When we last saw Garnet, she had a metal tracheotomy plate in order to help her breathe as the area around her larynx was very swollen from the surgery. When we spoke with the vet on Monday 9/27, he said that they tried to take the plate out, but her breathing was still too labored, so they put it back in, and expected to take it out on Wednesday or Thursday.
Days Six & Seven:
We called the hospital to get an update, but the vet did not call us back, so we decided that we would go back up to the hospital to check on her. We knew that they had expected to take out the tracheotomy plate, so we wanted to see how she was doing breathing on her own. Additionally, Garnet was only supposed to be in the hospital for five to seven days, so we had been expecting to bring her home. Obviously that wasn’t going to happen.
We drove back up to the hospital on Friday afternoon 10/1 to visit Garnet. Her breathing was a bit labored, and we noticed that the metal plate around the tracheotomy had been removed. We asked one of the people who worked there if we could see the vet, and he promised to get him.
We spent a while with Garnet, waiting for the vet. Unlike the last visit, Garnet did not really want to hang out with us, and seemed to be a bit on edge. I’m sure she’s pretty much done with feeling terribly, and wants to go home. On the plus side, she is eating and drinking well, and other than having two large wounds and being annoyed with me, she looked fine.
After about 10-15 minutes of waiting for the vet, we decided to go in search for him. The secretary was kind enough to page him for us, and he met us in the front reception area of the hospital. He said that the tracheotomy plate had been removed, but acknowledged that Garnet’s breathing was still labored. He told us that they scoped that area this morning, and it was swollen from the surgery, but otherwise looked healthy. The labored breathing, unfortunately, was just a side effect of the surgery, and Garnet should start breathing more normally as the area heals. He said that they might end up having to put the tracheotomy plate back in tomorrow, however, if the surgeon believes that the area will heal more quickly if she is not breathing through her larynx.
Essentially, at this point we are just waiting for the normal healing process to conclude, but things still look normal, and there is every belief that she will be able to come home and be a normal horse soon. Right now, however, it looks like it will be another week until the swelling comes down enough for her to come home.
The vet we spoke to Friday told us that he will be there through the weekend, and promised to return our calls, so we will keep in touch with him tomorrow. We planned also to drive up to see her again on Sunday.
I called the veterinarian after his rounds and asked how Garnet was doing. He said that she was doing about the same, but they decided that her breathing and respiratory rate were satisfactory, and they are going to hold off on potentially reinserting the metal tracheotomy plate at this time. They will scope her again on Monday 10/4 and look at the swelling in her larynx, and will then decide whether it should be reinserted. Otherwise, while her breathing is somewhat labored, it is still much better than when she was admitted.
Day Ten, Sunday 10/3/21:
We drove back up to see Garnet. She looked to be a little more comfortable than she was on Friday, but her breathing is still labored. Her wounds had been cleaned up a little so they looked better than they did on Friday, but there is still quite a bit of drainage at the surgical site. This time we brought up some grooming supplies so we could brush some of the dirt and sweat off of her, and comb out her mane and tail. On Friday she didn’t really want us to brush or pet her, but today she seemed to enjoy it.
Today the vet will scope her again and tomorrow we will know more about how her larynx is healing and whether the tracheotomy plate needs to be reinserted. We are hopeful that she will continue to improve and we will be able to bring her home soon!