February 25th 2017 (Source: WASART Facebook Page) – This afternoon Washington State Animal Response Team (WASART) received a request for assistance with a down horse in Snohomish County. Fortunately much of the team, along with the van, was gathered in Issaquah for a training so it was a much faster deployment than had we all been at home.
Mike the horse went down in his stall sometime last night and struggled to get up. Dr. Ron Colton, of Evergreen Equine Veterinary Practice, advised us the horse was on site and we were advised the horse was healthy though tired and was expected to be able to stand once up.
We arrived on scene and split into two groups: one group was to work on getting Mike out of his stall and the other was to work on getting the tripod set up and rigged.
Dr. Colton helped Mike relax throughout the strangers in his stall with some sedative and the horse was patient with our straps and hobbles. The stall team decided to move him out of the barn sooner rather than later, as we were working against the sedative wearing off. The plan was to move Mike onto the glides and pass him out with rear drags or side drags with minimal fuss.
The tripod team took a small break to lend some muscle to the stall team to get Mike out so they could finish rigging him for the lift.
Once the tripod was up and the haul line was ready, we pulled Mike into place under the tripod and attached the quick release bar. The haul team pulled in one smooth pull, and Mike made it up.
Horses tend to relax when suspended and may not even notice they are up, so the team encouraged him to try to stand. Once he was standing, he was able to work some feeling back into his legs. We let him rest a bit and he got a chance to have some hay. Then we released him from the sling and he walked around a bit.
Dr. Colton check him out while he got some attention and more hay. The team cautiously packed up, leaving the tripod up for last in case Mike needed a bit more help.
Mike seemed fine though and we left Mike hanging out in his pasture.
A big thanks to Dr. Colton for jumping in and being awesome to work with, the owner for trusting us with her sweet gelding, and Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office for giving us the okay to help out.
Interested in joining WASART? We have an Animal Handling & Assessment class coming up March 25. http://washingtonsart.org/training
We also have our first annual fundraiser, Raise the Hoof, coming up March 11. It’s also our 10th anniversary! Details here: http://washingtonsart.org/raisethehoof