Please Help Cheyenne!!!
For the third time Cheyenne has gone down. The
vet says that the combination of a bad knee, being so hugely pregnant,
and the neglect that she has faced to this point are making it difficult
to stay up. She needs to lay down to rest, but once she does, she
can't get back up. Lynn and Darryl have
been using the tractor and creating a temporary sling to help get her
back up each time. They are checking her every few hours in case
she goes down. This is taking it's toll on the tractor
though! The tractor has problems with its hydraulics, so it can
only hold her up for so long.
What we need is a sling to help hold her up! So I have set up a
chip in account where you can donate directly to helping get Cheyenne a
sling. The chip in will run until February 15th.
Update 16 Nov 2007:
We have a wonderful organization called Horses Forever out of Colorado
that is going to loan us a sling to help Cheyenne. In evaluating
Lynn's barn, we have come to the conclusion that it is not going
to be able to help Cheyenne and the sling, so we are evaluating several
alternatives. One is that Lynn and Darryl are coming to my house
(provided that my hubby will go along with it...oh he will, I will make
sure of that!) to evaluate my barn to see if it will be able to hold
Cheyenne, and to evaluate the tractor here to see if it can be used in
the event that Cheyenne goes down. If for some reason that will
not work out, the engineers where Darryl works have a plan to create a
large support structure for the sling. We will then build a
temporary shelter around Cheyenne to keep her safe from the
Update 19 Nov 2007:
Cheyenne was moved to my home this weekend. We will be able to use
the barn here to house her in as soon as we work out some details.
For the moment, she is in her sling in the doorway to the barn (my barn
is more of a overlarge run in with two doors on each end.). We had
a scare on Saturday night!
I found Cheyenne out of the sling and on the floor of the barn.
She somehow managed to get out of the sling. Not sure exactly
what had happened, but I freaked out. Ran to the house and
grabbed the hubby. We worked for a solid hour with no hope of
getting her up...she was trying, but seemed too week from the trip to
be able to get up. That is when we noticed that she was biting
her stomach. Fearing colic, I ran to the house and called the
closest vet. he arrived about 30 minutes later and what he had
to say in some cases was surprising.
The biggest shock is that Cheyenne is not pregnant!!!!!! He had
his arm in there all the way up to his shoulder and said he couldn't
find a baby in there at all. Struck me as strange because after
a couple of times of her biting her stomach and cramping like, I tried
her teats. They were a little baggy and expressed some white
milk! So either, she is preggers and the vet missed it, or at
some time she miscarried the baby and we didn't know it (or find it
for that matter!), or a possibility that hit me today was that she
miscarried prior to being here. Although we all could have sworn
we saw the baby move. :o)
She was not colicing, just had a bit of a tummy ache most likely
brought on by the stress of trailering.
She has a major heart murmur. He said that on the one side it
almost sounds like a washing machine in full cycle. He said it
could be cause by the neglect that she faced, but she may have had one
prior to that.
He was surprised that all in all, other than being very weak, she has
great color to her gums, normal gut sounds, a healthy appetite (what
ever you do, don't hand feed the girl...she won't intentionally bite
you, but if your fingers get in the way she has no problem eating them
too. lol), normal temp, and normal stool. We worked for another
solid hour by the three of us with several near misses on getting up.
He ended up leaving with advice that she had less than a 50% chance if
she stayed down and only slightly higher if we were able to get her
up. He told us to roll her over every 4 to 5 hours. He
also said that he couldn't imagine us paying for all sorts of blood
work on a $5 mare...he obviously doesn't know me does he! He
advised us to do what we could to get her on her feet and then give
her a few days to strengthen up before making any other decisions
about her. If only he had seen her five weeks ago when she was
So after only about an hour of sleep, I cautiously went to the
barn...fearing the worst, but Cheyenne was happy to see me and hungry.
lol That is when I learned to always feed her out of a
bucket...she doesn't do the gentle thing when taking food from your
hand, it is more like grab it, as much as you can at one time, no
matter how hard you have to bite and then chew quickly so you can get
to the next bite. lol When she was done, the hubby came out and
helped me get her rolled over and hay set up for her, then we went to
After church we called all the neighbors before finally finding one
who was home. Mike came over with his loader tractor to
help us get her up. I think this is his first experience with a
really neglected horse. He looked stunned when I pulled the
blanket off of her and he got his first look at her. I told him
her story and about Annie and Sarah Beth. He looked appalled
that anyone could do that to a horse.
Good news is that we were able to get her back up in the sling.
Bad news is that she isn't really happy about it. That is
because she has a bit of an uneven ground issue...you see the tractor
(and the one our landlord has was even worse!) that Mike brought was
too tall to get in the barn to where we wanted the sling hung.
So, we had to temporarily hang her suspended in the very center of the
barn doorway! Thank goodness that the little window above the door was
made so a person could raise it up!
Here are a few pictures I took after we got her
up. The first is Cheyenne plowing the hay as fast as she
could. She seemed to enjoy it so much more once she was on her
The second and third pictures are two different
angles of her bad knee.
Here are left and right views of Cheyenne in her
sling in the doorway of my barn.
I have to admit that it was scary, tiring, and downright mind bending
how to get her up. I had put the sling under her previously and
then she wiggled her way around until it wasn't right anymore, so we
had to get the sling all straightened out, then it was figuring out
where we were going to put her, then it was how to get her up without
stressing her too much, then it was getting everything adjusted, etc.
It took us two hours of maneuvering to finally get her up. We
all looked like we had been in the worlds largest boxing match in the
But Cheyenne is up and eating (everything in sight!!!!) and seems much
happier. She is slowly putting less weight in the sling and on
getting more on her feet. She is peeing and pooping normally.
And boy can she be sassy! She was trying to buck in the sling
and even did a bit of a rear up. It was a little scary, but she
settled back down and has been wonderful ever since.
So...we are going to give her a few days on her feet in the sling and
then give her a tiny dose of worm medicine, to make sure she isn't
wormy, and so she doesn't colic.
Update 20 Nov: Our landlord has
offered to let us put Cheyenne in his quonset! This means that
she will be in a much larger area where a full sized tractor can drive
into to help us get her set up in her new sling!!!!! It also
means that she will be on completely level ground so that she can
stand evenly on all four legs! This is a very unexpected
blessing. We also learned that our landlord has a large engine
lift in his quonset. We may be able to use it to help Cheyenne
up and down out of her sling. Until we can get the section of
the quonset we are able to use cleaned out and ready, I have created a
very temporary shelter for Cheyenne. Here are a few pictures.
Update 23 Nov 2007:
Cheyenne crossed the Rainbow Bridge today. Lynn came to bring
the new sling for Cheyenne and we got everything set up for her.
When we went to get her out of the sling she was in, we found that the
straps were starting to cut into her skin. We slowly removed the
sling and Cheyenne was able to stand for a short time on her
own. We knew though that her time was to be short. She
began having seizures and went down for the final time. The vet
was called and he gently helped her cross with those that loved her
there to rub her face the way she loved. In the final moments of
her life, Cheyenne looked over my shoulder and pricked her ears.
I know that she was seeing the friends that were at the bridge to
welcome her home and to help her crossing easier.
Run free my Cheyenne. Know that I love you and
will never forget you!