Minnie Adventure – a grass sickness success story
by Kelly Donald
On Friday 29th April 2011 we set off to compete in our second BE event of the year. After walking the cross country course we came back to find my 8 year old mare Minnie with severe tremours and soaked with sweat. We called out a local vet who told us it looked like colic or more likely grass sickness. He gave her an injection to make her more comfortable and we headed back home hoping it was colic and that her condition would improve overnight. The vet said that if it was grass sickness it was a “one way road” and he wouldn’t advise sending her to Edinburgh Dick Vets.
In the early hours of Saturday morning we called out our own vet who confirmed chronic grass sickness and immediately got her referred to Edinburgh. We made the long 5 hour journey feeling devastated not knowing if she was going to make it to the Dick Vet Hospital. On arrival at the Dick vets she had lost a lot of weight and looked quite poorly. We anxiously waited for them to do tests and then left for home thinking it may have been the last time we ever saw Minnie.
Minnie was put on a drip for the first 5 days of her stay and was monitored for 24 hours a day. Each day I worried about the update until I received the phonecall saying she was still with us. Although she had lost a lot of weight Minnie continued to eat small amounts and as her condition improved was allowed to graze in-hand for short periods.
After 2 weeks at the Dick Vets she was allowed home under careful observation and monitoring. We gradually increased turn out and she improved daily. We then started hacking her out and building up her fitness. She soon started returning to her normal self and even managed to unseat me during a “quiet” hack. I have never been so pleased to fall off! She has always been a bit of a character and this is maybe what pulled her through. She recently returned to BSJA jumping and gained her 4 British Novice double clears in her first 4 outings being placed 3rd, 2nd and 1st twice. She is getting stronger all the time and we hope to be out eventing again next year. If it hadn’t been for our own vet she would not have been referred to Edinburgh and would not have survived. I am very grateful to our vet and the staff at the Dick Vet hospital for giving her the chance to live. I hope this gives some hope to others who find themselves in this heart breaking situation.
Minnie at Cabin Equestrian – back out doing what she loves best!