Wait­ing and watch­ing

EQUUS - - Eq Case Report -

Once the flow abated, Ar­ne­sen capped the chest tubes with valves to pre­vent air from get­ting into Parker’s chest, then he taped the tubes se­curely to Parker’s body and wrapped the ends with ban­dages to ab­sorb fluid that would con­tinue to drain. Parker would re­main like this, at the clinic, un­til his con­di­tion im­proved---or un­til the sit­u­a­tion be­came hope­less.

The first 24 hours were tough, for every­one. Parker was started on two very strong in­tra­venous an­tibi­otics, which Ar­ne­sen told me could be stress­ful to or­gans like the kid­neys. But, con­sid­er­ing how sick my horse was, wait­ing for the re­sults of the cul­ture to tell us what kind of bac­te­ria we were deal­ing with re­ally wasn’t an op­tion. For­tu­nately, Parker’s liver did fine un­til the test re­vealed that only one, much safer, an­tibi­otic was needed.

I went to the clinic daily to brush and mas­sage Parker. I took him for short walks out­side in the sun, and he’d pick grass with his teeth but then let it fall out of his mouth. The walk­ing seemed to make the drains more drippy, which was fine by me be­cause I wanted to get that fluid out of him any way I could. Ev­ery other day the tubes were re­moved and cleaned, then put back in. Over­all, Parker seemed lethar­gic, and he still wasn’t very in­ter­ested in eat­ing or drink­ing.

On the fifth day, Parker de­vel­oped ex­plo­sive di­ar­rhea. Ar­ne­sen told me that it wasn’t an un­com­mon reaction to the stress of ill­ness and hos­pi­tal­iza­tion

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