I have a Saddlebred colt that I had gelded on March 2nd, 2007. Before the colt was put under I had a coggins done. The colt fought the needle/syringe and the vet accidentally stuck his assistant in the finger with the needle. While FlashI have a Saddlebred colt that I had gelded on March 2nd, 2007. Before the colt was put under I had a coggins done. The colt fought the needle/syringe and the vet accidentally stuck his assistant in the finger with the needle. While Flash
Dear Dr. Mike,
I have a Saddlebred colt that I had gelded on March 2nd, 2007. Before the colt was put under I had a coggins done. The colt fought the needle/syringe and the vet accidentally stuck his assistant in the finger with the needle. While Flash (the colt) was under the general anesthetic, the vet's assistant dropped the horse's head when he released the rope (the rope was tied around his neck to his hind leg to pull the leg out of the way). It wasn't that his head slipped out of the assistants hands, the assistant (David) deliberately stepped back and dropped the horses head, in what I believe was a deliberate act of retribution. As a result, my colt had nerve damage and he has no feeling on the right side and his lip droops which makes it very difficult for him to eat. He loses a lot of feed out the right side of his mouth and has to continually re-pick up his feed. As soon as he started coming out of the general anesthetic, he began feeling the side of his lip with his tongue. I just wish I'd pointed it out at the time before we left the vets office but I didn't know this was a direct result of having his head dropped. I never dreamed there would be lasting repercussions.
I took my colt back to the vet to show them what happened about two weeks after the procedure. The vet said a blow to the right side of the face was the cause, admitted that having his head dropped in that manner was what caused the nerve damage. He then proceeded to tell me that the nerves would heal. I didn't believe nerves could regenerate. I've since learned that they cannot.
What I do want to know, from your standpoint... is there any fixing this? an operation that could be performed? Also... my next questions is, what action should I take? I don't blame the vet, it wasn't his fault, but at the same time I feel something reconciliatory should be done but I don't know what. I'm very angry and sad, especially when I watch Flash struggling to eat. Being in the part of the country that I'm in (Oklahoma), I also feel that if I'd been a man or my horse had been a Quarter Horse, this would never have happened. I'm just disgusted.
I appreciate any input you could provide. I really don't want to sue, I haven't contacted an attorney and I don't intend to but I would like to know what I should do next. I feel I'll never be able to sell this horse due to his disfigurement. Let me also state that this same colt was dragged behind a horse trailer (not by me), but he does have some large areas on his side where the hair has come back in white. While Flash has some unsightly white areas, he has had no permanent damage that would impair his action or movement, but it is unsightly, so he would probably be considered slightly devalued even before he had nerve damage to his face. I had intended to use this colt as a hunter/jumper prospect. His half brother jumps like a gazelle, I was hoping Flash would also have the desire/ability to jump. Will I ever be able to work him that hard or will he drop off and not be able to eat enough to keep weight on? He tends to be on the thin side anyway but he's always been a good eater.
I've attached pictures of Flash before as a yearling, and after. Thank you for your time and consideration.
I am sorry for what happen to your horse. I have laid a horse down for a castration before and I too had the horse get up with unilateral facial paralysis. In this horse it lasted about 10 days before he regained full function.
While it does appear in your cases that someone may have dropped his head the damage most likely was does from pressure on his face once it was done. Sometimes this is due to the halter, a rock on the ground or just hard ground.
Unfortunately, this is one of the potential complications with castrations. I would not give up on your horse yet, you might beÊsurprised how much function may come back over the next year.
I would encourage you to wash out that side of his mouth daily if you can with a garden hose to remove any debris.