There is a new face in the pastures these days. Dr. Becky'a horse, Sid, has a new pasture mate- a lovely, elder Standardbred horse.
I do believe he is smitten.
Sadly, his old pasture mate. Her pony, that was a sister to my two ponies, lost her battle with laminitis (founder). Losing a pasture mate is difficult. Horses get quite attached to each other. So, Dr. Becky wasted no time in finding a new friend for Sid so that he would not have to be alone.
They look quite lovely together.
Chloe had her second sarcoid removed yesterday.
Thank you for all of the well-wishes and suggestions that you have sent our way with regards to our poor donkey girl.
In case you were wondering why Dr. Becky opts to remove the sarcoids with a wide excision... I will try to explain as best I can.
There are several types of sarcoids. Some are simple and appear on the skin much like a wart (however they are not warts). Unfortunately, Chloe's are a mixed variety and very aggressive. They not only grow on the skin but invade the surrounding tissues. If they were limited to the skin, there would be topical solutions that we could use on them. By the time her lesions erupt and are visible, there is too much growth into the surrounding area. So, using a topical solution (to basically eat away the sarcoid) would be a long and painful process for her. The end result would be an open wound. Removing the affected tissue and a little extra "margin" tissue still ends up with the same basic result, but it happens quickly instead of over a long period of time. Once the tissue is removed, she heals very quickly.
I never showed you her neck after the last surgery (she had several sarcoid tumors underneath her neck) because it was really quite awful looking. She was left with a 4 inch by 6 inch open area on her neck. I know this seems horrible, but equines have an amazing capability for healing skin wounds. Each week the area grew smaller and smaller as new skin filled in from the edges. She now has about a one inch area that is not yet covered with skin and fur (the rest is completely healed as good as new). A little granulation tissue is left in this open area that we are treating with an ointment. Eventually this will heal perfectly.
The amazing thing is... Chloe never missed a beat after the neck surgery. Her behavior never changed, she never appeared to be in any discomfort. Because it was winter, we did not have to worry about insects, either. The area on her leg is much smaller and will heal over quickly.
I stayed with her during yesterday's surgery and she slept peacefully (standing up) while Dr. Becky worked on her leg.
The tumor was on an area of her leg that could not be pulled together and stitched, so, again, the area is left open to heal from the outside- in. She did not flinch or move a muscle. She was given a sedation and local anesthesia was used. After surgery, her day was like any other. So, I can only conclude that she did not really mind the whole ordeal.
Sadly, there are no truly great solutions for the kind of mixed sarcoids that Chloe has. And truthfully, there is not enough known about this particular condition. There seems to be some genetic predisposition towards getting sarcoids. It is also thought that flies may play a role in the transmission of sarcoids... especially in areas where horses and cows are in close proximity to each other. That is not the case with our farm. Cows are quite a good distance away from our farm. There is no "gold standard" treatment for this problem.
I will never allow any of my animals to suffer. I will also always remain vigilant in looking for early signs of these tumors. Still.... I believe that this may be something we will have to deal with over the course of Chloe's life.
Chloe is truly the sweetest donkey in the world. Nothing that she has gone through has changed her personality in the least. She is very forgiving. I would like to think that she understands that it is always in her best interest. Perhaps I over-think it all... but, each of my animals is like a child to me. I love them all and always hope to do my best by each and every one of them.
On another note... the thermometer reached almost 60 degrees yesterday... an aberration, I am sure. Today we are to be in the 40's. It was utterly delightful and a brief taste of what is to come!!