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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Warning, this is going to be a long one.

Ifm posting this to show people that when things start looking up it can turn in an instant. And because I need to get it out or itfs going to eat me alive.

Also, keep in mind, this was NOT my horse even though I did love him like my own, so I was limited in my actions. << Remember this statement if you decide to say something negative about what happened. If you have any questions I will be happy to answer them via PM. I hope I did the best I could with what I had to work with. I posted this as a hopeful learning experience, possibly, I don't know. I think I just needed to get it out because I've been stressing/crying over it all week.
@
The Story:

I will start with this statement. Just because they donft roll/thrash, doesnft mean itfs not bad. Treat every case as though it could turn into a worst case scenario.

I was asked to take care of my BOfs horses for the evening feeding this past Friday because they were going to a wedding. That morning my BO had texted me saying Charlie, their unbelievably lovable and sweet pony, was goff his feed in the morning but he was acting fine otherwise so if he didnft eat that evening to let him know.h I said okay and made plans to go to the local horse auction that night after I took care of the animals.


My sister and I made our way down to the farm around 4, about two hours before feeding time. We were going to work on hooking my Halloween costume up to my saddle. At this time, my BO and his son hadnft left for the wedding yet and we stood around talking for a few minutes. I looked out into the field and saw Charlie just standing around by Dice(he and Dice were best buds) not trying to graze and just looking kind of glum. I asked my BO and he said oh hefs been doing that all day. I asked if he took his temp or anything to see if he had a fever and he said no. After a few more minutes of talking they had to leave to meet my BOfs wife at the wedding. And my sister and I got to work on the costume.

~Fast forward one hour.~

My sister and I are getting ready to feed the horses so we can leave at 5:30 to get to the auction on time(started at 6:30.) We grab their feed and go out to feed them and notice Charlie is still looking really glum. Now Charlie may not have been mine but other than my own horses on the farm he was my favorite and I was VERY protective of him. They all came up to eat and Charlie just didnft look or act interested at all. So I sectioned him off from everyone else and fed them(I didnft feed Charlie) and started to look him over. I noticed his breathing was a bit elevated but nothing else out of the ordinary so far. I had my sister help me and we went in search of a thermometer. And as my luck would have it we couldnft find one, or the horse first aid kit for that matter. So we head back outside.


When I got back outside I noticed his left shoulder muscle was quivering A LOT and he was grinding his teeth. Charlie doesnft normally grind his teeth so immediately Iem thinking pain. And on top of that hefs starting to sweat. It was about 50-something degrees out he should not have been sweating. Okay Ifm starting to get more worried so I call my friendfs mom (They have had horses for years and I didnft want to disturb my BO at the wedding.) I tell her everything thatfs going on and shefs talking through my ideas with me. I start doing his vital signs over the phone with her. Gums- pink but not pink enough, cap refill- ok but on the slower side, pinch test for dehydration- skin went back slow, respiration - 38 breaths per minute(eek), couldnft do temp since I had no thermometer, and when I checked for gut sounds my heart dropped, they were there but not like they should be.

Then out of nowhere Charliefs bottom lip pulls back and freezes into a scrunched up frozen position. I immediately begin to internally panic as I thought he was having a stroke. My friendfs mom tells me to call my BO and get his permission to call the vet out(Our vet wonft treat without owner permission.) In that instant of me getting off the phone with her he started sweating profusely. Like DRIPPING with sweat around his ears, neck, chest, stifles, and girth area.

I call my BO and start telling him whatfs going on. He said goh yeah I didnft hear too many gut sounds this morning when I checked him.h (My thought- well lovely so glad I was told this.) I ask him if he wanted me to call the vet out and he said gno, wefll see how he is when we get home from the wedding.h By now itfs like 6 and the wedding was just about to start so I had no clue what to do. He tells me to give him some banamine then I got off the phone with him.

I call my friendfs mom back as I head for the house in search of banamine. Ifm telling her what went on and shefs helping me keep calm as best as she can. I find the banamine and head back out to give him a good dose of it. After I gave him the banamine my friendfs mom gave me a few more ideas and then she had to go but told me to call or text her if I need her. I went and got Charlie some warmish water to see if he would drink it beings as the water in the field was ice cold and by now the temp was dropping. By the time I got Charlie his water he seemed to have calmed down a bit.

I called my dad to let him know what was going on and he told me he was going to come over to help me if I need it. I said sure because I was planning on watching him until my BO got home. I told him I was going to run to the pharmacy and grab a thermometer so I could check his temp. My sister placed the bucket of warm water in front of Charlie and we made our way to the pharmacy. I went to the pharmacy while my sister walked next store to grab us hot drinks since wefd be out in the cold a while. We totally my luck the pharmacy didnft have ANY thermometers, my luck sucks. The lady who worked there said gCold and flu season we sold out.h Well lovely. So we head back to the farm.

