Category Archives: Raven

Raven’s Improvement

Raven is looking more and more like the beautiful Thoroughbred filly she was born to be! Her transformation has been slow but she has put on weight and the scars from her neglect are fading. It is amazing to watch the rain rot and starvation coat fall away and this young athletic beauty emerge. SAFE Barn Manager Lindsay has put a lot of time into grooming and loving on Raven. She has been on top of treating the rain rot, introducing Raven to sponge baths, and teaching her to stand for grooming. With all this great handling, Raven has become very sweet!

This past week, Lisa started introducing Raven to very light groundwork sessions. She is learning the foundations that will help her learn good manners. This foundation will help her make an easy transition into a riding horse.

Raven is very smart and catching on quickly. Lisa said that it is really great to work with a blank slate like Raven where everything is new. Watching her process and accept what is being asked of her is exciting and rewarding. Lisa wrote this about volunteering with SAFE and working with Raven: “This is why I cannot stop talking about Save a Forgotten Equine and the work we do for our horses upon arriving at SAFE in February; a severely underweight 1 year-old with a hideous starvation coat that couldn’t hide her terrible case of rain rot, and 3 months later, 100+ lbs later with a healthy, shiny, whole coat, looking like a real filly and learning to be a productive equine citizen.”

Here are some photos of Raven working with Lisa this week:

Raven: Health Update – Refeeding

Lisa has been working with Raven and SAFE’s Herd Health team to care for Raven. Here is a a recap from Lisa about Raven’s journey so far here at SAFE:

Raven came to SAFE in January severely underweight, having come through two nasty bouts of colic while in the care of Snohomish County Animal Control. In cases of equine starvation, it is VERY important to introduce the proper amount and balance of food and nutrition slowly so as not to shock the horse’s system. Improperly handled re-feeding can result in colic and, in the worst cases, death. Because of these risks, we work very closely with our veterinarians when re-feeding new intakes at SAFE, constantly monitoring them throughout the day and night for signs of illness or discomfort. When Raven came to SAFE we were on high alert in case she had any more colic issues.

Under the guidance of Dr. Renner and Dr. Fleck of Rainland Farm Equine Clinic, we very slowly began to introduce Raven to a diet of a complete feed that would provide the necessary calories and nutrients and Alfalfa hay, which is gentle on a horse’s stomach and has high protein and calcium content with a good balance of fiber and caloric value.

Raven experienced mild bouts of colic several times early on in her re-feed program and, after 3 such episodes, the doctors at Rainland Farm decided to put her on a senior feed diet, completely eliminating any hay. There is some concern that her ability to digest forage (hay) has been compromised due to the fact that she was so severely neglected at such a young and developmentally critical age. We started with 5 small feedings each day, gradually increasing the amount of grain while decreasing the number of daily feedings. Under this routine over the past 6 weeks, Raven has not colicked again, is slowly gaining weight, and is definitely gaining spunk!

We have increased her daily feedings, nearly doubling the amount of food she can have, and are thrilled that, at 880lbs and 6 weeks without a colic episode, she is finally healthy enough to be vaccinated! We continue to monitor Raven closely and are hopeful that with a little weight gain and a balanced system, we will soon be able to slowly introduce hay back into her diet, eventually shifting her to a more natural, forage-based diet for good.

With said weight gain and balanced diet, we will also get to start saying “Sayonara! Adios! BUH-bye!!” to her thick, dull, unhealthy starvation coat and get to meet the sleek black beauty that is lurking underneath!

Raven: Herd Health Update – Treating Rain Rot

Below is a report from Lisa on Raven’s rain rot and the care she is receiving from SAFE to heal:

Raven came to SAFE in January not only severely underweight, but with one of the worst cases of rain rot we have seen. Huge patches of her back, hips, and rump were covered by the crusty bacterial infection, the rest of her long, unhealthy coat (what we call a “starvation coat” that will shed out as her body receives and adjusts to proper nutrition) and mane in mats. Our Operations Director, Herd Health Manager, Barn Managers, and volunteers began to treat this infection by applying an anti-microbial spray, letting it soak, then pulling up the hair and scabs that came loose.

“Raven’s rain rot is pretty bad… the worst I’ve had to clean. …the chunks started just falling out. Some dry but most had puss on the ends of the pieces. She stood and ate with a handler at her head.” ~Terry Phelps, Operations Director

Rain rot is caused by a bacteria (Dermatophilus congolensis) that lives dormant in the outer layer of skin and can cause small, pinpoint lesions when the skin is compromised; exposed to prolonged wetness, high humidity, extreme heat, or even biting insects. The bacterium then produces little threadlike tentacles (hyphae) that penetrate the living epidermis (skin) and spread like mad…. If left untreated, the horse can develop small lesions or, in extreme cases huge, painful patches of infected skin; such was the case with our Raven!

Providing a dry habitat and attentive grooming can prevent and, with the addition of antimicrobial baths and/or sprays, correct this condition; but it does take time. Raven is very young and has been mostly unhandled up until her time at SAFE… despite this, she has proven to be a very mild-mannered young lady and accepts our grooming, picking, and spraying with very little fuss. Her case of rain rot has made VAST improvements over the past two months and is now predominantly new skin growth with very few affected patches. With continued exposure to handling, regular grooming, a healthy and nutritious diet, and an introduction to manners and groundwork, we have zero doubt that Raven will be a lovely mare, aesthetically and in temperament; and she is already on her way to being an exemplary SAFE equine citizen!

Intake Photos: Raven