Wednesday, April 6, 2011
In the summer of 2010, TREES agreed to assume custody of a young paint horse in need of immediate veterinary care. Infection had caused swelling in most of Parker's face. Over the course of many months, Parker's foster mom and several vets, in consultation with a surgeon at NCSU, cleaned up infected tissue, removed fragments of diseased bone and tried to deal with an opening that led from Parker's mouth into his sinus.
Under their care, Parker seemed to improve somewhat, had a good appetite, played with herdmates and appeared to be happy, but the cavity in his face would not heal and the infection always seemed to lurk, waiting for an opportunity to make itself known again.
Following months of xrays, biopsies and cultures, it was decided to take Parker to NCSU, where a surgeon would attempt to give Parker a normal life. Sadly, his prognosis was that surgery would be "heroic" and gave the little paint only a 20% chance of a good quality of life.
And so, with a mouthful of sweet spring grass, with his foster mom close by, Parker left his earth in the gentlest manner possible. While we won't have specific results for several weeks, it was thought the tissues involved looked cancerous. Even if that proves to not be the case, the surgeon confirmed, during necropsy, that there was nothing else to be done. If there is an "up side" to this case, it is that Parker was able to be an organ donor, allowing other horses corneal transplants.
Our hearts go out to Meredith who cared for Parker for almost a year and stayed with him as he left for greener pastures. No one could have done a better job. We know he is missed already.
Ciao Bello, Parker.