Christmas was a rough day for little Whisper. She went down around 3:30 in the afternoon, Lisa, Kier, Valerie and her husband got her up around 5:30. Then she went down again about 1:15am last night. What we are doing now is letting her stay down until her temperature falls to 98 or below, so this time she was able to stay down until 5am and then Lisa called Mike and I to have our turn at helping get her up to give Valerie and her husband a break. Unfortunately, Kier, Lisa, Mike and I got her in the sling and got her up but she dangled there and even when we got her feet under her would not stand, so we let her back down and called Geri and Doug to come and help. While we were waiting for them Whisper at least got herself into a sternal position and ate some of her mash before getting tired and lying flat again. With the extra help, we were able to first get her back to a sternal position, then lift her again and this time, thank goodness, she finally put her feet down and lifted herself to a standing position.
The sling is incredibly helpful but does have its drawbacks. For one it cannot be left on her so it has to be positioned underneath her first which is no small effort to get it out of the way of her front legs and not rubbing anywhere. Second, it has no hind end support so much of that has to be done by people. Thirdly, because she is lying flat when she is lifted she ends up being sideways (as you can see from the picture) and you have to physically try to position her vertical to get her feet under her and she will not help you at all. Lastly, it is not mounted high enough so even all the way up, she is only about 3 feet off the ground so while we can get her feet positioned underneath her, she has to not only bear weight but do a bit of lifting her own body weight that last little bit to get herself standing.
We have now used the sling 5 or 6 times and are getting the hang of it, but we are beginning to think she needs to be in a sling all the time, or get a different type that can stay on her so we can simply strap to it every time she is down.
And to top it all off, Mike and I got stuck in Lisa’s driveway so at 7am we tried digging him out, then Kier tried to pull him out and almost got stuck herself, and finally Doug had to pull him out with his truck that has chains on.
Dr Hannah and Dr Brad dug out again today to come and see Whisper. She was doing pretty well this afternoon and even went for a walk around the snowy paddock. Whisper loves to rub her face in the snow! Very cute until she decided she wanted to lay down and roll.….Dr Hannah reacted quickly and kept her from going down (that would be hard to get her up in the snowy, slick paddock) Needless to say that was the end of her walk for today and she went back in her stall. Dr Brad worked on some adjustments to the hoist and we discussed some changes that might make things a bit easier, but will require someone coming and moving the beam up a few feet. Kier has gone home to get some rest and tonight Jaime will be spending the night to help out and relieve me for a few hours of sleep.
Thanks for everyone’s help and concern for Whisper — she really is a sweet girl and deserves a good, happy, safe future. I truly hope this woman can be prosecuted for what she has done to Whisper and the three other horses. It is absolutely unbelievable to me that someone could allow an animal to get into this condition.
It is great to see the horse community come together for Whisper and fight for her! Thanks!