Visiting Gina and Marrakesh

I headed down to the vet clinic to visit Gina and Marrakesh after feeding Candy and Moe this morning. Gina appeared happy to see me (and the big container of cookies I brought). I let myself in her stall where she was watching over her sleeping colt.

I wanted to cry when I saw him lying in a corner of the stall with a bandage around his neck holding an IV catheter in place and a nasogastric tube on his tiny muzzle. Flies swarmed on his face and sheath, and he looked small and thin and helpless. I sat next to him and petted him gently; he woke up briefly, adjusted his position, and went back to sleep.

A few minutes later, the veterinarian treating Marrakesh came by to say hello and give me an update. This vet diagnosed and treated Moe for EPM last fall, and I was glad to see a familiar face. The vet told me that they’d noticed a mild swelling in baby’s sheath and jaw, and that his protein level had dipped a little. They’d administered Lasix, which brought the swelling down, and reduced the amount of fluids he was receiving intravenously. The vet thought the swelling looked significantly reduced; he also thought that Marrakesh didn’t need supplemental fluids any more.

His poor little face!

While I was there, the vet and a tech helped Marrakesh get up. He seemed much steadier while standing today, and the vet told me he thought baby’s muscle tone had improved. Marrakesh walked around a bit before heading toward Gina’s flank to nurse. Gina was letting down a lot of milk, and some of it streamed onto baby’s head while he was suckling. He wasn’t a fan and proceeded to spend the next five minutes rubbing his face on his leg and Gina’s leg in an effort to get the wet sensation to stop. He made a few more laps around the stall before lying down in a mostly-coordinated fashion.

Nursing like a pro

The vet advised me that Marrakesh’s prognosis remains good even if he does look terribly puny right now. He told me that he’d been more lively earlier in the morning and had even tried to buck a little. I thought he looked a tiny bit sturdier and more solid. Gina continues to be a total champion. She’s producing plenty of milk and eating and drinking well. She’s also well behaved for the clinic staff who are in and out of her stall and handling her foal frequently.

Itchy and wet.

I’m really glad I live near a clinic with such a good team of vets and techs. I’m grateful for the assistance they’ve given Gina and Marrakesh, and I’m optimistic that they’ll help him overcome his rough start!

I can’t express how grateful I am for the words of encouragement and stories people have shared about foals who have turned out just fine after a rocky beginning. It’s heartening to hear!

18 Replies to “Visiting Gina and Marrakesh”

  1. So glad he’s making progress and that Gina is being a good mom!

    1. I’ve been sort of surprised about what a good mama Gina is. Like, I know she’s had foals before, and I know she is generally a pretty well-mannered horse, but I’m impressed with how quiet she’s been with all the hubbub.

  2. Allie-Rocking E Cowgirl says: Reply

    I would have teared up, also. He’s your baby, too! He’s at a great vet clinic, though, and Gina is a good mom. Hang in there!

    1. I feel very confident in the clinic staff- I know he’s receiving excellent care, and that is a HUGE relief. Even if he does look like a sad wet noodle right now.

      1. Allie-Rocking E Cowgirl says: Reply

        He is such a precious sad, wet noodle.

  3. Aww it’s always so heart breaking to see them not feeling 100%. What a relief tho that the vets feel confident in his growing strength! He’s so friggin cute tho <3 keep us posted!

    1. I am 1000% happy that he is at the vet. I was reading a thread yesterday about someone’s premature foal over on CotH and immediately knew that I was not equipped to be putting in an NG tube myself or getting him up to feed or any of the 13098130697 things that might need to be done and felt very confident in my decision to take him to the clinic.

  4. Likely good she held on to that baby as long as she could? Glad to hear the Outlook is good. Jingle

    1. Yes, definitely good that she held on as long as she did! It seems like foals like Marrakesh are typically the result placental insufficiency. Gina’s placenta always looked excellent on ultrasounds and post-partum evaluation of it looked good, so it’s a bit of a mystery why he came out like he did.

  5. I can’t imagine how hard it is to be going through such a tough start. But it sounds like everyone is feeling positive, so try to latch on to that! He’s SO adorable! Despite his little tubes, poor dude. Gina really looks great, and I’m so happy to hear she’s being a good patient mom with everything going on.

    1. I swear I’ll never say another bad thing about Gina again, even if she sets back and breaks every halter I put on her from now until she dies! She’s being SO GOOD!

  6. Oh my gosh his sweet little itchy face. <3 Hang in there! You've got loads of people pulling for you both.

    1. The itching was very cute! I love his big white face; if he does end up gray, he’ll certainly be stunning in those dark dappled years!

  7. He’s so cute! Hope he feels 100% soon. Sounds like you have a great vet!

    1. Thank you! The vet (and everyone at the clinic, really) is very good, and they have a lot of experience with foals. He’s in great hands!

  8. So glad to hear he’s getting better and better! He’s quite a cutie <3 <3 <3 Keeping him in my prayers <3

  9. Sending y’all lots of happy get-well jingles!

Leave a Reply