Hope for Healing Horses with Cancer ™
Scout's Story "The ECS Inspiration"

My story begins two years ago in July of 2009.  I have a beautiful paint horse named Scout who came into my life in need of a lot of TLC.  He was sun burned, under weight and very untrusting.  After a few months we developed a bond that no one could ever explain.  In December 2010 I noticed a small lesion on his eye that would not heal.  I called the veterinarian and he performed a biopsy of the tissue.  To my dismay when the call came on December 16, 2010, it was cancer.  The doctor informed me that not only was it cancer, but specifically Squamous Cell Carcinoma, one of the most aggressive forms of cancer.  I was at a loss for words.  I went to the barn that night and held my soul mate close and promised him I would not give up as long as he didn’t.  Throughout the next year Scout underwent numerous treatments ranging from, creams, to bead implantation, and cryotherapy, unfortunately, nothing worked.  In January 2012 my veterinarian told me it was time to make a decision.  I sat by my pale faced boy one more time in his stall and asked him if he was ready to give up.  I looked into those big brown eyes and saw life, strength and hope.  I knew then, I needed to find other options.  I searched the internet to see if I could find someone, anyone, who may be able to help.  I came across the Texas A &M University website and browsed the large animal clinic page.  Something told me to pick up the phone and call.  I dialed the number and spoke to Dr. Easterwood, the head veterinary oncologist.  I explained to her the situation and asked if there was anything she could do.  She asked me to send her pictures and she would call me back with the answer.  I waited on the phone to ring, finally it did.  She said, “I can help, but you need to bring him here for the surgery.”  So, I scheduled time off from work, loaded up my beautiful boy and headed 300 miles south on hope and a prayer.  On March 28, 2012 Scout underwent a procedure, an H-plasty, to the right side of his face to rebuild his eyelids and remove the tumor.  I remember her calling to tell me everything went great and he would be able to go home in a few days.  After arriving home, Scout instantly changed.  He was more loving toward other people and showed a sense of relief.  Unfortunately, we had to start cisplatin injections once again on the surgical site to make sure no cells started to re-grow.  My current veterinarian at the time was the one doing the injections to keep from driving 300 miles every other week.  Unfortunately, due to lack of knowledge, the injections were done improperly and an infection started in the surgical site.  Over the next few months, the infection got worse so I decided to take Scout to another veterinarian for a second opinion.  I was informed that the eye now has to be removed and part of his bone structure as well due to infection and the cancer spreading to back of his eye.  On August 2, 2012 my boy underwent surgery once again.  I brought him home after a couple days and he had a sense of peace about him.  He was doing amazing adapting to his loss of sight and was running and playing with the best of them.  It was at that moment I realized, there needs to be more information out there on equine cancer.  If I would have known in 2010 what I know now, things might have gone a little differently.  That is how the Equine Cancer Society was born.  I am proud to say out of all the trials and tribulations Scout’s story can be heard and help others in need of information and support.  That is why cancer research, knowledge, and it’s advances are so important to me.
*Scout lost his battle with cancer 1/11/13.  RIP Scout you were an inspiration to all.
Shadow's Story

June 28th I let my horses out into the back yard to eat grass and noticed a large mass on the back of Shadow's scrotum.  I called the vet and he was not concerned as he was still eating and I took his temp and it was normal.  He said sometimes intestines slip down into the area from being gelded, and that it would go back up inside on its own. I was supposed to be in the Spokane area leaving Shadow in the care of my son & daughter in law. We left June 30th as scheduled. 
July 4th 2012 I received a call that Shadow was gravely ill.  We were 350 miles from home and left where we were at 1 am July 5th we got home at 7 am and had to take him to Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital.  He spent two days there having tests done. On July 7th the doctor called me to tell me the outcome of the tests.  We were told there were only two options. One was to go in and see how much cancer was there and ultimately put him down.  I went to see him and say my goodbyes as I was not going to put him thru the pain of surgery to turn around and have to put him down anyway. I went to his stall and expected to find him with his head down and in a bad way but NO he was standing by the window he turned to look at me as if to say "mom what is going on" I lost it. I have had Shadow since he was 6 months old and is now 19.
I called the vet who had taken care of him the night of July 4th and was crying asking if I was making the right decision.  He told me you obviously love your horse.  He said I can try some cold laser therapy if you want to give it a try.  I decided I  had to try, I went to the reception desk and said I was taking him home.  

