Thursday, September 26, 2013

Community Sports

Rising Stars

Olympic hopeful felled by illness

Submitted by Josh Goodstadt, Chilliwack


Leila Lucas and Othello at Island 22 Dressage in August this year. Just six horses and riders finished the course.


sland 22 in Chilliwack went well. Their dressage could have been better, and they ended up knocking down one rail in stadium jumping, but as usual he over jumped most of them as if to say " call this High?"


Their next competition was at Aspen Farms in Yelm Washington where they did much better. Their dressage was amazing and their cross-country run was incredible. The cross-country course was so difficult that only six of 18 competitors crossed the finish line, and Leila Lucas and Othello were one of them. 


Now for the bitter part. 

At that point in time they were looking at a podium finish when she noticed something was wrong with Othello. Upon closer examination she realized he was colicing (It's when a horse has medium to severe abdominal pain, mostly due to gas being in the wrong place, and can be deadly). They called the on site vet and discovered that he had gas that has been trapped.  


While doing everything they could, they noticed his condition worsening and made the decision to drive to the nearest large animal vet hospital which was two hours away.  So Leila and her Mom, who often accompanies Leila to her events, literally dropped everything, loaded Othello, and started to drive the most stressful two hours of their lives.

After stopping three or four times to try to keep Othello from lying down and thrashing around, a common thing that horses do when colicing to try to ease the pain, but by doing this they run the risk of twisting their innards.  After nearly running a few red lights they arrived at the vet hospital. 

He was rushed in and examined. They found  that he has trapped gas in his large intestine and would need "exploratory surgery". 


Once they had opened him up they discovered that his intestine had indeed twisted in such a manner that the blood supply had been cut off for an indefinite amount of time, we figure it happened when he was thrashing around in the trailer. They would put everything back the way it should be but they didn't know if that part of his intestine would still work, having been without blood supply for so long.  


After being on the operating table for three hours he was finally in the recovery part of the hospital.   Now the waiting game.  The night passed and the morning came and he was "still standing" and getting better. He still looked in rough shape but he was alive. 


The next morning came and the next and he continued to get better. After two weeks we were finally able to bring him home.  He has been home for four days now and his condition continues to improve. He does look a little beat up but I tell you he looks fantastic for a guy that almost died. 


The doc says that he will need three months of recovery before he can continue his training towards the Olympics in 2016.  We were also told that the chances of this happening again are slim to none, SWEET!!




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