On March 20, 2010, I went to feed our horses as usual. Quinn was at the fence doing the low-sounding whinny of feeding time. Roxie was standing back not moving. Something was not right. I walked up to her and could not see anything obvious. Then I saw a small trickle of blood coming out of her nose. Ok, that’s weird. But then there was a drip of blood on the ground close to her front feet. Looking up from there, I gasped when I saw a large hole under her neck at her throat. Something, still unknown to this day, had gone straight up into her throat under her neck. The next few hours were spent by her side as we waited for the vet, then as the vet treated her. The decision to bring her to the hospital was made without much thought of what it would cost, or how long she’d be there.
It was a long 6 1/2 weeks for our girl. Every day I would drive 45 minutes to the South Shore Equine Clinic in Plympton, Mass. Dan, my husband, would drive 30 minutes from work and we would just be with her. We like to think that our visits helped her spirits during her recovery. Brushing her seemed like a small thing and she didn’t seem to mind it as much as usual. It was hard seeing her in a stall with the bucket over her mouth. At one point while we were there they went in to retrieve some of the hair that had been trapped by whatever had punctured her throat. As we watched the monitor a large bit of hair would be grabbed by their tool and brought out. Each bit of hair was actually very small. It was painstaking work. The Doctors as SSEC were awesome. You can read the technical aspects of her injury on the SSEC website here.
If you remember back to the end of March 2010, there was flooding throughout the Northeast. The drive to Plympton became a drive to see where the waters were growing or subsiding. The long drive was spent worrying that Roxie wouldn’t be able to eat again. You can’t see it in the picture, but much of the time she had a tube in her nose for feeding. She now has a white spot at the top, where most of the weight of her apparatus was. We were able to start walking her outside and she did eat grass, but all of it, with whatever water she could drink just came out as green sludge.
On about May 11, 2010, it was determined that she had progressed as far as she could at the hospital. They sent her home hoping it would do her more good to be there. (See her reunion with stablemate Quinn). Roxie spent her days in a small green pasture at Stony Creek Farm in Swansea, Mass. She would eat grass until about 1 pm when I would get out of work and bring her a mash of beet pulp, oatmeal and molasses (we actually cooked it like brownies). She would also get a little bit of alfalfa hay, and I’d check her water. At 5 I went again to feed her and Quinn. In the beginning, as we walked back to her regular paddock she would spew green slime on my back when she did the blowing out of her nose and mouth that horses do. She would go into a paddock just across from her regular one, so she could eat supper without being rushed and bothered by Quinn. She would get more mash and alfalfa. It was a critical time because if she couldn’t keep food and water in she wouldn’t make it. Then both of us went again to the barn around 7:30 to put her back in her regular paddock. She was tended to 4 times a day.
After about a week and a half, I realized she hadn’t spewed me with green slime in a couple of days! Oh My God (!), that meant she was keeping it all down! It looked like she was going to be okay. She continued to get better all the time. On May 11, 2010, she came home after 6 1/2 weeks of spewing green sludge everytime she tried to eat
We are eternally grateful to Dr. Mark Reilly and Dr. Linda Cimetti and other doctors and all of the staff at SSEC, at the time of her injury. She is still doing well with no visible scars from that horrific injury.
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