We loaded Shadow into our trailer and made the 1 1/2 hour drive home in 90 degree weather and horrible traffic.  When we got to the vet's office I thought I would open the trailer to see him lethargic but he was so anxious to get out of that trailer he almost jumped out. He then spent 10 days with this vet and the tumor did shrink.  It went from the size of a cantalope to a little smaller than a baseball.  I took him home.  This was the end of July 2012.
We continued to do the cold laser therapy thru the winter once a week. The tumor started to grow again, I then contacted WSU Vet hospital and made an appointment to see Dr. Kelly Farnsworth.  We took Shadow over March 25th 2013.  He was examined and then they did an ultrasound of the mass.  It was determined it was operable and they did surgery that afternoon.  They removed over a 5# tumor off the back of his scrotum.  The tumor was sent for analysis and it was determined it had gone into the marginal tissue.  Dr. Farnsworth had been to a conference where he had heard about a new thermo cancer treatment where you put sisplatin in and then put these heat pads on the idea is the heat makes the sisplatin go further into the cells.  After doing this for two weeks they determined that this new treatment was not doing as it had been designed.  
Two months later May 25th 2013 I picked Shadow up to take him home.  There was about a 6-8 in incision on the back of his scrotum that they said would not heal due to the cancer cells. It was draining blood and other fluids, I was to keep the flys out by cleaning it daily and applying SWAT fly repellent.  I did this religiously every day, until the weather changed and there were no more bugs.  During the winter of 2013/2014 the incision did close and quit draining.  Today he is doing well and enjoying our new home where he has 10 acres of pasture.   We have gone on a few rides and he seems to do fine other than he gets tired a little faster.  Some days he does not have that sparkle in his eyes, but I cherish every day I still have him.  It has now been 2 years and 1 month and with any luck I will continue to have him with me for years to come.  But when that day does come I will at least be able to say I did everything I could to help him enjoy life to the fullest. 
Thank you for reading my email and considering my horse Shadow for your 2015 calendar.  It is due to your website and response to my email 2 years ago that I was able to get in contact with WSU and Dr. Farnsworth. 

Sugar's Story

We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails. ~Author Unknown

It started with a stinky, snotty nose.  Sugar, my five year old Appaloosa mare, was sick.  A call was made to our vet, Dr. Galen Johnson.  Little did I know that this was the beginning of a major medical journey for my little mare.   And a spiritual journey for myself.

Originally Sugar was diagnosed with a nasal infection and treated with antibiotics, but nothing seemed to help.  Dr. Johnson cultured S. zooepidemicus from a pharyngeal  lavage, but there  was no response to the treatment and it was decided to take Sugar to the Ohio State University Veterinary Equine Medical Center for further exploration.

At the OSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Sugar was given a pharyngeal and guttural pouch endoscopy exam and was diagnosed with a severe guttural pouch infection.  She stayed at the hospital from July 21 to August 1, 2008 and had her guttural pouch flushed and packed with penicillin gel once or twice a day.  During her treatment a small pharyngeal mass was discovered and biopsied twice.  To the surprise of the doctors, the mass was found to be pharyngeal lymphoma.  At that time it was decided that Sugar’s treatment of her guttural pouch with flushes would end as it was felt they would make Sugar more uncomfortable.  She was sent home and would be treated with oral prednisolone.  The goal was to keep Sugar comfortable and to continually assess her quality of life until the disease progressed and became no longer manageable.

I went home with Sugar with my heart broken.  Each morning I would dread walking out to the barn.  I was frightened that she was going to worsen rapidly and die.  One evening as I left the barn I had a conversation with God and surrendered my little horse to my higher power.  Sugar became God’s horse.  I would do everything I could possibly do for Sugar, but this was something I could not control.  After making my peace with her illness and giving up my need for control, I was able to function much better and regain some sanity….and Sugar, well Sugar has continued to be the good little horse she has always been.  It’s as though someone forgot to tell her she was ill.  If you look at her today, you would have no idea that she has cancer. She runs in the pasture with her friends and behaves like a normal horse.

