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In Memory of Clay

Yesterday was another sad day for us, we had to say goodbye to Clay. Last Wednesday when Clay was eating dinner he was eating very slowly. Aside from that he was acting completely normal, including trotting in from the back of the pasture with his friends when called up for dinner. His temperature, pulse and respiratory rate were all normal. His capillary refill was normal. Despite all of this, given that Clay was just shy of 33 years old, we called the vet clinic and told them we were bringing a patient. It seemed like overkill at the time, but when anything is less than perfectly normal with an elderly horse it is better to be safe than sorry. Always the perfect gentleman, Clay self loaded on the trailer and we drove to the clinic.


Clay was examined immediately upon arrival at the clinic. All vitals were still normal and he had excellent gut sounds. His bloodwork was normal and indicated he was fully hydrated. However a rectal exam revealed an impaction. It was only about 12 to 18 inches in from his anus. The vet removed as much manure as he could and it all looked normal. He said the impaction felt pretty large but the good news was everything else seemed to be working normally. The hope was that with the assistance of IV fluids and some oil and water administered via tubing that Clay would pass the impaction and carry on. There was certainly a question mark as to the cause but things were looking very good for recovery. Clay grazing with Fuzzy and Chili

enjoying a good roll

Clay had been owned by his family for almost twenty years. He started out life as a race horse on the Quarter Horse racing circuit. He won $18,000 at the track. I have always said that this part of his history surprises me. Clay was so smart and not spooky at all, and had this vision of the gates flying open and the bell ringing and Clay just standing there going “what is everyone in a panic about?”

Clay enjoyed the retired life

After his racing career he joined his family and became a trail riding companion. His mom said she had been devoted to Clay ever since one day out on the trails when he saved her life. She had been trail riding with her daughter who was on her pony and they had been out for several hours. They were riding in the mountains and she had lost her way. She kept trying to to get them on the right path home but without success. Finally, scared and trying not to cry in front of her daughter, she dropped the reins and said to Clay, “Clay, please get us home. ” Clay felt you could never roll too much


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