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Amara

I came across a post on Facebook for a mare lot# 9937 at Bowie Texas Livestock on May 6, 2023. From the livestock yard video, she looked like she might be a little lame in her back left leg. Just like so many of our other rescued horses here at the foundation and probably the reason she was dumped at the livestock yard. The livestock yard video also showed that she has some other wounds/abrasions that need to be treated as well. We didn't know what the abrasions were from but it looked like she was in an accident of some kind. We arranged with our veterinarian to get her into the clinic on our way back from the livestock yard. We also wanted her blood work checked for infection or other medical concerns that would need to be treated. Welcome Lot#9937 to the Big Hoof Foundation Family!

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When we arrived at Bowie to pick her up her condition was much worse than we expected. ​ Not only was she underweight, she had abrasions all over her left side and most of the skin on the left side of her face had come off. We are guessing she had an accident while pulling equipment. The black spot on her back side was definitely not from rubbing in the trailer because it was swollen and you could see under the skin. We sent a video to Dr. Waggoner at Mobile Veterinary Practice as we headed straight to her office so we could get Amara the medical attention she needed.

 

After getting her the initial medical attention she needed we found out that she also had an infection of some kind (probably from the wounds) that we treated with antibiotics. We also got her wounds cleaned up and continued the cleaning protocols after she arrived at her retirement home on the farm.  She was ready to start her retirement life filled with love and kindness.

 

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From the first day we got Amara home, she was having a problem with her neck. She could not lower her head to the ground to eat from a bowl in the manger nor could she drink from the waterers. She had a severely stiff neck, probably from her original accident.

A few weeks later, when I went out to feed everyone, Amara was laying down in her run and would not get up. Any horse owner knows that a horse that will not get up on their own is a very serious situation. She was laying on her left side (the one with the injuries) and was struggling on the ground but would not stand up. We contacted our veterinarian right away! 

She seemed like she could not get her back leg (the lame one) to bend to get it underneath her to stand up along with the stiff neck the odds were against her. We thought if we could get her rolled to the other side she would be able to use her better leg to help her stand up. Dr. Waggoner told us to keep her calm and let her rest as much as possible till she arrived, and that's what we did.

 

When Dr. Waggoner from Mobile Veterinary Practice arrived, she evaluated Amara for injuries and gave her medicine for pain and stiff muscles. Eventually we were able to roll her over and she stood up on her own. However, a little while after we got her up, she was acting like she wanted to lay down again. Dr Waggoner said she could have a mild case of colic and we needed to bring her to the clinic. We kept her walking until we got the trailer hooked up and were ready to load her up.

 

Once at the vet, Dr. Waggoner was able to do a more thorough exam. She performed an ultrasound to look for signs of colic. Colic is a general term to describe problems with the gastro-intestinal tract. There are many different forms of colic and the severity of colic ranges. There were no clear signs of colic from the ultrasound. She was also very thorough in listening to her gut sounds, palpating and evaluating her behavior. From there, Dr. Waggoner administered fluids with electrolytes, pain medications and started an IV for additional fluids. 

 

When the results of her bloodwork came back, it showed she still was fighting an infection after being on antibiotics for two weeks. So, additional antibiotics were given for another two weeks. While she was there Dr. Waggoner did x-rays of her neck to see why she was so stiff. We found out that Amara had severe arthritis and possible disk disease in her neck causing her spinal cord to be compressed. Amara stayed at the vet two days for further monitoring and fluids. She seemed to be feeling herself again. While she was at the vet,  she received shockwave laser therapy on her neck to help with the pain. Since the treatment, she seems to be moving her neck more freely. When she gets stronger we will take her back to MVP for some chiropractic adjustments.

Since she returned home, she has been spending time relaxing, recovering, going on walks and making friends with Dutch and Liam! 

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Dr. Waggoner wanted to recheck Amara's bloodwork to make sure her infection was cleared up. Amara was still having weakness in her back end and Dr. Waggoner was concerend that she was having neurological issues because of her severe arthritis in her neck. We continued to treat Amara with shockwave therapy and chiropractic adjustments to hopefully help alieviate the pain Amara was having in her neck. 

 

Shock wave therapy is a super-sonic wave of focused sound energy that pulses through the body. As it passes through cells, it stresses them into releasing healing proteins, which has a positive effects of increasing blood flow, decreasing inflammation, accelerating bone growth, releasing muscle tension while providing pain relief in horses. Amara also received chiropractic adjustments on her neck, back and hips. Amara seemed to be doing much better after her treatments! She was on the road to recovery, getting all the alfa pro, hay, belly scratches, neck massages, love and attention she deserved. We were giving her the retirement life she deserved. 

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Despite all our treatment and efforts to get her better, Amara took a turn for the worse. The weakness in her back end from the arthritis and spine compression had advanced to stumbling and being off balance. She did not want to leave the barn or go out on walks. We believe the pain in her neck was getting worse and on July 8, 2023 Amara collapsed in the barn. She could not get up. Unlike the last time she went down, this time she was fighting us and did not want to stand up. We tried to get her up but she fought to stay laying down.

 

We contacted Dr. Waggoner right away and explained what had happened and she said the best thing we could do for her was to say goodbye. We were devastated that there wasn't more we could do for this precious girl but we did what was best for Amara. Her body was tired and so was she. I stayed in the barn with her throughout the night in hopes she would try and stand on her own. I never left her side. During the night, she rested but did not move and she did not try to get up.  

 

Cory and I made the difficult decision that it was time to say goodbye because it was what was best for Amara. 

 

Dr. Waggoner came to the farm that morning, we said our goodbyes and stayed with her until the end. She was surrounded by everyone that loved her, she closed her eyes and passed peacefully.     

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Run Free Sweet Girl!
We will love you always and forever! 
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Amara's journey was documented on our farms YouTube channel. You can find videos og Amara's time with us and you can see just how much she was loved.
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