WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES
We welcomed Cloudy, a beautiful little Welch pony, the early part of June – shortly after Lacy, the blind Shetland pony passed away from colic. Sadly, before coming to HartSong, Cloudy lived a life of neglect and despair for many years. She was in trouble and in desperate need someone to help her.
As you may recall, Lacy and Molly the Pit Bull (rescued in August of 2014), were bonded at the hip. As far as Molly was concerned, Lacy was HER pony – HER friend and never, were these two sweet creatures without the other. Molly’s anguish, however, over the loss of her friend Lacy, was just too heartbreaking to witness so as we often do and when space allows, we welcomed Cloudy – determined to improve her life and with hopes that Molly, once again, would have the friend she so desired.
A few months went by and all was good and well. Molly loved her new best friend and Cloudy too, appreciated Molly’s kind, protective ways.
Shortly thereafter, we began to notice that Cloudy had a painful, runny, right eye. The vets initially thought she was suffering from an eye infection and recommended antibiotic ointment. We did as directed, applying the ointment twice daily but unfortunately, her eye condition did not improve. We then noticed that Cloudy was developing a cauliflower like growth at the base of her eye. Concerned, we called our vet – explained this new development and afterwards, our vet recommended that Cloudy be evaluated by the equine ophthalmologist at UC Davis.
The appointment was scheduled and a few days later, Cloudy was on her way to UC Davis. When we arrived, Cloudy was sedated, examined and within 20 minutes, the diagnosis was revealed. Cloudy, now 25 years of age, had Squamous Cell Carcinoma and the only way to stop the cancer from spreading systemically was to remove her right eye. The charge to do so was estimated at $1,500 – $2,000.
And so, with heavy hearts, we left Cloudy in the ophthalmologists’ care and headed back to Greenwood. Two days later, following a successful surgery, Cloudy was on her way back to HartSong. Molly literally jumped for joy when we unloaded Cloudy out of the trailer and returned her to her paddock.
Cloudy’s face was entirely bandaged except for her one remaining beautiful, blue left eye. Our instructions were to keep her on 20 pills of antibiotics per day and meds for pain. We were also instructed to remove the bandaging after 10 days.
Cloudy’s eye – the day we discovered that her stitches had given way – before cleaning.
Cloudy’s eye after cleaning.
Eight days into her recovery, however, and much to our dismay, we discovered that Cloudy had managed to break free of her bandages. Not only had the bandaging given way, so did all of the sutures used to close the wound. Alarmingly, her condition now revealed an open eye socket packed with clotted and oozing blood. Immediately, we called our vet.
Unfortunately, Cloudy’s upper and lower lids were too far along in the healing process so there was no way to re-stitch her eye closed. Our vet, however, confident that we could provide her with the necessary care, was very clear about what needed to be done. Twice daily, all of the clotted blood had to be removed from her eye socket and cleaned as coagulated blood is a fertile breeding ground for bacteria. The vet stated with continued daily care, her eye would/should eventually begin to close and much to our surprise, it did.
Ponies by nature are extremely long lived – many living 40+ years. It is our hope that Cloudy will be a part of the HartSong family for many, many years to come. Seeing her happy and pain free is the best reward EVER!
Today, Cloudy is free to run and play with the other horses and even though she now sees the world through just one eye – in no way, did the removal of her right eye put a hitch in her giddy-up! She definitely holds her own when frolicking with the big guys. She might be pint size in stature but her love of life is GIGANTIC! every life matters
Our sincere thanks and appreciation to all of our monthly sponsors – for without your generosity and embrace, saving Cloudy’s life might not have been a possibility and for that, we are forever grateful!
ENORMOUS THANKS also to the many INCREDIBLE HartSong volunteers who assisted daily with her care. All were so gentle and tender with her – speaking softly to calm her while they scrubbed, cleaned and medicated her eye. Without their help, providing for Cloudy in her time of need would have been quite a daunting task.
Also, TREMENDOUS THANKS to Dr. Kelly Torrisi of Auburn Medical Center Large Animal Services for your impeccable guidance and for believing in our ability to provide Cloudy with the care that she desperately needed. We are most grateful for your leadership, advice and support!
AND, last but not least, HUGE THANKS to Cloudy for the tolerance and patience she displayed while will we tended to her medical needs. She was such a good girl through it all!
Cloudy’s eye four weeks later – almost healed!
Cloudy, late December 2015 – completely healed.