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Help! I'm on the ground and I can't get up....


I went out to feed this morning and found Eclipse on the ground struggling to get up.  Eclipse is our oldest Welsh pony at the age of 27.  He tore his knee up pretty badly several years ago and we were warned at that time that his body would do it's best to stabilize the joint but there would come a time when he would get down on the ground and not be able to get up.  Well, that day was today.  It's scary to see so large an animal struggling to get up.  He couldn't get his good leg under him to push up with.  At the time of his original injury, our wonderful vet, Michael Ridlen, told me to call him when it happened and he would come out and "tail him up".  So I called.  They say timing is everything..... Dr. Ridlen was in LaGrange and wouldn't be back till sometime after noon but all we needed was some bute and a couple strong men.  Bute, a horse pain reliever, I had but the two strong men were an issue.  Ron is still less than a month past abdominal surgery and he wouldn't be doing anything with Eclipse's tail.  I called our local feed store, Bernardo Farm and Ranch, and asked if they had a couple of strong guys they could loan me for a few minutes.  They had one strong young man they could send out and just needed to wait for a break in the line of customers.  Bless Patti Sebesta.

Step 1 - give the pony two grams of bute.  We got the bute into Eclipse and waited about 40 minutes for it to take the edge off the pain.  Nick showed up right on schedule and we proceeded with the next step in the process.  Step 2 - turn the pony over so his good leg will be under him.  I held Eclipse's head on the ground so Nick could get a rope around one leg and pull him over onto his other side.  I was hoping that was all that would be needed and it was.  With his good leg finally under him, Eclipse managed to get himself up into a standing position.  Whew!  Step 3 - as soon as the pony tries to stand up grab his tail and pull up.  Fortunately, we never got to Step 3.  Eclipse was shaky and stood three legged for quite a while before he was willing to put full weight on his bum leg.  I'll double his normal bute for the next three days - no telling what muscles he strained while trying to get up.  We want him as comfortable as we can make him.