She has responded beautifully to the prednisolone.  Her initial dosage has had to be reduced as it was causing laminitis.  For a few months she had to wear special shoes, but is back to being a barefoot girl again.  She also has to wear a grazing muzzle most of the year because of the threat of laminitis.  The medication has also made her susceptible to infections, as it compromises her immune system.  She has had a few bouts with infections that have laid her low,  but with the help of the doctors and good nursing she has come through these set backs. 

I dissolve her 11 tablets of prednisolone in water and add a bit of Karo syrup and carrot baby food to the mixture and squirt it into her mouth each evening with a syringe.  She opens her mouth wide and takes it like a champ.  Though the doctors did not feel that the medication would cause a regression or remission of her lymphoma,  to date it is doing just that.

Sugar continues to go back to OSU for rechecks every 6-12 months.  Her last check up was a week ago.  On her discharge summary it was written:  “Sugar has responded to the prednisolone very well for the last four years, and we really couldn’t be more pleased with how she is doing.  It is unlikely that the lymphoma will completely regress, but currently it does appear to be controlled by the treatment.  We cannot predict the progression, if any, of the disease, but we are hopeful that she will continue to do well.”

I have learned a great deal through this experience with Sugar and I hope that I will continue to grow along with her on this journey for many more years to come.  I have been able to make it through the fear and when the time comes I know that I will be able to let go of her with love. In the meantime Sugar continues to teach me about love, trust, responsibility, acceptance, appreciation of the moment and respect for life.

Jet's Story

I am new to the horse world, having two young children, it took me sometime to accomplish our family's dream of having our own horse farm. My daughter, who is now 8, started her love of horses when she was 2. A dear friend of mine had a young gelding that she and I fell in love with, as well as his pasture mate, Jet. Jet was a gorgeous bay gelding, that had a brand on his back left hip of "SG", which we were told was for southern gentleman, considering he came from Texas. He certainly lived up to that name. We were finally ready last fall to bring our boys home, which was both so exciting and scary at the same time. Jet was the guy who was always so tolerant of my beginner mistakes, offered lots of cuddles and adored my 2 children. He was basically our big puppy in the pasture, the one horse that I trusted with my kids, he had that look that told me he would take good care of them anytime they rode. 
When we got Jet we noticed that going to the restroom was a task for him. So me being new to the horse scene called the vet immediately, thinking it was an emergency. I was told he had a squamous cell tumor on his genital area (urethra) and that there was nothing that could be done. So I begged for options, trying chemo creams, antibiotics, etc. just hoping I could fix this issue, but it was an endless battle. A full penile amputation was our only option, and the odds were not in his favor with that as well. So I promised to give him a comfortable home to live out his life, however long or short that maybe. 
Well fair season was approaching, he was looking very healthy, and riding very strong with my daughter. He was my teacher, teaching me the ins and out of loading into a trailer, hauling and practicing at the fairgrounds with our club. He never gave me any fits, but would give me "the look" when I was making one of my many bone head beginner mistakes. Everyone in our club adored Jet and was concerned with his condition. I was so in love by the way he connected with my daughter and gave her the confidence and mind set she needed to become a much better rider, increasing her passion for competing. They were connected mentally and physically, a bond that we could all see when they were riding together. 
A week before fair he was literally unable to relieve himself, having a constant drip of urine. As much as I hated to tell my daughter, taking him to fair was not an option, as well as looking into how and when we needed to make that call to the vet to have him put down. I wanted to watch him for a day or so to see if it improved, because with these tumors, sometimes one would break off and he would be back to his normal. My daughter was a mess, completely uninvolved with the fair activities since she was left sitting and watching, her friends with their horses, and she was going to have to borrow a horse for her events on Saturday. You could just tell it wasn't the same for her, her passion and desire faded with his tumor. 
Friday I decided that I wanted to spend the day with him, to watch his urination and his water intake, to see if he had indeed improved before I counted him out completely, I just was looking for an ounce of hope for my daughter's sake. As I sat in the barn watching all my horses, he walks over and lets it rip, peeing like a race horse...no pun intended. So I start making calls and arranging to get him to the fairgrounds, if he's peeing he's going, that was my promise to my daughter. We load him up with all her new gear she got for her birthday, because she actually gets to use all her "own stuff" on her gorgeous boy, she picked all purple to go with his glowing brown! 
After he arrived to his stall at the fairgrounds, my daughter only left his side to sleep, at my request. She bathed him twice a day, brushed him non stop, braided and unbraided his mane and tail, and he loved every minute of it. She was different child, she had her horse, her love was there and she was so proud to walk him all over to show everyone she too had a horse. He was so peppy and proud as well, he had a certain swagger, he knew his girl needed him and he was there for her. 
Saturday was their day to shine, she had a great performance, perfect patterns, they were so in sink with one another. We even let her ride in open-show so that she could get him into his canter, which is what they had been working on all spring, they ran a 31 barrel pattern! We were all so excited and everything worked out perfect! 
Then came time to go home..... my daughter was hysterical, she knew this was her one and only fair with him, she knew that when we got home the reality of how sick he was would come back to the forefront of it all. She rode him bare back all day on Sunday before we could haul home, and on the way home she was overwhelmed with tears of joy, excitement, as well as fear and heartache for his cancer and what the near future would hold. I promised her as long as he was not in pain I would not make that call. 
Well August 15th, it happened. He was fine for his morning feed, but when we called him in for dinner it was awful. He was so swollen he couldn't relieve himself again, and this time lethargic. He had lost over 50 lbs since fair and I kept trying to get it back on him. It was the cancer, it was winning and I knew it. We all knew it. I tried all my tricks to try and help him, but I finally had to make that dreaded call. Even as sick and weak as he was, the only person who could get him up and walk him was my daughter, his little girl. And as she walked him to his final resting place, he did what he had always done and nudged her in the butt with his nose, telling her good bye, he would be ok when the pain was gone. 
The amazingness behind this story is that the cancer was winning all along, but it was as if he knew my daughter needed him to be strong for her before he would let it take him. He gave her the best fair experience of her life and she will never forget that gift and those wonderful memories! She was and always will be his little girl! 
Our barn is empty without our "southern gentleman" Jet out there to great us every time we come out to visit. But we seek comfort in the fact he is at peace and he is running free now. 

