The Big Purple Barn, Inc
A Horse and Small Farm Animal Sanctuary
Our Solstice Story
On December 21st, 2020 (the night of the Winter Solstice) our team made the decision to save a life! We found this pony in a broker lot in North Carolina and upon seeing his condition we immediately knew without our intervention, he would surely die. It was a long week getting him 1st to quarantine and then to our veterinarian for diagnostics and treatment, but he is now HERE, at his forever home with us and his journey is just beginning!
When we first saw Po on the broker thread, we noticed his terribly overgrown hooves, his thick curly coat (which likely indicated equine PPID), and his dead eye that really needed to be removed. If those things were apparent in terms of his neglect, we suspected other things, like his teeth, were likely neglected as well. We traveled to his layover in Brodnax, VA at Central Virginia Horse Rescue to get him to our veterinarian. Po arrived at our veterinarian's clinic on December 31st, 2020 after it was determined that he needed urgent medical intervention. By the time he arrived at our vet, he had little appetite, a cough developing and thick, green diarrhea. Blood work indicated an infection coupled with severely elevated triglycerides indicating hyperlipidemia, a potentially fatal metabolic condition. Further diagnostics revealed pneumonia, confirmed the blind eye was indeed, dead, and showed only slight issues with the bones inside his feet despite the lack of hoof care. His body condition was evaluated under all his fluff and it was determined he was actually quite thin, only a 3 out 10 on the body condition score chart.
Po was started on supplements, medications and a special feeding program to battle the hyperlipidemia. We developed a care plan for his feet and conferred with our farrier as well as putting a plan in place for dental care. It was critical to get Po eating and get the triglyceride levels to drop before more intensive work, like the dental work, could be done. It was determined is was best to return Po to our care because he wasn't thriving in the hospital setting and he needed our personal one on one attention. If we were successful in fighting the life threatening hyperlipidemia, we would tackle the other issues Po had once he was strong enough.
Po came home to the Big Purple Barn on January 2nd and after round the clock care and several setbacks over the first 2 weeks, we managed to get his hoof work started and his second set of bloodwork results showed we cut those triglycerides IN HALF! After some issues with the medication used to control the PPID, we switched him to a compounded pergolide formula that works for him without affecting his appetite.
In the next 2 weeks, Po gained strength and yes, attitude! He began to come out of his shell, talk to us and look forward to interacting with the volunteers. We tried several friends with him in turn out and while he loves his neighbor Abby INSIDE the barn, next to his stall, he wasn't a fan of being outside with her. We finally tried him with our eldest and wisest lady, 32 year old Mia! The two of them have been inseparable since. Companionship is critical to horse health and mental wellbeing. Since making more connections, Po has gained comfort and confidence and is settling in to his new forever home with us. He was even able to get his dental work done which has increased his comfort TREMENDOUSLY as well as allowed him to begin to eat more efficiently. We guess Po is around 17 years old.
Po continues to make great progress! His triglycerides continue to come down and his white blood cell count continues to improve. He wears special boots (donated by his awesome farrier) to help keep him comfortable while we address his feet, which will take upwards of a year to really correct. He is on a refeeding program along with turn out with his friend, Mia. We are hopeful that by the spring, he will be strong enough to have his eye removal surgery (enucleation) and join Maggie as the second one eyed pony in the group!
As of April 1st, he continues to amaze us with his progress. He is still not cleared for his eye surgery and continues with a special refeeding program as well as medications and specialized hoof care. We will continue to provide him with everything he needs to make a full recovery and your support is appreciated! Po's vet bills have totaled around $3,000 so far and he still needs blood work, diagnostics, medication and the eye removal surgery.
We update Po's journey almost DAILY on his Facebook page so be sure to follow him for the most up to date happenings! Po's care expenses are significant, but with the help of our friends and supporters, we can provide him with the best care possible and make the rest of his life with us the BEST it can be! Please DONATE to Po's care, if you are able. Every dollar makes a difference and this little guys really deserves the best we can give him.
Please follow along on Po's journey to to living his BEST life yet!