July 2003 Monthly Report
The worst news of the month is that on July 23 the mare Adhara went severely lame in the space of 24 hours from what was apparently a puncture wound. As of August 9 she is still under treatment and it is not clear whether or not she will survive. Treatment with penicillin, a diuretic and painkiller were begun within 24 hours per Dr. Bailey. Dr. Baily probed the wound but found nothing inside. Copious drainage eventually stopped, and at times there were signs of improvement.

To add to the trouble, Adhara was in heat. The area she chose protected her from stallions but it was particularly filthy. Later, she moved back with her group, stallions chased her onto a rocky road and she severely bruised her left hind hoof. It has been a battle ever since as both hind legs are injured and painful. Water is carried to her daily, she is observed twice daily and currently treated once a day with a new course of antibiotics and pain killer. She is developing 'bed sores' because she has to lie down frequently. More recently, actually to be a part of the August report, the tendon on her right hind began giving way, probably due to continued infection and inflamation of the tendon and/or sheath. Grazing is very difficult for her, but she is trying hard.This has gone on since July 24. She needs to be in a sheltered corral with soft bedding, readily available water and feed. She is losing weight, not a problem yet but potentially so. In her enfeebled condition with no stallion to protect her,(when a horses is sufficiently ill it moves off to be alone so that other memebers of the herd can move freely and not be exposed to possible infection) she is at risk from dog attacks and ill intentioned humans.

At the same time in July it was observed that the filly Alnitak has lost vision in her right eye. She had severe eye infections in both eyes when she was a foal and for the last several weeks has been staying particularly close to her stallion Altair. Fingers and objects waved within inches of the eye elicit no response. Her left eye shows a large grey spot but still seems functional. There is a large grey area in the right eye, it is not known if these conditions can be treated.

The stallion Capella, who spent over six months recovering from a series of severe wounds is now spending more time near Mimosa's group, as is the stallion Achernar. Achernar's breathing remains the same. We hope that eventual inspection of his airways will indicate whether he was injured or if inhalation of a chemical has caused his breathing problems. The pattern of the two stallions moving together and attending Mimosa's group shows a return to normal activity by both horses.

It was noted by two experienced observers that one of the chemicals found in an herbicide used on the farm mimics the activity of estrogen and is stored in fat. At some point we may be able to pursue this information further to find out if it is indeed affecting our mares.

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