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Well-Known Member
Jan 9, 2004
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Shawnee, Oklahoma
Hi everybody,

I am posting this in the hopes that nobody ever has to go through this.

As most of you know, we lost our beautiful Angel the first of this month. This is the first time I have been able to post the entire story.

About a week after Angel foaled, we noticed she wasn't cleaning up her grain. This was not real unusual for her as she would take most of the day to finish her grain.

The next thing that we noticed was that she was lethargic and didn't want her carrots. She went to the vet the same day.

The vet took a blood sample and said she had some kind of a virus and put her on antibiotics. She did better for a couple of days then started acting lethargic again. We took her back to the vet and she was dehydrated and showing signs of colic. He gave her fluids, kept her overnight to watch her and make sure she was past the colic and sent her home, still on the antibiotics. Three days later, she was still not doing well and I noticed she was walking funny. Not real bad, just not normal. We went back to the vet and once again she was dehydrated. He watched her walk into the office and started giving her some more tests. He told me at that time that he was pretty sure she had West Nile even though she had been vaccinated. He took more blood for testing, put her back on IV's and kept her in the hospital.

Week 2: She came home and seemed to be doing better even though she wobbled when she walked, she was eating and drinking. She didn't get better, but didn't get worse for a few days. Then we noticed she was acting like she was in pain. A late night visit to the vet and he again started IV's and kept her.

Week 3. Angel was allowed to come home but was on antibiotics, banamine, and maalox. She stayed home 3 days this time. I called the vets office to see what her results were and was incorrectly told that she had West Nile. Then she started really having trouble walking and would hardly hold her head up. Back to the hospital. This was Friday before Labor Day. She seemed to rally a little Saturday morning and when I went to check on her she raised her head and whinnied. That was the sweetest sound I had heard in weeks.

Saturday evening late, the vet called and asked us to come to the hospital as there was a problem. We were there in 10 minutes. Angel was standing with her head down and paid no attention when we went in. She was shocky and was obviously in pain. Two vets had conferred and were sure she had a twisted gut. They gave her a 20% chance of survival with surgery and none without it. We opted for the surgery. When they opened her up, her liver was abcessed and nothing could be done to save her.

When I conferred with the vet about the West Nile symptoms and why he thought she had West Nile, he told me that the staggering gait, colic symptoms, and some of the other symptoms that she had were consistent with West Nile.

I thought of something later that I had noticed but couldn't find a reason so I didn't think anymore about it but when she first got sick, I noticed that she had an odor. To me it smelled like infection. I so wish that I had thought of that and said something to the vet about it. It might have made a difference.

We are convinced that Angel held on so long so that her filly would be old enough to have a good chance of survival. Her filly is doing well now and has been named Angel's Legacy.

Thank you for sharing those details....someday that information just might save someone elses horse.......


Thank you for sharing your story with us. I know how easy it is to go through all the "what if's" and the "if only I had...". Believe me, I know... But please know that you did everything you could, with the knowledge that you had at the time. And that's all you can ask for...

By sharing your story perhaps you will be able to help others.

Again, I am so sorry for your loss, and for your pain.

Big hugs,

Liz R.
Mary, I'm so sorry you had to go through that and the outcome was not a good one. Many of those symptoms are consistent with hyperlipemia and I wonder if your vet tested her for that? It frequently occurs in mares shortly after foaling brought on by stress.

I am glad her filly is doing well now and you've picked a beautiful name for her!
Thank you for sharing. I remember this when it happened and again I am so very sorry for the loss of your Angel but am so happy her Legacy is doing well.

Thank you so much for sharing your story about Angel. I know this was not an easy thing for you to do.

Hugs and prayers for you as you mourn the loss of your precious Angel.

I am so happy that she left you "Angel's Legacy" to live on in her name. What a beautiful tribute to your Angel.

It was hard to relive this by posting it but I hope that it will help if anyone else ever has to go through this.

Becky, yes she was tested. That was the first test that I requested since you had mentioned it before. I wish that had been the case, maybe we could have saved her.

Legacy and her new friend Woodson's Maggie Mae (Thanks Clara!) are both doing well and are so bonded. They are touching each other almost all the time.

Thank You Charlotte for suggesting the Progressive Foals First feed when we couldn't get Legacy to eat. She loves it!

I really appreciate all of the prayers and support that we recieved from all of the forum family this past month. It really means a lot.

It is nice to know that there are other people that care as much for their equine family as we do and that understand how devastating it is to lose one of your "kids".


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