Ever felt your heart shatter when you hear news? When someone opens their mouth, you hear one word and everything else gets silenced out?
Remember when I spoke about purchasing Charlie? And how I make those split second choices? Had I of known that Charlie has cancer, Would I have still bought him? Honestly. No.
I had no idea that grey horses had such a high chance of cancer. None. First thing I should have done was got a vet. With no other horses on property, I had no idea that those lumps weren’t meant to be there.
I was told so many different things about Charlie’s lumps. I was told that the lump on his neck was just where his microchip sat from racing. Those lumps under his jaw? Just swollen glands and they would go down in time.
As you can guess. They didn’t go down. I never released they effected Charlie until i tried to get him hay. I know, Right?! Hay! Because of the cancer behind his jaw, Charlie gets choke from anything dusty. It starts with a cough and then he cant breath then he becomes increasingly panicked. It’s a horrible, scary process.
I am so damn lucky it has only happened once. That once was enough to see the fear in his eyes and to change the way he eats ALL his food from that point on. How? All of his food needs to be wet. No, not lightly sprinkled with water, it needs to be drowned, it needs to look like the soggiest wheat-bix you have ever seen.
The case of the choke is caused by the cancer being in Charlie saliva glands, he doesn’t produce enough saliva to wet down his food on his own, so I do it for him ( with the water) 🙂
When the vet attended that afternoon, he informed me that hard lumps like that CAN mean cancer but with a biopsy he would be certain.. The next few days waiting for that phone call seemed like months. But two days later i was informed exactly what those lumps are and what the chances were for Charlie. I made a management plan in my head and have stuck to it.
Do you have any experience with equine cancer? I would love to hear your stories below in the comments!