grown on well and from a distance she is looking good - be it a little lean. And to think just a couple of months ago I was starting to enquire about a new dressage saddle for her.

    I have noticed that there is no smiling when we talk about her - which is often. I have stopped trying to explain to local well wishers who ask after her well being. If they do ask then invariably my voice breaks and my eyes start to water. I make some brief comment and quickly change the subject.

    There is a framed photo of DiDi and me on the shelf opposite my armchair in the lounge. I don‘t like to move it but at the same time I don’t like to look at it. Alongside is a photo of my terrier bitch who went on her way a few weeks ago. Also on the shelf is a photo of my ten year old Rottweiler who is booked in shortly for an operation to remove a fatty lump.
    My little family is going through a bad patch, that is for sure.

    Writing helps me to clear my mind. I apologise to the readers for the sad tone of this article but as I have said many times before, if we owners had not enjoyed the companionship of a horse (or dog) then we would not feel this awful, debilitating pain when they are in trouble. The grief is perhaps part of the price we pay for owning them.
         
        05-10-2012, 07:55 AM
      #265
    Started
    The weather has been foul, so she's been sleeping in at night.
    There has been no news from the vet and the insurance company so we wait.

    Yesterday as I groomed and played with her, she coughed in single dry coughs,45 times in about an hour and a half. Otherwise she looks good - from a distance. She stands oddly though. Her mood varies from fractious to lethargic.

    She's not getting better though but there again she is not on medication for her lungs - only for the ulcers.

    The title of the thread is 'Whither goeth she?'. I am beginning to believe I can see where, for her sake, where she should go.
         
        05-10-2012, 07:59 AM
      #266
    Yearling
    Driech day here in Scotland as well.

    Your poor pony. I really hope you get the chance to try her on this medication.
         
        05-12-2012, 11:41 AM
      #267
    Weanling
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        05-12-2012, 12:01 PM
      #268
    Weanling
    Oops, guess I accidentally posted while reading; my phone was acting up. This is undoubtedly one of the best threads I've read in a long time. I find myself growing very attached to DiDi; as attached as one can become by following her story online, that is. I really hope for the best for you two, Barry. DiDi is very lucky to have an owner such as yourself.
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        05-12-2012, 01:52 PM
      #269
    Started
    As a result of my contacting the mutual insurance company, belatedly through the post came a claim form. I was asked to give yet more information to support a possible claim to treat lung disease, which of course I gave. As I typed the history of DiDi’s recent past, so the memories came flooding back to me.

    Back in November she had come third in an affiliated elementary dressage competition. Today, seemingly at the drop of a hat, she will cough intermittently. Whilst grooming her, I timed the coughs at 35 times per hour. She can’t be left to suffer at that rate of coughing.

    My girlie has gone from being a Dressage Diva to an old lady with a smoker’s cough. All the insurance claim will bring - if it is authorised - is a packet of very, very, very expensive pills. I won’t get my old horse back. Already her muscle tone has gone and her belly is dropping. The ulcers and the lung lesions will ensure that she is never ever again to be put under stress.

    So today, I groomed her, I fed her favourite soft and juicy pears, I led her in hand to some fresh green grass to nibble on.
    But she has lost her spirit. Her eyes are dull. I miss her sparkle.

    I want my Irish Huzzy back.
         
        05-12-2012, 11:41 PM
      #270
    Yearling
    Barry, I'm so sorry that you are grieving at the loss of the Diva who captured your heart. You honor her with your tales of her achievements and her antics.
         

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