Spotlight on Sarah Keenan
and her horse Ronan
Read the heart warming story of Ronan..
"Ronan was a May foal. I saw pictures of him as a new born and I loved how he looked and his breeding. I had the opportunity to buy him at 16 months old and I jumped at the chance. I’ve owned him for 5 years now and we have achieved so much in a short space of time. We’ve been to Somerford Park on camp twice, to Speetley camp, he’s helped me complete my Equine Science degree and he’s my escape from real life! We’ve been to clinics and pleasure rides and we hack frequently as I’m spoilt for local trails and bridleways. He just gets me and I get him!
On Saturday 31 August I’d been past my field in the morning. My horses live out and all my herd of 4 were grazing fine, so I thought. With all my tack in the car I decided I wanted ride in the afternoon. The sun was out and it was a perfect afternoon to escape. As soon as I got to Ronan in the field I knew he wasn’t right. He was stood stock still and ‘growling’ as he was struggling to breathe. I have a very good relationship with my vet, Parkhall at Mansfield Woodhouse, and even though it was a Saturday I had a vet with me within half an hour. Ronan was presenting choke like symptoms so the vet decided to tube him. It was her birthday but not the cocktail she had been looking forward to! She managed to remove some grass that was stuck but there was an awful lot of soil and a lot of fluid stuck! Ronan took some relief from the procedure so the vet went on to another emergency. It was soon apparent that Ronan was in a lot of discomfort and really not much better. After a second call to the vets I was rushing Ronan in for the night.
The senior vet tubed Ronan again throughout the night and removed a very large amount of fluid with soil mixed in. Still no significant improvement so Ronan was referred to Poolhouse Specialist Equine Hospital at Lichfield. I was given strict instructions to get him there as quickly as possible. He hadn’t eaten anything for 24 hours that we knew of!
Poolhouse were very welcoming and I took Ronan straight into their treatment hospital stables for assessment. They were very concerned. Initial vital statistics and an ultrasound scan showed serious concerns for his digestive system. He spent Sunday night at Poolhouse where again he was tubed and litres and litres of reflux was removed. Ronan ate nothing all Sunday night. Come Monday things were getting very serious. Horses are trickle feeders by nature to keep their body functioning and simply to keep them alive. Ronan was usually fed on Blue Chip Original so when the head vet at Poolhouse instructed me to get him to eat, that was the first thing I thought of. The probiotic was bound to help. Ronan ate some balancer but no hay. I was struggling to tempt him even with grass! Monday night was repeated tubing. Tuesday was a make or break day! 3 days with minuscule amounts of food meant the vets and I really were seriously thinking I was losing my gorgeous 550kg big baby. He refused molasses, licks, treats and as a last ditch attempt I decided to see if I could get any Blue Chip Pro balancer into him. Pro having the pre as well as probiotic in, I hoped that I could tempt him. Ronan loved it! The elevated vitamins and minerals were only going to help keep his body functioning. After discussions with the vet they decided to continue his treatment as Ronan clearly still had fight in him by eating the Pro balancer.
They gave him a general anaesthetic and took biopsies from his intestines. Under inspection it was clear Ronan had serious duodenum inflammation and the biopsies proved muscle damage so we continued with the Pro balancer and he started to have an interest in grass and then some hay.
Ronan spent 2 weeks in Poolhouse as he continued to improve, eating more and more hay and grass and of course his beloved Pro balancer!
We are now 7 weeks post operation and hopefully only have 3 more weeks of box rest. He has had to have one course of antibiotics but his 25cm abdominal wound is healing which I’m sure the nucleotides in the Pro have helped with. I have a long way to go to get him fit and back to where we were but we will get there.
The vets couldn't give a definite cause for his symptoms but believe that Ronan was fed something by a ‘well wisher’ over the field gate!!
I will always believe that Blue Chip Pro saved Ronan! The combination of elevated vitamins and minerals, pre and probiotics and the nucleotides gave Ronan’s body something that it needed to start to recover. In simplistic terms my Ronan ate nothing but Blue Chip balancer for 3 days! No hay or grass or any other feed just balancer. I always believed in the products but now I have my own proof! I’ll get my best friend back and we can escape into the sunset once again very soon I hope." Sarah Keenan