When death knocks on the door

You think uterine infection was the worst ever. You get by and manage to sleep your nights. Then the morning comes and all hell breaks loose.

Friday was suppose to be the day for Viikari's check up at Tampere. Since Venda needed plasma treatments, one was due to take place the same day. It was more important so Viikari's check up was cancelled. Then Venda's doctor called. Her previous patient was so sick it was a risk to come and visit Venda. We got a day off.

For some reason I felt increasingly stressed and I did not know why.

The next day Vipsu didn't seem herself at all. She wasn't her demanding self. She was reluctant to move. She didn't have fever, her gums were maybe a bit lighter pink than usual and her bowels a bit quieter than normal. She had pooped but less than usual.

Before 8 in the morning the doctor had found a massive mass in her colon. Vipsu was constipated but weirdly she didn't seem painful. Just tired. And when I say tired, doctor described her smart and easy. Even her pulse was normal.

Since she was recovering from uterine infection her uterus was the first to be examined. It was fine. Her abdomen was scanned with ultrasound. Maybe this could be a reaction to her uterus infection medicine.

Since she was constipated she got fluids and painkillers as first aid. We kept walking the entire day. We tried our best to make sure she drank enough. And she did drink almost everything we gave her. But she didn't poo.

Not until I realized stall is horse's toilet. When she got in it wasn't long when the poo came.

Our vet popped by later that evening to give her more fluids. If she didn't poop during the night we should go to a clinic. I was ready to go there and then.

It was one of those moments where you realize how alone you actually are. My feet felt like they were about to give up on me. I was exhausted and so were Vipsu and Venda. There really wasn't anything more I could do. I began to lose hope.

I stayed awake the whole night. Vipsu pooped twice. It wasn't enough but better than nothing. The next day she began to poop more and more. I gave her thin porridge (water, hay pellets, electrolytes and Chevinal plus) every two hours, 15 to 30 litres at a time. She also got molasses syrup for energy.

After the porridge we went for little walks. She pooped every six hours.

She seemed a bit better but her abdominal muscles did cramp a little. I was really worried.

I called the Hyvinkää horse hospital several times on Sunday. They didn't want us to risk Venda's health since she was lacking antibodies. They told me, repeatedly, to treat Vipsu home if possible.

The next day she was pooping less. She hadn't eaten much during weekend, maybe that's why. Maybe something was wrong. Our Vet promised to visit us later that evening. Vipsu seemed a bit better once again and I was afraid I called the doctor for no reason.

It was pouring rain. Vipsu and Venda were waiting inside. I heard a small thump. Maybe she was resting. Please God, say she's resting.

I guess you could call it resting. But it sounded more like death. Like she was dying. She got back up and fell down again. Venda was struggling not to get hit.

I don't know how but I managed to get Vipsu on her feet and outside. I kept her moving in the pouring rain while I screamed to our vet to hurry up. Vipsu had lost all abdominal sounds and for the looks of it, will to live.

Our vet arrived in fifteen minutes. She didn't find anything wrong in the colon. She didn't find any explanation. All she could do was to put Vipsu on a drip. Few minutes later the abdominal sounds came back and Vipsu seemed better yet again. We agreed the vet would pop by in few hours just in case to give her more medication.

Five minutes later Vipsu collapsed.

The vet was already on her way elsewhere but she was wise enough to leave me with a cocktail of  sedatives and painkillers. With the medication and help from our neighbors we were able to get her on her feet just so that we were able to load her to a trailer. Two of my dear friends went inside the trailer with her to keep her on her feet and to keep Venda safe.

Vipsu fought for her life at Hyvinkää Equine hospital for days. Her liver was failing. It must've been scary for Venda but she was a brave little trooper the whole time.

The moment I left them there, it took the life out of me. I couldn't breathe. I screamed but no voice came out. My feet couldn't carry me anymore.

After three days in intensive care she was recommended to stay at the hospital at least for a week. She was still very sick even though she showed signs of improving.

I kept thinking maybe I didn't keep my part of the deal. Maybe this was the punishment. Whatever it was, I got proven again, there is always worse to come.

Vipsu pulled through. Venda still has her mother by her side. I'm blessed and I'm cursed. Blessed with these wonderful horses and cursed with worry. Also, my finances are a nightmare ;)

- J

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Thanks for your toughts!