When we got back we had been gone about 10-15minutes and when we pulled up we noticed Charlie was in the exact same spot where we left him. Just standing there hanging his head. Dice was standing on the other side of the fence next to him. By now it was around 6:30-7. My sister and I had decided long before we wouldnft be going to the auction. Charlie seemed more comfortable not sweating like he was and his breathing slowed a bit. He had not offered to roll or anything the entire time we watched him. I went to stand next to him in the field to listen to his gut sounds again when he started walking. Then he laid down and just sat there for a second then got back up. I immediately texted my BO and told him and he said to let him know if he does it again.

He stood still for a while before wandering around again. The funny thing is he seemed gbetterh while he was wandering around. More upbeat and I thought ok maybe it was a bit of gas and his tummy was hurting. Then he wandered to the middle field and went down again. ~crap~ I walk out there and he just looked odd. Not your typical lay down. His eyes were rolled, his legs were odd, his breathing changed, it wasnft just an goh Ifm resting.h But he wasnft trying to roll but it clicks in my mind that I have to get him up.

Ifm doing my ****dest to get this pony up and as I am doing so I am calling my BO. He answers and I practically scream to him that I canft get him up at all and he looks odd. Finally this time he says hefs going to call the vet and call me back. Charlie was down in the odd position for a few minutes(It seemed like forever) and I could not get him up. Someone must have been looking out for me because when I looked up I saw my dad had just pulled up. By this time I am crying my eyes out that I canft get him up. As my dad is making his way over my BO calls back saying the vet will be there in 10mins. Thank God! He tells me to let him know what the vet says and we hang up.

By this time my dad had gotten to me and Charlie and it took us both to get him up. But when we got him up he started walking and he was staggering to his left like a drunkard. So I immediately thought stroke again, or seizure. I ran over and grabbed him and my dad had to hold him up on his left side to make sure he wasnft going to lose his balance. We started walking him around and I was just praying the vet would get there fast. He had resumed his teeth grinding and sweating as well.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity(but doesnft it always?), the vet showed up and we moved Charlie out under the spot light so we could see better. I gave the vet all of the info I had on Charlie; vitals, when I gave the banamine last, age, whatfs been going on, what my BO told me, etc. He immediately gave him a shot of banamine and then started his work over. Pale gums. His heart rate was up near 80bpm!! And no gut sounds. After a few minutes the vet listened to his heart again and it was down to 75bpm. ~okay so itfs going down thatfs a good sign~ Forgive me because I do not remember the names of the next two shots he gave. But he gave him another shot that would hopefully help his heart rate.

After the second shot he gave him a few minutes and then checked again. Heart rate was down to 70bpm. Okay still real high but going down. It just wasnft going down the way the vet hoped it would. He gave him another shot that was like a sedative and would help to calm his system down and also calm him down so the vet could do a rectal. When the vet did the rectal exam he was only able to pull out a handful of manure and it was full of sand. He went back in to try again but was stopped by something that forced his hand to go down.

He determined there was definitely something going on but he was too scared to tube him because of how high his heart rate was. He checked his heart rate again and it was down to 65bpm. So it was still real high but it was gradually going down. And he had some gut sounds on the right side but not too many on the left. The vet had a grim look on his face and said he gseemsh to be improving but not as quick as he would like. We called my BO and the vet talked to him about the options and what we should do. He said he thinks there is a blockage but hefs not sure but there was a possibility he could pull out of it. And that there was a chance he could require surgery but because of the expense and Charliees age(he was around 27) they opted against it. My BO determined because things seemed to be looking up wefd give him a chance. So the vet left me with another tube of banamine to give him more in 6 hours and said if anything changed call him out immediately. And he said if Charlie wanted to lay down to rest as long as he wasnft rolling to let him.

So we just let Charlie hang out with us while we watched him. He would walk on his own and wherever he walked we would follow him if he stopped we let him stop. He would walk till he found a nice spot and would quietly lay down and rest. Twenty minutes after the vet left my BO and his son came home. They skipped the reception to come back. I forget what time it was around this point. We put a blanket on Charlie because of the temps and my dad took my sister home with him as she was cold and it was getting late.

From then on my BO and I were outside with him, just following him around and letting him do his thing. He would walk then stop, walk then stop, then lay down to rest. Most of the time in the upright laying position. Sometimes he would go to his side but it wasnft often. We began to hear a bunch of gut sounds and we were getting very optimistic. The sweating had stopped completely and his respirations were getting slower. At 1:30am we gave him another dose of oral banamine paste(as per vetfs recommendations.)

By 2:30am he hadnft gone to lay down for a long time and we were both freezing (It was in the 30s) and my feet were soaked and frozen(Didnft have proper footwear with me.) We noticed he was looking much better. He was calm, breathing slower, and we heard a decent amount of gut sounds on both sides. We decided to put him in the round pen, that can be seen from the house, so we could still keep an eye while we went in to warm up.

