Sunday, November 13, 2011

Life at New Bolton

Suki continued to progress for awhile without any setbacks. She did become difficult about being caught in her stall for treatments though. This was completely understandable, but needed to be overcome. Suki would allow me to catch her on visits, of course, because all I did was groom her, kiss her and feed her treats. One afternoon I was asked to clip a short lead to her halter. This would make her easier to catch.

About 4 weeks in, Suki developed a fever of unknown origin. She appeared normal, but during the routine vital signs check had indicated an elevated temperature. Concerns of respiratory infection surfaced, so the doctors decided to take Suki for a chest xray. ICU does not have its own radiology department, so it was necessary to walk Suki outside and across campus. With her cloth halter, Suki was difficult to restrain....add to that 17.2 hands and 1400 lbs, and this can be a bit of a challenge. Suki had been quite fit prior to the fire, so 4 weeks in a stall was not easy for her! The nurses managed to get Suki to xray, but ultimately were unable to get a very good film. Then she coughed when they tried to retrieve some nasal fluid, contaminating the sample. Two days later, the fever was gone. We will never know the cause.

Although there was a large amount of charred skin that needed to come off, Suki's doctors felt that it would be better for this to happen naturally, reducing the chance of infection. Little, by little the burned skin fell away, and pink sensitive skin developed in its place. The nurses, vet students and doctors were amazing in their dedication to protect this skin, and save my beautiful girl.

Another concern that developed, was that Suki seemed tired. She would not lie down in her stall. When the IV lines were removed, and the mare and foal stall became vacant, Suki was moved into it, with the hope that the larger stall would entice her to lie down. Suki has always been a sleeper. She likes to lie flat out at night in her stall and take a good snooze. The standing cat naps were not enough for her.
Even with the move, Suki still did not lie down. She tried once, but stood up again immediately. Then one day I noticed her trying to scratch her side with her nose... she lost her balance and stopped, so I took over the scratching. Suki has also always been extremely flexible, but the charred skin on her sides wrinkled when she tried to bend, and that seemed to unnerve her. I realized then, that was why she would not lie down to sleep.

November 13, 2011
At 3 AM I heard sirens...a lot of them... They were in a distance, but it woke me. It felt like my heart stopped...I just lay there waiting for the phone call....thankfully it never came. When will I get over this? I honestly don't think I ever will!

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