Junior’s Emergency Surgery

On Saturday morning we noticed that Junior, a resident of the rescue farm, was acting colicky. Because of his history we immediately put an emergency call into our vet, who advised us to give him some painkillers while she started heading our way.
After horses have colic surgery, they are predisposed to developing adhesions on their intestines that can cause irritation. This is actually what sent Junior into surgery for the first time last year, so he was already at high risk. When our vet arrived at the farm, she gave Junior more painkillers, a sedative, and did an internal exam. She could feel an area on his small intestine that seemed to be inflamed and possibly causing strangulation again. An ultrasound confirmed this, so she got us on the road to the emergency hospital in Raleigh.
Upon arrival, the veterinary team began to prep Junior for surgery. At that point there was a concern that Junior might not have enough healthy tissue left to take out what was damaged and repair what remained. We had some very frank discussions about the likelihood of having to euthanize him on the surgery table if they were unable to successfully operate. We said our goodbyes and they took him into surgery around 4pm. After about an hour, the vet came out and told us they were optimistic they could repair the damage. But, after this operation, Junior would not have enough small intestine left to do any further surgeries. They assured us it was still worth operating, so we gave them the go ahead to do everything they could to save Junior.

Junior coming off the transport trailer at NC State

Junior arriving at NC State

He made it through surgery and recovery just fine, and has been stable and comfortable since Saturday evening. He is still not out of the woods, but his intestines are working like they’re supposed to, he’s bright and alert, his vitals are normal, and he’s happily eating as much feed as he’s allowed to have. As of today, Junior has been moved out of intensive care and taken off fluids, and is gradually being taken off all medication. We’re not sure how long Junior will be hospitalized, but we are tentatively planning on going to visit him towards the end of this week.
Junior is going to have a long recovery ahead of him, but based on how well he handled it last time we are sure he’ll settle right back into the routine with no problem. But for right now we are taking things day by day, and celebrating every positive update we get from the vets.
He is a remarkably strong, smart, tough horse – a fighter, just like all of his ancestors that came before him. We will continue to do everything we can to provide Junior the support and care that he needs to survive and have a high quality of life moving forward, but this does come at a cost. If you’d like to help with Junior’s substantial veterinary bills you can make a donation on Junior’s Donation Page of our website: https://www.corollawildhorses.com/one-time-donation…/
We’d like to thank our veterinary team both here at home and at NC State College of Veterinary Medicine & Veterinary Hospital. It’s hard to put into words how grateful we are for the care and respect you consistently show all of our horses, and the support you provide to our staff as we navigate these difficult situations.
We will continue to update everyone on Junior’s progress. Thank you for your donations, your prayers and positive energy, and the trust you have in us to do what’s best for him.