More help came Friday, January 25 in the form of volunteers to assist Dr. Hilde, the veterinarian from Las Varas. He was coming to treat another symptom of the horse’s plight of starvation. The choice of food was limited, eating weeds with tough stalks and/or stickers caused a sore to form on the roof of their mouth. This sore keeps the horses from chewing their food completely; therefore they are not getting the full benefit of the feed they are now receiving.
Dr. Hilde partially anesthetized Billy Biscuit and Canelo. This relaxed their head, so he could place a bridle like contraption in their mouth. This “bridle” is adjusted to keep their jaws open for surgery.
Next came the needle in the roof of the mouth to provide a more local “freezing” of the area. The sore is then cut out so healing can commence (top photo). This will allow the horses to completely chew their feed for easier digestion and benefit for their bodies. Billy and Canelo were also given a shot to help coagulate the blood due to the surgery and all the horses were given a booster shot of vitamins. Heather Erickson (a registered nurse) has volunteered to administer additional vitamin shots as directed by the vet.
As an extra benefit Canelo and Billy received a little primping. Tosia Archer and Ron Nicholls, her assistant, clipped manes, legs and ears.
This is definitely an on going project and we will update from time to time on the plight of the J.E.E.P. horses.
Written by Barbara Webber
To learn more about the J.E.E.P. project, visit the Hilltop Refugio / Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) webpage. You can make a donation to the organization there as well.
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