Tuesday, March 04, 2008

This Mare Hopefully Will Stop Singing the Blues...

...now that we have her problem fixed. We hope! Remember Anni the mare with a hole in her head? We were flushing her sinuses out with antibiotic last fall through a hole the surgeon had to put in? Well, it didn't help. Her sinus on one side was still horrible and we reached a point that we decided it was time to take her to Equine Hospital at Cornell University. Back in an Illustration Friday post I had Anni "singing the blues" and stated I didn't know why. I guess I had a premonition what lay ahead of her.

The local vets determined that it was NOT a tumor (good news) and was either the tooth (not great news) or a very bad sinus infection (bad news). Pulling the tooth, although not great news, was better than the alternative: removal of the entire sinus lining. The vets didn't think it was her tooth because she never stopped eating (a typical sign). But then she's a Haflinger and they can be on death's door and still wanting a snack!

Removing a tooth from a healthy adult horse is not easy. Anni's tooth and root could be up to 4 to 5 inches long. So you just can't attach one end of a string to it and the other end of the string to a door knob and slam the door. My Dad always jokingly threatened to do that with mine when I was a kid. Probably because I was griping that I wanted an advance from the Tooth Fairy.
The only way we'd know what the problem really was required a 5 hour drive to Cornell and a CAT scan. So off Anni went last Monday. The vets retook the x-ray and was fairly convinced it was the tooth. Good news. I didn't even want to think about stripping the poor mare's sinus lining out!! And we didn't have to put Anni out for the CAT scan and the extraction would be done under a local anesthetic. The "tooth" vet spent 4 hours on Tuesday and got the tooth to wiggle one half of a centimeter. She had to stop because her arms got tired. The next day she went back to work and after 1.5 hours the tooth broke. BUMMER! That means, yep, you guessed it - they had to slice Anni's face open to finish getting the root/tooth out. Anni is such a GOOD girl. She was great for the vets and they finished her off on Wednesday and she came home Thursday.

Anni's face is all stitched up and she is munching hay and treats in her stall. We're giving her antibiotics in both "ends". One is for anaerobic bacteria so it can't be given orally. She is SUCH a good patient. Next week her stitches come out. In another two weeks, the packing that keeps food from going up into the hole in her tooth into her sinuses comes out. The biggest thing is that the packing stays IN and the antibiotic takes care of all the infection. Keep your fingers crossed for our very good and sweet mare! We want her to stop singing the blues!!


kerrip said...

Egads! Good Lord! Holy Crap!! Thanks for that utterly gross but fascinating play by play. I truly feel sorry for all of you!! - Great new blog header and colors!!! love them

Debbie said...

I debated putting in the details. But it was a big part of our lives for months. I did refrain from putting in a picture of her head with all the stitches!!

Anonymous said...

I just love this blog entry on Anni. It is SO YOU! First you lead off with the delightful picture of Anni singing (and hopefully not the blues) which pays homage to your artistic side, and then you finely detail the anatomy of the problem (there’s the scientist!). It made me laugh how you pieced the tooth together to get the true image. It is this juxtaposition of artist and scientist that I find so fascinating about you. -QK

steve said...

Looks like she's in good hands Debbie. Great post (and drawing) and best of luck to Anni!!

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness they figured out it was the tooth before they removed her sinus lining!!! I'm so happy to hear that she's doing so much better. Leanne said she's pretty much back to her old self. Great news. :)

Hopefully this is the last of the dark cloud that's been hanging around Long Shadows!!

Love d