My husband’s horse was born on May 5th. That’s how he received the name Cinco. A horse with a sweeter disposition could not be found. As soon as he saw you, he was lumbering your way to nudge and beg for attention. My husband sometimes got aggravated with him when trying to work. “He’s always right in my hip pocket, ” he occasionally complained.
As fitting as his name, Cinco only lived five years. He got sick with an upper respiratory infection. J-Dub took him to the vet, and they gave him some medicine. He began to pep up. Then two days later, I drove out to our place to find Cinco laying down. Now, I admit I don’t know much about horses, but one thing I know is they rarely lay down. He wasn’t just resting, he was slowly rolling from side to side. I walked closer to look at him, and his eyes had a look of illness to them. I felt very uneasy, but not wanting to be the over-cautious wife who freaks out at a rolling horse, I decided to watch him a while. He got up slowly, took about 5 steps, and then was back on the ground rolling. I decided something truly must be wrong. I called J-Dub immediately. He was far away in another county, so he called his friend Matt to drive out to check on him.
In the meantime, Cinco would rise very slowly onto his knees with his hind legs in the air, attempting to get up. Sometimes he would make it, and sometimes he would lay back down. When he did manage to struggle to his feet, he would walk for a short way, then lay down and begin rolling. My husband said it sounded like he was trying to colic. I didn’t know what that meant. Matt arrived and when he saw him, he ran to him, slapped his butt and pushed on him, forced him to get up. He put a halter on him and began walking him around. Matt explained that when a horse colics, they get a terrible stomach-ache, so they lay down and begin to roll to try to relieve the pain. That causes their intestines to twist, and they die. The best thing to do is make them walk.
As Matt walked Cinco all around the place, I paced inside the house. I felt helpless. Shortly after, the vet arrived. She listened to Cinco’s stomach, then inserted a tube down his throat, and began pumping his stomach. She removed the tube and drained all this liquid onto the ground, and then reinserted it again for another round. This continued for a very long time. The vet then decided to take him into the clinic and keep him overnight. Rabies was suspected, and possibly West Nile Virus.
The next morning Cinco wasn’t any better. They continued observing and treating him throughout that day and the night, but he died there in the vet’s clinic by morning.
Because the only way rabies can be detected is through a post-mortem exam, and the only way to test is to send an animal’s head into a laboratory, my husband had to drive to the vet’s to pick up his dead, headless horse and bury him. It was a sad day. I wish I could have helped him, but there wasn’t any help I could give except my words of sympathy.
The results for rabies came back negative. The cause of death was never known.
My husband has been without a horse since November until yesterday when his friend Shawn gave him a horse, and a dang nice one at that.
Here’s Shawn hamming it up as usual.
This new horse goes by the name Freak because of his rarity. He is a palamino roan.
Palamino is a yellow color, and roan refers to little white speckles.
Right now he is roaned from his middle to the back, but in the summer he roans all over.
He reminds me of a Californian surfer with his bleached blonde mane.
What a horse!
But more importantly, what a friend!
My husband and I are blessed beyond words to have a friend in Shawn who sees a need and fills it.
Thank you Shawn!