Pa-Char beats the odds!

Julie Rush

This story I think will interest all horse owners... the tale of how my seven-year-old miniature horse survived tetanus.

On the 3rd of December 2013 I thought Pa-Char had grass staggers so talked to our vet, Joao. We thought it was too early for that to be the case. Three days later, I called again and as Joao was away, asked if Craig could come and check her over. As a result of this examination the frightening diagnosis of tetanus was made! 

In horses and humans tetanus can be fatal. Having seen the disease in other animals (and also shockingly in a human many years back!) neither Craig nor I had seen it in a horse. The symptoms are stiff legs and lockjaw so she could not eat and it sounded like she had a mouth full of bubble gum! 

The advice was to inject her twice a day with Intracillin®, so Pa-Char soon got to hate the sight of me! She also had a shot of tetanus antitoxin (TAT). The next five days I virtually slept with her... I gave her Keri apple drink mixing in Raro navel orange, glucose and salt. She could just drink this and after a few days extra vitamins were mixed in as well. Two and a half packs of Intracillin®, another TAT injection, six days after the first, and heaps of fruit juice later she started to eat grass again! Slowly but surely she improved, even kicking her mate Goldie when I fed them, who had stuck right by her throughout.

She is still hard-fed just palm kernel dampened with a vitamin molasses, some hage every day and has a coat like glass. Our Pa-Char is one tuff little nut that we are all so glad is still around.

Pa-Char is pictured with Amos and Maddox Heron.