Sterling's Story

This is the story of my beautiful gray boy, thoroughbred, Especially
Silver. He was given the name Sterling when he became part of our

Sterling was born May 20, 1994. He was purchased at a sale and shortly
thereafter went to a trainer. The trainer's discipline regime was
based on the idea "if you don't work, you don't eat". This “style" of
training did not suite Especially Silver. Inevitably, he was in poor
condition and beat down. Instead of fulfilling dreams on the
racetrack, he was turned out to pasture.

In December of 1998, we purchased him and brought him home Christmas
morning as a gift for my daughter. I can still see him being unloaded
with a great big red ribbon around his neck. The summer of 1998, we
purchased OTTB Social Pro known as Dash. They became best friends
immediately. Dash was alpha horse and they were inseparable and very,
very happy!

The week of May 25th of this year, Sterling started coughing while
eating his grain and alfalfa and within a day he had a yellow
discharge from his nose. Sterling loved to eat so the cough and snotty
nose did not slow him down a bit. Within a couple days his breathing
was whistling when his head was down eating. I contacted the vet and
Sterling went in for a scope. During the scoping the vet said his flap
was paralyzed and found puss in one of his guttural pouches. Sterling
had the symptoms of Strangles. My horses were never around other
horses and were never sick. Although a neighbor on the other side of
our property did have a horse with a injury looking area with a hole
in his neck-jaw area. Could that have been Strangles? I was up almost
that entire night researching this sickness. The next day when I took
Sterling's temperature it was over 103. I text the vet and he called
me back immediately.

The next day, Sterling had an abscess in his jaw area. After the
abscess opened he began antibiotics. He started to improve and the
whistling breathing noise while eating stopped. Every morning and
every evening his temperature stayed in the normal range. The abscess
was healing nicely and his coughing and snotty nose were improving.

