Tia was brought to our attention by one of our volunteers, who has been involved in Animal Rescue efforts for some time. She was located in Skokomish, on an Indian Reservation near Shelton. There is no Animal Control in that area, but fortunately the horse was bad enough that the Sheriff was willing to confiscate the horse should the horse have a place to go. Once I saw the pictures, I knew that SAFE would make room for Tia.
How Tia got in this situation is unclear, there was a previous owner and a current owner and ultimately, as the sheriff got the horse signed over there will not be any charges filed in this case. Tia lived by herself on this property, and there were no other animals involved. Bonnie went down today and picked Tia up, and she arrived at SAFE this afternoon and was immediately seen by Dr. Taylor at Evergreen Holistic Vet.
I’ll have to see what the vet put Tia at, but I would say she has a BCS of 2, maybe less. She is quite severely swaybacked so this may make her appear even thinner, but her sacrum and hips are protruding and every single one of her ribs is visible, along with the shelf above her ribcage.
Most concerning however is the state of her eyes. Her left eye she is already blind in, is shrunken, yellowed, and oozy. The right eye also has some cloudiness and swelling and is also draining. She appears to have been blind in the left for some time, as she is quite comfortable being handled from the left as long as you talk to her and she knows you are there. Her legs, especially her hind legs, are covered with fresh cuts and abrasions like she recently got caught up in something. She is swollen in both hind legs, and is quite lame on the left hind, which has a nastier abrasion (what looked to me like a rope burn or something like that) along the back of her pastern.
The vet came out and did a basic exam on her. The left eye has chronic uveitis and she is currently blind. The right eye has a small area of ulceration and less severe uveitis — she can still see out of this eye. She is at least 20 years old and her teeth have a severe wave mouth and many sharp points. She has a heart murmur, grade 2/5. She has rain rot in patchy areas throughout her coat, especially over her spine. She was able to clean up the scratches and wounds and applied ointment and wrapped the pastern wound, with standing wraps on both hind legs to help with the swelling. She is on a refeeding program, and we did a fecal to check her wormload.
As for her eyes, she is on Banamine to help with pain and swelling, and wearing a fly mask as she is photosensitive. We are applying ointment in both eyes 3 times a day, one with a steriod for the left eye and a basic triple antibiotic in the right until the ulcer has healed. We will also add atropine to the left eye, but the vet wanted to consult with the eye specialist at Pilchuck before doing so because of the fact that atropine can cause colic and with her deteriorated state, may not be a good idea. She also recommended a consult with Dr. Sullivan (the eye specialist), and is going to get SAFE a cost on that.
So, at this point, the prognosis for Tia is guarded. She has a lot of issues and not a lot going for her, but one thing I can say is this is a very sweet, friendly, (albeit a bit pushy!) mare that is not ready to give up yet. Our primary goal is ensuring that Tia is not in any pain with her eyes and still has quality of life. So we will do what we can to get the eye issues under control, and then go from there.