Thursday, October 16, 2008

old cast new cast

My wonderful husband got up early this morning and managed the entire re-casting process before he went to work, so that when I went out to feed breakfast, there was little Rafer, slightly subdued still from his anesthesia, but newly casted and standing once again with all FOUR hooves on the ground.

Salina is in fine spirits this morning, insisting on being in the paddock where she can interact with the geldings in the back field AND Rafer in his stall. She seems to know that this healing process is approaching the halfway point - and thus she can hang out halfway between the members of her herd. There is no pacing or sense of urgency - she simply seems like she's ready to move back toward the herd life. We are all eager for this to happen, with Rafer Johnson, and with Redford!

Rafer will be completely stall-bound for several days, until he gets used to using his fetlock and hoof again, and builds those muscles back.

His pressure sore is not bad at all, but it's tender, and a good thing it is now completely untouched by the cast so it can heal.

What a little trooper! Today I'm so much closer to seeing things back to normal here on November Hill. And looking SO forward to seeing two donkeys running together with Salina not too far behind!


the7msn said...

I'm just so relieved that this is turning out to be a textbook recovery for Rafer. If ever something similar happens to one of my boys, I will always think back to this to keep myself calm and hopeful. I'm one of those people who always assumes the worst when an equine gets sick or injured - it's good to be reminded that positive outcomes are possible.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Rafer seems to be coming along wonderfully. Salina is such a good friend to him and the geldings too. But I think she has a special place in her heart for Rafer. I'm sure you all can't wait for Redford to get there, he's going to be a fun addition to the menagerie.

billie said...

Linda, our vet who has treated Rafer through-out this process is a long-time horseman whose family had a breeding farm. He continues to ride competitively, and also loves donkeys. He has brought a high level of knowledge and skill to this process, but I think even more importantly, a very practical sense of how to make this easier on Rafer, us, and to maintain trust in the hardiness of a healthy, well-loved animal to heal, given conscientious care.

I did some research on broken legs in equines when this first happened, and found a site that documented a long list of "success stories" for horses. In all the cases, the care and convalescent period was rather long, and the outcome for horses to compete or in some cases ever be ridden again was small, but I think it's evident that for people willing to put in the time and care, with reasonable expectations, the prognoses are much better than we tend to read about in the mainstream.

There are so many alternative treatments that can help, and I think the power of keeping animals in a natural, loving environment is vastly underestimated.

I happen to think this is true for humans as well!

billie said...

Arlene, it's true that her mothering instinct is very high and seems to be more deeply rooted than anything else. She has been a godsend in this process, and probably the most important presence for Rafer.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I'm so happy to check in here and read the encouraging news on Rafer.
I pray that he regains strength and range of motion in his foot and that his pressure sore heals quickly.
What a sweetie Salina is, too.
Sounds like November may be a very special month on November Hill :)


billie said...

Thank you, Lisa - for certain this November's Thanksgiving will have very special meaning for us here.

Janet Roper said...

YEAH! Rafer! Way to go!

billie said...

Thank you, Janet - still sending good thoughts to Teddy, too.

mamie said...

Thanks for the update on Rafer Johnson, my favorite of your menagerie! I must meet him in person some day.

billie said...

Mamie, I'm sure you'll get to meet the little guy at some point. :)

jme said...

i haven't been able to stop by in a while, and it seems like i've missed a lot! i'm so happy to find that rafer is doing well with his recovery. what great news! he has brightened the end of my long, tired day. :-)

billie said...

I've missed you here, jme - glad you checked in and I hope you get a restful weekend!