The morning of June 25th while Sterling was eating, I noticed a knot
on the right side of Sterling's neck-jaw area. I called the vet and he
said to keep an eye on it because it may be another abscess forming.
The next day the knot was getting larger.

Two days later, when I went out to feed, I could hear Sterling's
breathing, even before I was near him. It was loud and raspy. The knot
on his neck had grown larger overnight. When the vet got there he
sedated Sterling so he could withdraw from the knot. He explained if
puss came out of the knot, then we would know it was another abscess,
if not, there was a high likelihood it was cancer. At that moment, I
learned of the high percentage rate of melanoma in gray horses.

As the vet pulled the syringe back, blood came out, no pus.

As quickly as this was progressing, the vet knew the decision of a
breathing tube would be needed soon. The breathing tube would
instantaneously make Sterling's breathing normal.

The next question was when, not if, the tumor would affect Sterling's
ability to swallow.

When that happened, treatment options were exhausted and there was
nothing else that could be done.

The vet prescribed Cimetidine, a drug that can reduce the size of a tumor.

Through all of this Sterling's appetite was normal, but the coughing
while eating and the discharge from his nose was getting worse.

My mother passed away unexpectedly on June 18th. Her service was in
Michigan on July 1st. On Monday, June 30th, I left for Michigan. I was
so overwhelmed and so worried about my horse. My husband was staying
home and watching Sterling and our vet was coming out to check on him.

I flew back home on July 2nd. The next morning,Sterling had taken a
turn for the worse. His breathing was very labored. The vet said it
was time to bring him in to have a breathing tube inserted or have him

I knew the breathing tube would fix the breathing situation, but how
long before he would lose the ability to swallow? When that happens
there are no options except euthanasia. I did not want my gray boy to
suffer. The vet could not make any guarantee of how long I would have
him before he wouldn't be able to swallow. The cancer was growing very
quickly. It was my decision. I didn't want to lose my horse especially
a day after burying my mother. But this was not about me or the amount
of grief I thought I could handle.

This was about my Sterling, my beautiful gray boy, who loved with a
huge heart. His gorgeous dark eyes that would follow me around the
pasture especially if I had carrots in my pocket. Oh my, how he loved
to eat! He would dig his pink nose into his grain and move it all
around savoring every bite. His alfalfa would also be sorted and moved
around so he could scoop up all the flakes first.

I decided to have Sterling euthanized that morning. My husband and I
chose a spot in the pasture under a big Oak tree that would be
Sterling's final resting spot. I gave Sterling a pallet of his flaky
alfalfa he loved so much. He loved me to brush him. I brushed him one
last time that morning. I stayed calm and held back tears as I didn't
want him to sense my heart breaking in to pieces, but I think he did.

I spoke softly and told him how much I loved him. He seemed so
content. As I leaned down to brush his beautiful head while he was
eating, he looked up at me with a puzzled look on his face, I guess he
was sensing that my heart was breaking into pieces. I spoke more soft
words of love to my gray boy. Oh how I loved that horse!

I never once gave equine cancer a thought until my horse was diagnosed
with this terrible disease. In my research, it appears this is an area
that needs more research.

Decko's Story

In 2001 I was blessed with the most amazing animal to have ever entered my life!  You know how they say a horse picks you... She picked me.  Her name was Decko and she quickly became my best friend and therapist :)  She was with me through my ever changing life.  My children being born, my divorce, broken limbs, broken heart... she knew exactly what I needed when I needed it.  She took my sons and I through some amazing adventures and beautiful trails!  In March of 2013 I was treating my best friend for what I thought was a very bad wound.  In May after months of treatment and vet appointments we took a biopsy and it came back as Squamous Cell Carcinoma...  I took her to K-State for evaluation.  My worst fears ever hit me like a ton of bricks!  There was a slight chance that we could cut out the HUGE mass, but the fact remained she would have a HUGE hole in her back end.  Not wanting her to go through a year recovery with a very small chance of survival and unimaginable pain, not to mention she would have an open wound left for infection, I brought her home with a very heavy heart!  I took her on a few last trails as she LOVED taking those journey's with me and made her as comfortable as I could till October.  A piece of my heart died with her!  I still think of her every day!  She was 19 years young.  I'm lucky though... she left me with her beautiful daughter to love, Flicka.  Couple months after she died, Flicka got out of the pasture and played around in the bean field, her tracks led up to the grave site of her momma.  There you could tell she laid down and rolled around on the broken ground.  Flicka watched that day as we buried her momma to rest.  I still ball like a baby when I think of that day and Flicka's moment with her.  They both have forever left an imprint on my heart!    

