This has been an anxious week at Beaver Creek Farm Sanctuary as we fundraise for our little blind pony Splash. This mare came to us already blind and we’ve done our best to make her life as happy as possible. She has a safe pasture in which to graze, kind equine friends that help guide her around the field and a big strong man to keep her safe. She’s well fed, well watered and incredibly well loved.
This was not enough to heal the damage and trauma that has happened in the past twelve years to this sweet pony who continues to love and trust people. She is a lesson in forgiveness and an open book about how to love with all your heart. Her eyes serve no purpose and only fill her with pain. It would be similar to having a constant migraine, so our trusted vet Matt has strongly recommended having her eyes removed.
We have spent the week on the phone and internet with various veterinarians to determine the best course of action for Splash. There are mixed opinions on the best method to do a bilateral enucleation (removing both eye orbs).
There are two methods:
1. Laying down with anesthetic. The horse is completely knocked out and the surgery is done with the horse on supine. Risks include negative reactions from the anesthetic, bleeding because the horse is laying down, post-anesthetic colic and Splash will have to go to the vet hospital for three days. A place she is unfamiliar with and will be frightened. Benefits: Horse won’t move, no risk of pain during surgery and according to vets in Canada its the most humane way to do a bilateral enucleation.
2. Standing with sedation and a nerve block. The horse is left standing and heavily sedated while the nerves to her face are blocked. Risks include the horse moving, if the horse goes down risk of bleeding and infection go up and ineffective nerve block leaving the horse to feel pain. Benefits: Faster recovery time without the risks that come with anesthetic, almost bloodless surgery as the head is higher than the heart, can be done at home farm and recovery managed in a familiar environment.
Most Canadian vets recommend anesthetic surgery and most American ophthmologist veterinaries recommend standing sedation with nerve block. It has been a struggle to find a Canadian vet willing to come to the farm to perform this surgery and we have one hope from London, Ontario. A wonderful, kind vet who is talking to other vets including an equine ophthmologist to determine the safety of doing this standing at the farm.
We will keep our appointment in Milton for August 6th, 2013 for Splash to spend three days in hospital and have the surgery under anesthetic, but we still hold out hope to keep her at home.
Beaver Creek Farm Sanctuary has been openly asking for donations to help Splash and when we saw a donation from a stranger who simply loves horses we were amazed. We were overwhelmed. We were thrilled that Splash continues to teach people to care about unwanted animals. That her life of pain does not go unnoticed and she is making a difference to educate people and bring the plight of rescue animals into the spotlight.
Thank you for reading and thank you for donating. One horse can change the world.