Monday, August 6, 2012

Dinner will be Delayed

The story continues....
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Aunt Jane stood for a time, gazing at the miracle in Marmalade's stall. Her weanlings were sent to another farm a few hundred miles from her home. They lived a bucolic life, grazing on the rich grass of upstate New York, until they turned two. Each year, in the spring, the two-year olds were collected and brought back to Aunt Jane's farm for their foundational work. Marmalade had been in last year's group of trainees. Evidently she was bred by one of the two-year olds in pasture. One of the boys had matured a little faster than Aunt Jane had planned on! The result, Marmalade's filly, was now stretched out in slumber. Her lips working in her sleep and her little tail flicking at a dream fly. Easter Surprise... a perfect name for a perfect little filly.

She turned to head back to the house, thinking of the story she would have to tell over breakfast. It was an interesting delivery from the Easter Bunny, for sure! Later, she slipped back to the barn, with her daughter, who was home from college for a brief visit. They leaned on the door of the stall together, taking in the idyllic scene of mother and foal. The filly had her nose tucked under the mare's side and was suckling again. Her tail twitched, a metronome measuring her pleasure. She was a hungry little bugger.

Despite the peace inherent in the scene, something nagged at Aunt Jane. Marmalade seemed out of sorts. She was bleeding a bit from her vulva, but that was often the case with a first birth, especially when the foal had to be manipulated and helped in its passage through the birth canal. Marmalade stood with her head down. She was disinterested in her hay. Aunt Jane could justify that after the rough delivery the mare had experienced. Aunt Jane decided to watch her throughout the day, but she figured that the mare would perk up, given some time to rest and recuperate, and she went back up to the house to begin working on the Easter dinner. Friends were arriving at 4:00 PM.

Sophie came charging up to the house, screaming for her mom. She could hardly get the words out, "Call the vet. Right now!" Marmalade was bleeding heavily. She had strained to urinate and huge clots and puddles of blood had gushed out of her rectum and vagina. Dr. Daner arrived promptly and quickly assessed the situation. He talked as he worked. He examined Marmalade and explained that she had suffered a perineal laceration. The foal's hoof had torn the tissue between the birth canal and the rectum. He grabbed vaseline impregnated gauze and packed the rectum and the vagina to slow the bleeding and administered some antibiotics. He turned to Aunt Jane and asked if her Easter plans included a visit to the Cornell University Veterinary Hospital. Well, those are your plans, now, he explained! Dr. Daner came up to the house and called the University Veterinary Hospital. He conferred with the on-call vet, described the situation, and estimated that the mare would be there in just over 4 hours.

After a flurry of phone calls, canceling their dinner plans, Aunt Jane, Sophie and Uncle Gordon hooked up the trailer, prepared a thick bed of straw, and loaded Marmalade and Easter Surprise for their four-hour journey to the veterinary hospital.

To be continued....


  1. Poor Marmalade, I honestly know just how she feels as I had the same thing happen with my last child. Not caused by a hoof of course :) Just a kid with a 14 3/4 inch head!

  2. we wait!



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