ON Sept 8th 2002 after a long time waiting my PMU filly came home. It was not the experience I expected.
She walked off the trailer very thin, tired, cut up and lethargic. Her lower lip drooped like no other foal I had ever seen and she walked dy dragging her hind feet as if every muscle in her body hurt her.I had just gotten out of the hospital, after 2 Kidney operations, the day before Tat arrived. I was not very well so I spent a lot of time either out in the pasture sitting and talking to her or in my chair by the window watching her.
On Sept 10th my Mother commented to me on how much Tat was laying down, I made excuses saying she was tired and sore... I said she'll perk up!!! I had voiced my concerns to the lady who had met Brad and picked up Tat to bring her to my house.. she said Tat was just sore because she had been kicking at lot and had in fact dented their trailer.
On Sept 15th I walked out at 6 am and fed Tat and my Mustang mare as i had been doing, Tat ate as she usually did. I stood and held her bucket watching over her. I had been feeding her plain oats and a handful of Omolene 300. A few hrs later as I was sitting watching her, she was standing in the round pen and I saw my mare throw her head up at Tat.... Tat went backwards, her hind legs collapsed under her and she went down. She got back up and slowly.... Ohh ever so slowly walked back out into the pasture to eat hay.
3:30-4:00 the same day, I was sitting in my chair and I saw Tat literally throw herself from a standing position flat onto her side. I grabbed Tat's halter and lead, ran outside. She was sweating profusely on her neck, behind her forelegs and on her flanks. I unclipped the lead, ran into the house, got the cordless phone and called my Vet. He came out within 15 mins of my call... he gave her Banamine shots & Rompum to alieviate the pain, I'm not sure how he managed it as Tat several times almost threw herself on top of him. He took blood samples and since she seemed stable at that point, told me to give her the Banamine paste throughout the night and call him in the morning. We thought it was colic and she'd be better in the morning.
Sept 16th I woke to find Tat seriously unwell. I watched her walk out of the walk in barn backwards through the center of the 32 foot round pen, out the gate (all the while still walking backwards) through the gate and around the outside of the round pen to the hay bale. If my Neighbor hadn't seen it also, I might have thought I was seeing things. I immediatly called the Vet as Tat was seriously disoriented.. walking as if to go to the Water trough but forgetting where she was going.. she'd stand there and sway, turn and go back to lay down in the hay. The vet came out and again took more blood samples.. he did what he could, told me to call him if there was any change. At this point he was speculating on several different causes. I think he knew, as Tat was showing several signs of WNV.. the offset tail, grinding teeth, stumbling, weakenss, drooping lip that her been present from the day she arrived.
Sept 17th I woke to find Tat down and unable to get up. She was laying there very like the foal on the border of this background in what my Vet called a death watch. He gave her at this point less then a 50/50 chance to live. I stayed with her through most of the night. It was raining and I laid with her under a few blankets in the walk in barn. Her breathing was laboured, she was in pain.. I gave her Banamine to help her relax, I knew then she was dying. I told Tat that someday she and I would fly like I had wanted and I looked forward to the day we could once again be together.
I was forced to come inside to go to bed as I still was recovering from the kidney surgeries and because I had been outside with Tat so much in the rain I had developed an upper respritory infection.. which ultimately interfered with my last operation leading me to have a spinalblock rather then putting me under. They were worried as the breathing treatments I had been given didn't help at all. Anyhow.. I went to bed knowing I would never hold her again but praying I was wrong.
Sept 18th She was gone. She was laying in the pasture, no signs of a struggle... it looked like she just laid down and left me. I was shattered... I had to tell my 8yr old daughter that Tat had died overnight and I had to walk her to the bus in plain sight of my now dead beautiful baby. I came in and I called the vet where I was informed that the State Vets were on their way with my vet to try to help Tat fight this. I let them know it was too late but they came anyhow. I give my sincere thanks to the State Vets as they took my Tat with them to the Lab even though they were not prepared to. I couldn't think of my Daughter coming back home from School, my neighbors daughter possibly coming over seeing Tat like this, my poor baby laying there so still covered in a blanket.
After the State Vets took my Tat away, I informed the Breeder, Brad Meggison, and others on the Yahoo group "Appaloosa Rescue" that she had passed away. I have to say that people on the list were so very kind to me as was Mr Meggison... at first. I had heard later on that people on the list had started to take up a collection to help me get another foal, my Husband and I talked about it in the days following about getting another foal and we had decided that we would do all we could to, even though with the vet bills and cost of Tat, we had just spent $1121.00 total. We had a long wait for the State vet report to come out.. from Sept 18th till about Oct 1st but when it came out, Mr Meggison called me and he offered me another foal. I would have to pay the difference in their price. By this time I had a good idea which foal I wanted.. it was Tat's half sister... she was a pretty red filly with socks and a blaze. We here were all excited at the prospect of a new life here, the kids were looking forward instead of dwelling on Tat's death. Not long after I had made my new choice, I got another call from Mr.Meggison. He told me the filly was "stocking up behind" and he thought I should choose another foal, yearling, horse or perhaps pick a foal that would be born next year.
I looked the babies over, Mr Meggison said he'd look over his yearling fillies and we should be able to work something out. After a lot of thinking I chose a colt named Suzies Colt. Brad was very happy with my choice, he encouraged me to pick him even!!! Saying he was "This Close" to keeping him for himself !!! If that was any indication of the colts worth. He was an overly white Appaloosa colt. He could not be registered due to his having so much white. I got to thinking, maybe since he comes from Reining blood lines I'd take lessons and learn and then have him trained also to be a Reiner !! I let the kids know that the filly was not well and I had chosen a colt and showed them his photo. They were all excited and due to his markings we were going to name him Codeslinger. We made plans, we got things ready.. we bought a new halter, new lead, probios, banamine, feed, electrolites the whole shebang so we'd be prepared for him coming home. Unfortunately, our heartache came back to haunt us. 20 days after Brad had written me to say that Slinger was mine and no one else could have him......... I recieved another e mail from Brad and this was the extent of what his Word Amounts to........ A man is only as good as his word !!! I would like to state NOW, before you go on that I would have had no problem of buying this colt and also people were trying to gather up donations to help me buy a foal unbeknownst to me at the time. Mr Meggison's offer ended the Donation gathering and we had not saved up cash to buy the colt outright due to his offer. Brad had changed his mind, he said, after careful legal consultation. He said he was not required by the ORIGINAL CONTRACT to do anything but he'd give me $200. as a "donation" (as someone I used to know told me). I have tried to contact Mr Brad Meggison many times in reguards to this to no avail. he just isn't interested in hearing from me.
A bit more about Mr Brad Meggisons foals... from what I am now aware of, my foal died of WNV, another foal died due to Strangles, several have arrived extremly malnurished, wormy, brain swelling to the point of almost dying, many have had rain rot and some had warts too.I don't know how many more foals were shipped and arrived ill or how many more have died.