For the last three weeks, Zelda has been fighting to recover from an episode of laminitis. Over the weekend, a cellulitis infection caused her to spike a fever of 104, which triggered a second episode. Monday night she was in a lot of pain; my vet was with us until 11 p.m. Tuesday, x-rays confirmed the worst possible outcome: significant rotation and sinking of the coffin bone. It didn’t help that she weighed nearly 1600 pounds. The vet blocked her feet and we walked her to a beautiful field where we took away her pain.
I’ve been reluctant to write about this. I kept hoping for a happier ending. I’ve been spending five and six hours a day at the barn and the thought of coming home and writing about it was more than I could face.
I will write more soon, once I’ve been able to process what happened. I’d never dealt with laminitis before and she’s lived out 24/7 for years without any issues with the grass. I’ve since heard that this year vets are seeing a spike in laminitis, even among horses who’ve never had a problem. Perhaps the rain we had along with the hot days and cold nights, created a super sugary grass. Zelda could also have had an underlying metabolic condition. My vet had suggested that once she was stabilized, we test her for Cushings and for Equine Metabolic Syndrome. Sadly, we never got to that point.
I know we did everything we could. My vet team, my farrier, and so many people who came with supplies, provided moral support and a shoulder to cry on. My community rallied around me and I can’t even begin to thank everyone for all their support.
Zelda was 20, not a bad age for a horse, and I’d owned her for 10 years. She had only good homes with people who loved her. In fact, Zelda charmed everyone who met her. I feel lucky for the time we had together, but had planned on having many more years and many more adventures with her. I will miss her forever.