From then on Iwent out every half hour like clockwork to check on him, check for manure, check vitals, etc. I went out around 4am and noticed that he had dirt and stuff on his back. He had rolled. I listened for gut sounds and there were a good amount on both sides and he wasnft breathing heavily at all. I went and got him a bucket of warmish water and then sat down to keep an eye on him. He then walked over to the bucket and pawed it over. This is TOTALLY his personality so it gave me even more hope. So I went and got him another bucket of water then wrapped myself up in my horses winter blanket and sat with him for about an hour keeping an eye on him. He was still acting calm and relaxed. After the hour and nothing alarming popping up I decided to go back in and get some tea to warm up.

Again I resumed my 30 minute checks. Going out checking vitals, checking him, seeing if he had anything to drink, making sure he wasnft rolling. Each time he seemed completely fine/borderline normal.

~I apologize in advance for grammar mistakes as Ifm crying now~

I went out for my 6:30am check and he was up and relaxed. He just looked tired, which would be understandable with what he went through. He had drank some water, he had some gut sounds. I was still worried about the lack of manure but I figured since everything seemed to be going better it would come pretty soon. No evidence of rolling at all other than the one time at 4am. I went back inside again. (And I really, really wish I hadnft now.)

My BO woke up around 6:50 and it was getting close to my next half hour check at 7am. So he gets up and hefs getting his boots on and I say gIfm going to go check Charlie, meet you out there.h It was weird. I walked out the door and on EVERY SINGLE ONE of my other checks I looked right at the round pen where Charlie was. This time something felt different and I looked at the sunrise and thought gOh wow thatfs a pretty sunrise.h and without thinking I snapped a picture on my phone.

I continued walking to the round pen and noticed Charlie was laying down. I first thought eoh hefs finally resting.f I picked up the pace and called gChar-pony, what are ya doing?h He didnft move. I knew something wasnft right. I booked it to the round pen and threw that gate open so fast. I guess my subconscious wanted him to be breathing because it looked like he was. I ran to him placed my hand on his side and looked at his face. He was gone. There were no signs of struggle on the ground so it must have happened quick.

I ran from the round pen bawling my eyes out and ran to the house. I opened the door and tried to be quiet because my BOfs wife and son were still sleeping. My BO was just getting ready to go into the bathroom when he looked at me crying and said gWhatfs wrong?h I just sobbed gHefs gone.h He said gWhat do you mean?h And I had to repeat those horrible, horrible words gHefs gone!h

I turned and ran out of the house with my BO on my heels. When we got to the round pen he saw that Charlie was indeed gone and just hugged me and cried with me saying I did everything I could for him, I was out with him all night. He then left me to go wake his wife(it was her pony) and his son to let them know.

I just laid myself down on Charlie and cried and cried because it hurt so bad. I was with him almost all night checking him and he seemed to be steadily improving and at my last check he was fine. I couldnft get over that I was never going to see this amazing pony alive ever again. I couldnft get over how everything seemed to be getting better and then it was just horrible. How could this happen to Charlie? WHY CHARLIE?! I wanted to scream it over and over. I just kept telling him how much I loved him and what a good pony he was and there would never be another pony like him.

My BO, his wife, and son came out a few moments later and just sat there with me. It seriously hurt me so bad. And then Dice came over to the round pen and just stared at him with a curious look on his face. Then it hit me that he lost his best buddy and I started crying even more. These two were attached at the hip! I have pictures from when we first put Charlie in the round pen and Dice kept trying to get in to be with him. I cried for what seemed like forever just petting Charlie and repeating over and over that I loved him and how much I was going to miss him.

We had my BOfs son bring Dice in to see him since they were so close. Dice slowly, hesitantly walked over to him and then put his nose on Charliefs neck and smelled him for what felt like forever. I started bawling my eyes out again and then Dice moved and (I kid you not!) placed his nose/muzzle on my head for a few moments with his eyes closed as I cried. Me and this horse have NEVER had more of an emotional connecting moment than that. I feel like it changed our relationship slightly. Hefs slowly becoming more and more like Phantom. Then Dice turned and walked out of the round pen with the BOfs son following him to shut it.

While my BO figured out how to get a backhoe to bury him his wife and I went to the local tack shop to pick up his blanket which had JUST gotten done being cleaned and prepped for winter. We got it to bury him in. My uncle came with an excavator and dug a hole for Charlie and we covered him with his blanket and I left a few of his favorite treats with him. It was strange in a sad way. As we were moving Charlie to the hole all three of the horses in the other pen (dice and the other two that were in with him, we separated them all so we could bury him in the field.) watched him go past the field and when we got him to the hole they all walked down to their lean-to and didnft leave it until everything was said and done.