Blue's Story

See his owner's blog at the link below.


Libbey's Story 

Where to even start this story. I bought First Class Zippo aka Libbey, when she was two Weeks old. She was my replacement show horse as my other mare was in retirement. We learned and grew together. I showed her in showmanship, western pleasure and halter. Several years in a row we finished top ten in the nation. When my husband and I had our first child, Alexa, and she was in love with Libbey from day one. When Alexa was 2, she started showing lead line- picking up many wins and national points. At the age of 3 Alexa was riding Libbey independently. At 5 she was walk/trotting/loping on her. Then things started to go down hill. In the spring and fall of 2009 Libbey would get hives. We didn't think much of it. 2010 rolls around and the same thing happens. However in the spring a cough was added to her hives. When we worked her at the lope she would cough but we could work her out of it. as the summer progressed her cough got worse. We called out the vet. Thinking she might need to be scoped. He thought it might be allergies. So we had her tested. The results shocked me. Libbey was allergic to 27 of 40 things. The vet assured me that it was just one thing causing the cough. But we had to find that one thing. So we put her on the allergy shots and Dexamethazone. We started modifying her diet, eliminating the things she was allegedly allergic to. She was still coughing, although some days were better than others. I was thinking "great, we have a diagnosis"
We finished the round of shots with no improvement. Good thing is, that we were still able to show her. So July of 2011 we attended the Appaloosa National show and youth world show in Tulsa, OK. it was Alexa's last year in the lead line class. She was 6. She showed Libbey in lead line and walk/trot showmanship classes finishing 12th in both classes. The showmanship placing was phenomenal considering she was showing against 10 yr olds. We finished out the season and things got really bad. Libbey had two cases of pneumonia in November and December. The vet put her on a plethora of drugs. Her lungs were still full of fluid. The vet recommended keeping her out of the barn completely. That was not going to be easy on a show mare who loved her stall. But, because it was in Libbey's  best interest, we kicked her outside. She was miserable and wasn't getting any better. January of 2012 she came down with pneumonia again. We did an ultrasound at the farm and it showed a mass in her right lung. Our vet recommended we take her to the university of Wisconsin-Madison immediately for a complete work up: ultrasound, tracheal wash, lung wash and biopsy. The results weren't good: cancer and an infection in the mass. Lung cancer. I was devastated. Alexa was so heart broke. My horse had become her horse. As we talked to the vet there was one medication we could try, but the medication can cause aplastic anemia in humans. (the only cure for that is a bone marrow transplant) It was very expensive, $200 for two Weeks and she would need to be on it for 8-12 Weeks 4 times per day. There was no guaranty it would help. We had already spent a small fortune and we just couldn't do it. We brought her home vowing to love her and just make her happy. She would go back in her stall at night and enjoy her pasture buddy during the day. Alexa brushed her every day and walked her around the farm. Occasionally she would jump up bareback with a halter and lead and take her for one walking lap around the indoor arena, that's all Libbey could handle.
The summer of 2012 was very hot and humid and no rain. It was just to much for my girl. She was filling with fluid and fighting for every breath. I made the hardest decision of my life, it was time to let her go. She was euthanized on July 11th, 2012. The worst day of my life. The worst day of my daughters life. Libbey was only 12. Never in a million years did I think this could happen. Alexa was supposed to be showing Libbey until the mare was old and grey. She was supposed to win her first world championship with Libbey and yet it was all cut short because of cancer. Its just not fair. 

Angel's Story-RIP

Angel was a 20 year old red roan Clydesdale mare.  Unfortunately, she passed from Leukemia/Lymphoma on October 24, 2012.  Here is a brief story of events from her owner as well as pictures of what he is describing. 

