Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Old Mama Sugee and I keep on trying

Working with the really old elders means things can change very quickly-from an animal holding their weight to a drastic weight loss. Old Mama Sugee begun to lose weight, drastically, and it seemed very sudden. I had the vet out yesterday to examine her. She too saw the drastic change. It's frustrating, as I had been able to put on a lot of weight on her, and even though I knew she wouldn't regain muscle necessarily especially in her hind end, I had made progress. But that changed in early to mid June. I upped her feed then, but then I had the scare of watching her seizure a couple weeks ago.

The vet came out took blood and we talked about all the possibilities. She observed her a lot and agreed she was really losing mass and muscle.

We know Sugee is very old-late 30's to 40, so there are many things that could be working inside her. Putting and keeping weight on old equine is very hard. We took blood and the results came back better than we expected. In fact, there was nothing indicating we should panic, or euthenize.

She is slightly anemic, but not horribly anemic and her liver/kidney/white blood cell count are fine. So we are upping her feed and changing the mix a bit, going to 3x a day feedings. Her heart rate was so slow with murmurs that we cold not put her under for more teeth floating–so I will try another type of shredded hay with her, in addition to the supplemental equine food.

Her old body is fighting, and possibly cancer or other chronic issues related to her extreme age are working against her. But she is old. My vet and I are on the same page about this-we will keep trying to get weight on now and examine blood counts in a month.

At this point I will continue to try for her until we feel it is not in her best interest. She still is interested in moving and being her old lady self-so I hope we will see improvement in the next 30 days with increased feed and a different mash.

If you'd like to sign up for a small recurring donation, or one time donation to help Sugee and the other Misfits, It is greatly appreciated and it helps a great deal! There are gift levels too. Recurring donators get a book when they go over $50.