We called the vet to let him know what happened. And what was thought was there must have been a twist in his intestines and they burst. It looked like everything was getting better, and I had so much hope, then suddenly bam. I think in the back of my mind I knew he might not make it but the signs of him gimprovingh made me hopeful.

Itfs still surreal that Ifm never going to see that droopy lipped love bug come bug me for treats ever again.

RIP Char-Pony. You were the greatest pony to ever walk this earth. You put up with so much and you donft know how happy it made me to see your adorable face every time I came to the barn. I love you and I am going to miss you so much.

Me and Mr. Charlie (This was at my little brother's birthday party, he was giving pony rides.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
All of my apostrophes got changed to "f's" I'm sorry I thought I had 15 mins to edit but when I finished editing them out it said I had only had 10 minutes. I'm sorry for that.
 

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You have my deepest condolences. Bless your heart, you have nothing to beret or doubt yourself about. IMO, you went above board and did all you could. He looked like a sweet little guy. I'm sure a lovely appy mare (my girl) was at the gate to lead him over the rainbow bridge.

Take care,
Tess
 

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I am so sorry you had to go through this. You did everything you could and he spent his last few moments knowing he was truly loved and cared for. Please don't blame yourself, it's not your fault.

I am always for calling the vet at any sign of something being wrong. I would rather pay for peace of mind and have it be nothing than have it be something and pay for disposal. Whenever my boy had his accident last year, both my father and friend said that he had just"got his bell rung" and would be fine. If I had listened to them, my baby boy would not be here. I thank God for my amazing vet and my little miracle. Would it have made a difference if the vet was called hours earlier? Maybe. Maybe not. I just know my boy would not have made it if I had waited hours.
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I'm so sorry for your loss....
 

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Looks like such a sweet guy:D.Sorry you had to go through that ordeal & that he crossed over rainbow bridge may Charlie RIP:-( {{{hugs}}}
 

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So sorry. :( It's always hard to lose one. I would cut yourself and the BO some slack. This pony was 27 and sometimes there's just not much anyone can do. Waiting a little while to make sure the horse is really ill, then opting not to do an incredibly expensive surgery that's not guaranteed to work is not always the wrong decision It may have just been his time. You can't know how it would have turned out with surgery on an old guy. Very sorry for your loss. May he RIP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So sorry. :( It's always hard to lose one. I would cut yourself and the BO some slack. This pony was 27 and sometimes there's just not much anyone can do. Waiting a little while to make sure the horse is really ill, then opting not to do an incredibly expensive surgery that's not guaranteed to work is not always the wrong decision It may have just been his time. You can't know how it would have turned out with surgery on an old guy. Very sorry for your loss. May he RIP.
I know and honestly I don't think he would have made it through a surgery(I didn't at the time either.) He lived a really long and happy life. I just put the "warning" because sometimes people get a bit... passionate on threads like these. That's why I said I would take any concerns through PM. Thank you though it does make me feel a little better. The thing I regret is leaving him during that half hour. I wish I had stayed so he wasn't alone.

I want to be clear, I did NOT post this to bash/lay blame on anyone, far from it. I posted it as a reminder to show people even if it looks like it's getting better you should still keep your guard up because you may not be out of the woods or even close to it. I've seen it so many times where things start looking better and everyone gets their hopes up then they get crushed.

Thank you guy for your condolences. It means a lot, he was definitely a special little guy and no one will replace him. His owner was very, very kind and gave me a few locks of his mane and I'll cherish them.
 

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When a horse has a twisted intestine or a severe blockage, they can act just like Charlie did, not bad, but "off". When the gut does rupture, they feel no acute pain and actually feel relief from the internal pain since the pressure is now gone. However, they will turn septic very quickly and die as Charlie did.
Surgery would not have helped, by the time the gut ruptures, there is too much fecal material etc in the belly and horses do not usually make it at that point.
As severe as this sounded, even if they had tried surgery, he most likely would have had a bad ending... You did all you could. .
 

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Such a sad story. I'm so sorry for your loss. He sounded like an awesome pony. He was very lucky to have you there with him the entire evening.
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It sounds like you made sure this pony knew just how much he was loved in his last hours. You can know that you are the reason he was comforted when he was scared, and the reason that he passed so peacefully. Condolences for your loss.
 

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You have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about - you did everything you possibly could... short of perhaps insisting in that first call to the BO that the vet should be got, but can't blame you for not. Sounds to me that the BO was negligent, either out of ignorance or preoccupation & not wanting to spoil the wedding gig. Sounds like the vet should have been called long before they went out.
 

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You couldn't have done anymore than you did.
Doesn't sound much like colic to me unless he had twisted a gut earlier in which case they will be quiet with the pain.
He might have had a slow aneurism and was bleeding internally. Doesn't matter he has gone but was loved and cared for and that is what counts.
 
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