March 18, 2021

The Infection: Part 8

I have an Aeres update, and unfortunately it's not a positive one, but I'm sharing it because we need all the prayers and good juju the universe can throw at us, and I know you all are good for that.

When I last left you guys hanging, she was on a feeding tube, getting Gastroguard, and we also switched to yet another new antibiotic (which we hit bingo with this time!). She did really well on the feeding tube all week, with good amounts of poop, steady electrolytes and a cheeky attitude. She tried to escape her stall once and trashed an IV line another time, which the vets were honestly happy about, lol. 

On Tuesday of this week, they pulled the feeding tube and did extensive diagnostics, specifically a head x-ray, ultrasound and a scope of the esophagus and mouth. The surgical team also re-evaluated the wound, and that all looks absolutely perfect, both the amputated tip of the tongue and the chasm under her jaw are filling in with healthy pink granulation tissue. If that was our only problem, we'd be home free.

Unfortunately though, the diagnostics identified that her soft palate isn't working. The x-ray showed that it's lower in the mouth than you'd expect, which the vets guess might be because the base (back) of the tongue "isn't there to support it". They tried to get her to swallow a couple of different ways while the camera was in there, ways that "should have elicited a strong reaction", and there was no reaction at all. 

Basically when she swallows, from the outside it looks like it works, but on the inside, the soft palate can't flip up like it should. And the most frustrating part is - this is literally it. If she could swallow, she could come home tomorrow and we could continue her aftercare at home. But if she can't swallow, she can't live.

At this point, the vets are concerned that this soft palate thing is permanent. As of today, we're a month out from when she was last able to swallow normally, and 3+ weeks out from her surgery. They don't have any further concerns about active inflammation or infection, so at this point it's all nerves and tissue damage we have to deal with.

They said they're happy to continue to treat her as long as we want, she's a "nice mare" and "worth it", but her prognosis gets bleaker with every day she can't swallow. There's a possibility the nerves could come back to life in 3, 6, 9, 12 months (often in humans it's 9-12 months, says oral surgeon Alice), but horses can't stay on feeding tubes that long. They get esophageal ulcers and other complications. Not to mention a 9 month hospital stay would be more than any of us could afford.

So at this point, we've had to set a limit. Not financially, but on how long it's fair to put her through all this. Tuesday marks 30 days since the surgery, the point at which the first vet (with the 3'6 eq horse) said we would know how much damage was temporary and how much was permanent. So basically, if the soft palate miraculously starts working between now and Tuesday, she's going to pull through, but if it doesn't, that's the day we make the hard decision.

So please, pray, jingle, whatever your religion or not religion is, send some good vibes out into the universe for us over the next 5 days. We need it.

57 comments:

  1. Oh, I'm so sorry. I was so afraid that no news was bad news. I will keep my fingers and toes very crossed for Aeres and for you all. <3

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    1. No news was truly just no news for most of the last week while she regained her strength on the feeding tube. I got calls twice a day that were basically "she's pooping well and doing great with the feeding tube" but there's not much more they can look at as long as the tube is in (which it stays in 24/7). So really there was truly nothing to report until Tuesday, when yeah, the news did finally take a turn for the worse.

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  2. I really can’t believe it’s coming to this - and am so so sorry for you all. She’s a tough little mare tho, I’m glad she’s still fighting for a way thru :( seriously hoping something changes for the better!!

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    1. Me neither, to lose her after such a long battle seems so cruel.

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  3. I'm so so sorry to hear this. You have gone above and beyond making good decisions for this mare. Such a difficult decision. Hoping for a positive change.

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  4. This is heartbreaking, I'm so sorry you're going through this. Sending all the jingles, good vibes and juju I can to Aeres and all her people. Hoping for a positive outcome.

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  5. What a heartbreaking update. Sending you good wishes and hopes that things turn around! Aeres is so lucky to have you.

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    1. Thank you! I hate that this happened while I had her, but we have truly done everything we could for her.

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  6. Sending Aeres (and you and Lisa, plus potential new owner) all the jingles in the world. This is such a surreal situation. You guys have done everything possible for Aeres, and I'm praying for her soft palate to get with the program <3

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  7. I have no words. Sending all he healing prayers!

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  8. I'm so sorry. Sending you all prayers and positive thoughts.

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  9. So sad to read this update. Wishing the best and shooting all the miracle vibes your way.

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  10. Poor Aeres, and all of you. Sending all the positive vibes!

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  11. Ugh, so sorry for her and for all of you guys. Fingers crossed and some good juju sent your way that things can start to turn around before next week.

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  12. Sending everyone involved with Aeres the best of thoughts.

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  13. This is so sad. I am keeping my hopes up that she'll pull through before Tuesday :(

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  14. Oh, no! What an unusual thing to have happen! Sending all the good vibes for Aeres!

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    1. No kidding! We still don't even really know WHAT happened, which is by far the most frustrating part.

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  15. Sending all the best vibes, what a tough spot to be in with such a nice little mare. <3

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  16. Fingers crossed for you guys!! <3

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    1. Thank you, I would like to decline my nomination to the "Carly's Association of Horse Owners with Medical Oddities" club, lol. But seriously thanks <3

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  17. Oh my god, not the update I was hoping for =( I'm so sorry, wishing and hoping and praying for a positive outcome.

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  18. Sending all of the good vibes your way <3

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  19. This isn't the update I had hoped for :(
    I am crossing all crossables that there is a good outcome <3 ALL the jingles coming Aeres' way!

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    1. Yeah me neither :( Thank you! There IS still hope!

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  20. This is a terrifying scenario for any horse lover, I'm so sorry you have all had to go through this with such a lovely mare. I hope a little more time with adequate electrolytes will stimulate those nerves to heal. **sending lots of good thoughts and vibes to those nerves- grow baby grow**

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    1. Yes it is :( Thank you. I do hope that the long period of time getting nutrients into her helps.

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  21. How awful :( I'm sending you good vibes and lucky thoughts!

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  22. Oh no, I'm so sorry to hear this. I'm glad she's still feisty and fighting and I'm still holding hope that she will pull through and that pesky soft palate will kick back into gear. Sending all the good vibes.

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  23. This fills me with such sadnesss. My heart breaks for you, Aeres and her prospective buyer. We are all pulling for you.

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    1. Me too, and thank you, we appreciate every single comment and thought!

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  24. Ugh, I'm so very sorry. For all of you. Sending all the healing thoughts possible <3

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  25. Poor Aeres, this feels like Rosemary all over again. I truly hope for the best. She is a great girl. So glad she has been with you.

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  26. Ugh, I'm so sorry!! It's so heartbreaking that you guys have done so much for her and are in this position. Sending all of the good vibes I can!!

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  27. I’m so sorry Jen! Thinking all the positive and healing thoughts for Aeres to turn the corner. ♥️

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  28. I'm sending healing energy to Aeres, with the hope that her nerve(s) will start waking up. You and Lisa are in my thoughts and prayers as well. You have made a decision that honors Aeres in every way.

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  29. Oh my gosh, I'm so, so sorry. Sending all the positive vibes and healing energy I can to all of you. </3

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  30. I can't add anything except I am jingling everything I can jingle that she pulls through. I just cant even imagine living this heartache. Hugs to all involved! I am hoping for a better update. Please oh please.....

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  31. That's so crappy. Sending all the good vibes for Aeres and you and all the people who care so much for her.

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  32. Hugging my horse extra tonight, and praying for the best for Aeres! <3 <3

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  33. Sending so many positive thoughts to you both.

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