Horse and Man blog brings us a story about Tullie, about the stupidity of some owners and a miraculous survival story…
You are probably asking yourself, “What in the world happened to this horse?” Nuclear waste spilled on her? Acid? She slipped and fell into a poisonous pond?
Nope. Her owners did this to her. You see, poor Tullie was suffering from Rain Rot (we won’t go into the ‘whys’ of that here). Her owners mistakenly thought that she had the canine disease of mange, so they mixed lime with auto transmission fluid and poured it all over her body.
Let me say that again. THEY MIXED UP LIME AND AUTO TRANSMISSION FLUID AND POURED IT ALL OVER HER BODY.
First of all, even if she did have canine mange, that is not how one should treat any animal, mange or no mange. But, regardless, my mouth is on the ground over this one.
IN COMES HORSE FEATHERS EQUINE RESCUE, INC TO SAVE THE DAY!
I don’t know the details on how Cheri from HORSE FEATHERS EQUINE RESCUE, INC came to treat poor Tullie, but I know she got her just in time. The young mare was 400 lbs underweight — no surprise there — with burns over 70% of her body. She lost the tips of her ears and was in severe pain.
Immediately, Tullie was rushed to the equine hospital. Her Albumin levels were at 2 (a normal range is approx 30). Tullie wouldn’t survive much longer so she was given two pints of plasma right away. Everyone held their breath to see if she would turn the corner.
Cheri said that she knew Tullie would make it because the poor, sick, wounded, hurting little filly wanted to eat and drink all the time, even at the hospital while she was on death’s door.
Slow. As with human burn victims, the process is slow and there is always the risk of infection. Everything has to be done methodically and with very sterile-minded precautions in place.
Tullie couldn’t stand for long periods of time so Cherie had 3-5 volunteers hold her up while they treated her. Can you imagine how much this must have hurt?! But, she did it.
First, they started with debridement of the worst areas. Tullie handled this without sedation. Without sedation. VERY BRAVE MARE, INDEED.
Then, they used a mixture of Aloe Vera Gel and Lidocaine to numb and heal the area. The areas that they could clean, were treated with Tea Tree oil and Clorhex. This process took months…
Cherie said that no one ever gave up because Tullie never gave up. In her words:
“She has so much spirit and all she wanted to do was to eat and drink constantly. Her body needed all it could get to heal inside and out.”
Tullie ate, drank, gained strength, dealt with the pain, dealt with the constant salve applications and dressings, forced herself to move about to gain muscle strength and slowly but surely, she healed.
DIFFICULT TO GAIN WEIGHT
Tullie was healing but not gaining enough weight. Having low Albumin greatly effects fat absorption and the liver. But, her liver was good so it was time to add a fat supplement her feed. After Cherie tried just about every product out there, Tullie finally started to gain the necessary fat with a product called Envision by Progressive. She says that it is expensive but this product is all that she will use now because it works the best. In fact, she uses it on all her horses who need to gain or who are difficult to build.
Some kind donor sent this product to Cherie to use on Tullie’s new skin.
It is made via honey bees. Hospital burn units now use this with human patients. It really helped with healing by keeping the moisture in the skin. Check their website for more info.
She is almost all healed, physically. It took 3 years. 3 YEARS! That is devotion… Thank you, Cherie.
Cherie had this to say about Tullie now:
“There were many times I wondered if she would make it but Tullie seemed to love being the “auntie” to the babies we had born here. Tullie does have a standoffish attitude with new people… I can’t say I blame her. She is here, she is alive and she is happy.”