The edema was first detected on Angel's barrel during the last week in September 2012.  At that time her appetite was still normal and she was fully active with no signs of disease.  The vet took a blood sample the following week and the panel results showed leukemia which had also become lymphoma.  We immediately began a steroid treatment of 12m/l Dexamethasone daily.  We also added red cell to her diet as well as any supplement that would seem to help.  She seamed to hold her own for the next two weeks, then she slowly faded.  She had lost over 100 lbs. and was having problems with swallowing.  The morning of October 24th she did not eat her grain only her alfalfa.  Her temp was near 103, her heart rate was elevated, and her breathing was slightly labored.  About 2 hours later with no other signs of distress, she walked out into the pasture and collapsed, passing away.

The owner Mr. Wise says, "My advice to a horse owner would be any thought of a continued problem, appetite, weight loss, high temperature, etc. then run a blood panel."

Below are pictures of the edema on her barrel, as well as another picture of her chest area showing more swelling.  Unfortunately, you can not see her throat area which had swollen glads as well.

Hi! My name is Snow and I'm a 14 yr old Cremello TWH and this is my story.
My life started on a farm in Ga as a broodmare where I've had lots of babies. Well, the owner decided that he wanted to sell me so off I went to auction with my baby at my side. We were loaded on a trailer with other horses and our first auction was in West Virginia where someone purchased my baby, but not me. I was then loaded back onto another trailer and hauled to New Holland, PA. There I ran threw another auction and an auctioneer purchased me and I was loaded yet again onto another trailer to be transported to Cranbury, NJ where I would be run threw another auction and put into a kill pen.
I was skinny, but I was purchased from the kill pen. From NJ to Bensalem, PA I would be going. My life was saved, but where I was going next was still unknown. What would my life be like? Would they love me? Would they care for me or treat me badly? So unsure about my new home and what my new owner expected from me. So, finally the day came and I was pulled from the kill pen while my new owner awaited just outside. I was scared and nervous so much that I tried not to be caught and loaded on yet another trailer to go to yet another place. But little did I know it was to be my final HOME.
However, this young girl approached me and I wasn't so scared. While waiting to be loaded a woman walked up to us and she kept saying, "What horse is this? This isn't that horse." I was then loaded onto the trailer and then I heard the woman tell the girl "No she's yours." With a gentle hand she reached and gently placed her hands on my face and I watched the tears stream down her face. I knew that I was going to a good place. That she would take care of me and love me.
Well, with time she put weight on me and gave me some training. But little did we know that there was a growth. So she called the vet and I was diagnosed with SCC in my third eye and aggressive melanoma near my vulva. Unfortunately, my mom has done everything from surgeries, cryotherapy, and chemotherapy to slow down and kill the aggressive melanoma. But now it is in my lymph nodes. My doctor has given me 6 months to a year to live. I can see the devastation on my owners face.
She talked to me one day in my stall while it was just her and I. She told me what was to come and that she wouldn't let me suffer a day, an hour, or a second longer than I had too. She told me how much she loves me and when I cross over that rainbow bridge that I wouldn't be alone because three horses from our farm will be waiting for me. As the tears streamed from her face and the pain of the owner I love, trust, and have chosen. I know the choice she has made is out of pure selflessness. She told me that God loaned me to her. That I was one of his horse angels. What she might not know that as much as I'm her angel she has been mine. She has never let me do without, she has kept me warm when I was cold and cool when I was hot. When I didn't understand she is patient. She has protected me and has given  and tried everything to cure me of this aggressive melanoma. I never wonder about a meal. Her love is unconditional at all times. Never once do I have doubt and never will I have doubt of her love for me and me for her when I cross over.
This is my story and my picture of the beauty my owner sees in me.
Owner Joanne McNulty


My horse was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of his third eyelid in April of 2012  The vets removed 
the tumor and injected cisplatin. The cancer became more aggressive and in Oct 2012 we made the decision 
to remove his eye in an effort to save him.

The surgery was more extensive than the vet thought it would be. He had to remove alot of tissue from his eye 
socket. The vet came out 3 times a week for the first month to rebandage and check the progress. It took 3 
months for Skeeters eye socket to heal closed.  Through all of this he was patient and tolerant of everything 
he was going through.

I started to ride him again. You would never have known he only had one eye. I had aspirations to show him 
over fences once again. But those aspirations were short lived. The cancer came back and this time it was 
growing faster than the blood could even supply it. 

The vet removed the cancer again and put in a drain. The cancer just kept growing.  It became an ugly, angry 
mess and by now Skeeter had enough of the poking and proding. If we gave him any meds in his food, orally 
or by injections-he would stop eating. He lost a lot of weight but I knew if he made it until the grass came in he
would fatten up.

In Feb 2013 at 4:30 am when my husband left for work he noticed Skeeter was in distress, he was circling and
had white foam coming out if his nose and mouth.  The vet came and gave him meds to dry up the fluid. He 
said it was coming from Skeeters lungs. He did an ultrasound and saw a mass the size if a quarter. He said 
he would be back in 4 hrs to check on Skeeter-but we all knew this could be the day we were dreading. My 
husband started making phone calls to line up a backhoe. Within 1 hr skeeter was back to himself. Eating 
and drinking. It was a miracle. The vet has no explanation for his recovery.  After that fateful day in Feb I vowed 
to take each day, each month as a gift. Skeeter lived 6 more months with no vet visits, no emergencies, 
no medications. He was just being a horse. 

In April of this year I decided to look for another horse. Skeeter was stable and I wanted him to have a buddy. 
 I also knew that I was gojng to need a buddy when I let Skeeter go. We brought Keegan home in May.

They became fast friends. Keegan stood watch over Skeeter at night. He would stand over Skeeter when he 
was laying down.Keegan looked after Skeeter. It was amazing.

Skeeter only had two owners. His previous owners and breeders came to visit Skeeter in June. It was sad 
but humbling to think that these people were so fond of Skeeter and wanted to say one last goodbye.

In August of this year we made the decision to let him go peacefully.i did not want him to suffer or be afraid. 
We buried him in the pasture on a hill. 

Each morning and evening when i walk to the pasture to feed my other horse I tell Skeeter "hey Skeetybaboo". 
That was his nickname.  He was such a fighter. We miss him everyday. I know I did everything I could do. 
I also know I did the right thing in the end.

My husband suggested we name our farm after Skeeter. Last Word Farm. That was his throughbred  
registery name.

On a side note I found out that many years ago Skeeter had a small bump on his eyelid. The vet said it 
was not cancerous at that time. I guess the lesson learned is that small things can become terminal.

Wendy Thrailkill Hatcher

Skip Inquisator

My name is Jolene K. and my story is about my late, great horse Skip Inquisator,  aka Barry.  He was a 1985 Quarter Horse that I ran barrels on, as well as pole bending, breakaway roping, trail riding, you name it, he was great.   The photo was taken in 1993 on our way to Augusta, GA for the first ever NBHA World Championship.  Fast forward to 2003....
Barry was 18, retired and happy.  He never showed any outward signs of being sick until Labor Day Weekend of 2003.  The temp was over 90 degrees and the humidity was over 80%...miserable day.  I went out to his pen andI could tell by his stretched stance that he was colicing.  I immediately got him out and started walking him.  He was drenched in sweat and breathing so hard he was panting.  Shortly after I started walking him, all of a sudden he threw himself down on the driveway.  I then was pretty sure this was not a case of gas colic.  I knew something really big was up.  We called the vet, gave him some Banamine and kept walking.  He threw himself down a couple of more times.  Finally, he lay down in the grass.  He laid upright but was quiet, so I let him lay.  The vet arrived and examined him.  Barry's gut was twisted.  Within an hour he was in surgery.  During the surgery they found little lesions all over his bowel, which they biopsied.  The surgery was a success however they were having trouble managing him medically.  He just wasn't responding to the care they were giving him.  Within 48 hours the love of my life had died.  A couple of days later the path report had come back...the lesions on his colon were Hemangiosarcoma.  I am thankful that he had not shown any signs of being sick before this ordeal.  He had a good quality of life and I was able to enjoy him for 11 wonderful years!

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