Feb 7, 2009

My Scouty Boy

Scout was born on May 9, 2002. His dam was my 'first' horse, Melody.

His sire is none other than Flint. Scout was a sweet sweet horse. Not that many people got to ride Scout, but my best friend, Rhiana, did ride him if she wasn't riding Sassy. Rhiana and I would ride on the weekends that we weren't in Auburn and we would usually end up taking Scout and Flint out. We had a lot of fun on them. They really liked each other.. most of the time!Scout and Flint
And we got a little daredevil-ish with them. yes, I know this is dumb- but, they're good horses.
Well, one day Rhiana and I were going on a ride in november and I noticed this spot above his anus that looked like a bug had bitten him or a parasite was in his skin. I treated it and kept an eye on it. By December I decided that it wasn't getting better so I took some pictures of it and took them to the vet I was currently working at and my Dr. said it looked like squamous cell carcinoma. I started bawling. All I could think was cancer... dying... my poor horse. So, we immediately got an appointment at Auburn's vet school, called everyone we knew that had a horse trailer, and we were there the next day. (I'm going to put some links to pictures of what the cancer looked like so don't click on them if you have a weak stomach or don't want to look at horsey butt!)

At Auburn, they took some cells to culture it and confirmed squamous cell carcinoma. Scout stayed in Auburn for a week and had surgery to remove the tumor that was growing to the left of his rectum. This is what it looked like right after he had surgery. I was able to see him everyday and spend as much time as I wanted with him. How convenient that I was in school at the time. Mom took him back home and he had an appointment for chemo in 3 weeks. We did the whole chemo every three weeks for 5 months. This is what it looked like after he had chemo. It would scab up and turn black. Scout's cancer had good weeks and it had bad weeks. Scout was never in pain that I could tell. This picture is one of the "good" weeks. It looked like it was getting smaller and that we might have a chance of getting rid of this stuff.

Through this whole thing, I don't know what I would have done if my mom wouldn't have been there to help me. She drove him to and from Auburn on the days he had chemo and she also cleaned his stall, washed and cleaned him, and fed him while I was at school. She has the biggest heart for animals and tries to help before she gives up. That's where I got it from. I prayed and prayed that every time he came back to Auburn that those cells would be gone.

In May of 2008 the Dr. said that the cancer was moving too rapidly for the chemo to stop. Mom and I had come to an agreement in the beginning that we wouldn't spend thousands and thousands of dollars on a horse that wasn't a show horse so I decided that it was time to keep him at home and as comfortable as I could. I continued to clean the wound and stall him to watch his bowel movements and keep him cool. He was perfectly fine. He got soaked senior food with oil to help the movement in his system. I treated that horse like a little king for 2 months. In mid June, you could really see the cancer spreading. It had made a halo around his tail and looked like it was blowing up inside of him. This is the picture that is the worst. I took this in the end of June. As long as Scout was happy and could go to the bathroom they said he would be fine. In the beginning of July, I decided it was time to let Scout go. I have never put a horse down and never had to make the decision, but it was one of the hardest things I have ever done.

On July 15 I had my vet come out to end Scout's battle with cancer. We went on one last ride around the pasture, bareback with a halter and lead. I hugged and kissed him and led him back up to where dad had chosen to bury him. Josh had come out to be with me and he was waiting there with dad and the vet. I got off Scout and we walked him down to where the tractor was. I held him one last time and told him I loved him and that I was sorry I couldn't help him anymore. I didn't watch, I couldn't. Just hearing it was awful enough. I just hugged Josh and thought about how it was the right thing to do. Afterward, I kissed my Scout one last time and walked back to the house.

I will never forget Scout. He was such a loving. I called him my little teddy bear. I know that he's in a better place with everything he could ever want. I hope I never have to go through that again, but you never know with horses. Rest in peace Sweet Scout.

This is Scout and his full sister, Lizzie, out in the pasture. You would have thought they knew they were siblings the way they hung out together all the time. They were precious together.

I'm sorry if this post is a little scattered. I get upset when I think about Scout for a long period of time and I had to take a break in the middle. Sorry it's so long too. Y'all have a good rest of the weekend! Spend it outside cause it was beautiful today! I'll be heading out to Auburn's horse unit tomorrow to evaluate some conformation on some horses for a report!

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