Patriot made it into The Chronicle Of The Horse!
We were one of five large animal rescue teams featured in an article about horse rescue heroics in the March, 2019 issue. Unfortunately the article isn’t available online so we can’t share a link, but you can click on the PDF below to read the article in its entirety.
In Cold Mud
Elizabeth Putfark— The Chronicle Of The Horse
When Patriot Equine Technical Rescue got a call about a 1,400-pound elderly draft horse that had been recumbent in the mud for five hours, they knew getting her back on her feet would only be half the battle.
The owners had managed to drag the mare out of the mud using their own equipment, but it took so long and so much effort that she was exhausted, hypothermic and unable to stand on her own by the time Patriot Equine received three call. Within 15 minutes of arrival, they had her fitted with a blindfold, anesthesia hood, and a vertical lift sling that allow them to lift her without sedation.
But the next part was tricky. Unable to stand or even raise her head, the mare remained lethargic in the sling while the veterinarian and response team worked with blankets, heat lamps and warmed intravenous fluids to bring circulation back to her limbs.
As her body temperature rose, her spirits lifted, and the team lowered the sling by degrees to encourage her to bear weight again. It took 1 1/2 hours, but eventually she stood on her own.
“The blindfold and head protectors were removed, prompting a hearty, happy whinny, and she was released from the spread bar,” explained Kate Dwyer, who led the team on scene. “She was led slowly and stiffly but without incident to her barn, where fluid resuscitation and veterinary care were continued until her vital signs and temperature had returned to normal.
“She was hand walked regularly during the night and recovered from her ordeal without complication except for some soft tissue swelling in one knee,” Dwyer concluded. “But the veterinarian is quite certain that without the specialized equine vertical lift equipment, she would have had to be euthanized.”
For Dwyer the episode was a cautionary tale in calling for help sooner rather than later.
“I always say we don’t mind cancels,” Dwyer said. “Call first, and if you have to tell us to turn around, that’s a far better outcome than waiting and losing the animal as a result.”
Click on the pdf below to read the article in its entirety: