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Monday, June 12, 2000

10:00 p.m.

Red, my favorite riding horse, died tonight, from complications following a surgery to remove an intestinal tumor.

He will be remembered by me (Mark) for his whacky, loveable personality and smooth, long stride. Red would gallop full speed at my slightest suggestion and when asked to slow down, would fall right back into an easy, relaxed walk.  The best ride I've ever had.  Some favorite photos of Red available here.

Here's what happened yesterday and today.

At 10:00 a.m. Sunday, June 11, while on a trail ride at Afton State Park, Red showed signs that Marcia remembered were his calling signs of colic, including: pawing the ground and loss of appetite.

Mark & Marcia rushed him back to the ranch and administered dipyrone and banamine. At 12:30 the vet was called upon to give a dose of mineral oil via a stomach tube.  His pulse was 42 bpm.

By 2:30 p.m. he was getting worse, unable to get comfortable in any position, with a pulse of 48 bpm.

At 7:30 p.m. he was having trouble staying on his feet, with such bad abdominal pain, and his pulse reached 54 bpm.  We then  transported Red to the Stillwater Vet Clinic.

The vet, Terry Arneson, was unable to determine the cause of his severe pain and opted to do exploratory surgery.

At 2:00 a.m. Dr. Arneson called us to let us know what he had discovered: that the small intestine had been blocked by a large mass that had grown, attached to the outside of the intestine wall, and blocking the intestine completely. About two feet of small intestine were surgically removed, a small lesion was cut in the intestine to help drain out contents that caused it to distend, and Red was sewn back together.  Photos of his surgery are available here.

At 2:00 a.m. Red was given a 50% chance of survival.

At 2:00 p.m. Red showed signs of continued pain and stress.  His small intestine has not begun to function correctly and his chances of survival are still no better than 50%.  His whole system was stressed and his heart had been beating at 90 bpm for most of the day.

His vet care was terrific and everything possible to save him was accomplished skillfully.  But.

Red died at about 7:00 p.m.

Red was big and strong.

His body tall and long.

His gaits were liquid smooth.

He could really move.

Goodbye Red.

Some favorite photos of Red available here.