A Short Piece on Why I Don't Believe In Coincidence

I took a half day off of work today for Dino's appointment with Dr. Liz to investigate his mystery lameness. It takes me about 45 minutes to drive to the barn from the office, so there really is no quick slipping out at lunch to meet the vet.

About 10 minutes before I got there, I got a phone call from the vet office. Because of the insane heat (about 100 degrees in the beginning of June!) Dr. Liz would not be doing full lameness exams. Horses had been colicking left and right due to the sudden change in weather, and she didn't want to risk stressing Dino to that point by lunging, flexing, and blocking him in the hot mid-day sun. I had to reschedule.

At this point, I was pretty upset. I had already taken the half day off, driven all this way, and just wanted to know what was wrong with my pony, and now THIS happened. Ugh! So I did the only thing I really could do at that point: keep driving and then give Dino a long, cool bath once I got there.

After his bath, I turned Dino back out into the small pen with Toby. That is when I noticed that something was very, very wrong. Toby was breathing hard, sweating all over, pawing at the ground, looking at his stomach, and then proceeded to lay down and roll violently. He had all the classic signs - it was colic. BAD. I quickly took him out of the pen, cold hosed his entire body, and made phone calls as I walked him. I'm sure you can imagine the surprise of the vet office receptionist when she got my call: "Hi. It's me again. Actually, I DO need Dr. Liz to come out today. We've got a bad colic." Miraculously, Rachel was on her way out of state for the weekend, but had decided to stop at a bank only about 20 minutes away from the farm when I called to tell her that Toby was sick, and drove back immediately. Resplendent in sundress and muck boots, she walked her horse while I hosed him periodically, administered a dose of ACE, and we waited for the vet.

Several sedatives, muscle relaxers, stomach tubes, and one rectal exam later, Toby was comfortable enough to leave alone to rest for a little while. Dr. Liz had found quite a lot of gas, a displaced colon, and an impaction. Toby had the potential to recover without surgery, but it would take constant vigilance and aggressive treatment. While Toby was off in a drug-induced dreamland, Dr. Liz had me bring Dino out to take more blood to re-check his muscle enzymes, and watch him walk and trot a bit to try and get a vague idea of what kind of lameness we were looking at.

"I don't know what you've been doing," she said, "but whatever it is, it's working. He just trotted up perfectly sound!" 

I could not have been more relieved!! We both agreed that he probably sustained a minor soft tissue injury during one of his exploits, and just needed time off to heal. Dr. Liz also said that Dino's stifle issues were minor, and to keep up the strengthening work. She also gave me the option of using a muscle relaxer in that area in the future to allow the muscle groups around the stifle to work more effectively if it kept bothering him. Dino will have a few more days off, then back to work in the middle of next week!

A while later, after Dr. Liz left us with instructions and a syringe full of emergency tranquilizer, Toby started to come to. Unfortunately, instead of some of the gas having dissipated by that point, he was in a LOT of pain. We had to use the emergency tranq just to get him quiet enough so he wouldn't throw himself on the floor in agony. Even after the emergency dose wore off, Toby was still very, very painful, so Dr. Liz came out once again to check out the situation. Thankfully by the time she got back to the barn Toby was doing MUCH better, and only experiencing occasional cramps. She examined him again, pumped more fluids into him, gave us more emergency tranq just in case, and left with an optimistic prognosis. Please pray for poop! Once Toby starts producing some poo, he'll be out of the woods for sure.

Had I gotten the call that lameness exams weren't being performed today an hour earlier than I did, I wouldn't have gone to the barn at all. Toby wouldn't have been found until about 6pm, and he probably wouldn't have made it. My minor frustration turned into an opportunity to save a life, and I will be forever grateful for the way things turned out this afternoon.

There are no such thing as coincidences.


  1. I love this. And I'm glad everyone turned out okay! (I read it after I knew about the poop arriving. ;) )


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