Jewel & Gemma

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Ark Watch logo 2022

 

    Name: Jewel

    Type: Belgian Draft Horse

    Color: Flaxen Chestnut

    Markings: Blaze

    Sex: Mare

    Birthday: 1/1/1993

 

 

    Name: Gemma

    Type: Belgian Draft Horse

    Color: Flaxen Chestnut

    Markings: Blaze

    Sex: Mare

    Birthday: 1/17/2022

 

In late October 2021, a photo of an old Belgian mare came to the attention of the Ark Watch Foundation. She had been unceremoniously dumped in the Bowie, TX kill pen by her Amish owner when she was no longer of use to him. The mare was terribly emaciated. Her ribs were clearly visible and her hipbones were protruding through her skin. She was blind in one eye from an old injury. The mare’s back was severely roached from pulling loads heavier than she should have been asked to pull. Celine Myers bought the made thinking she was a euthanasia case, intending to save her a horrific trip to a Mexican slaughterhouse and instead humanely end her suffering. The mare came with paperwork that showed her registered name was “Sandhill Jewel”. Celine expected the vet to say Jewel was in pain from the deformities in her back and needed to be euthanized. Surprisingly, x-rays revealed Jewel had some remodeling to her spine but the vet did not think Jewel was a euthanasia case. Jewel was put on a refeeding protocol and, in time, slowly gained weight. Once Jewel was healthy enough, she was given mild dewormings, essential vaccines and some dental work.

At about 11:30pm on the night of January 17th 2022, animal rights champion Betty White’s birthday, the very elderly Jewel laid down and gave birth to a filly. Jewel had been recovering well from years of abuse and neglect, but her body was not prepared to nurture a foal. She did not have any milk to nurse the baby which meant she didn’t have the colostrum the foal needed. The placenta showed signs of placentitis. Blood tests revealed the baby was born with an infection and she had no immune system to fight it. Thankfully, the vet at Reata Equine Hospital had dealt with these issues before. The clinic had colostrum and plasma banked for just such an emergency. Very soon after her birth, the filly was given colostrum from a bottle, the first of two plasma transfers and antibiotics to treat her infection. Jewel was treated with a hormone injection to jump-start her milk production. By morning, Celine had a Facebook photo of Jewel and her foal waiting, along with a message that read, “Jewel gave birth to this little gem last night”. And so, Celine named the foal “Gemma”.

Little Gemma wasn’t so little. Thankfully, she was a large, fully formed foal. Jewels’ milk bag was beginning to fill and the baby was nursing. Jewel was an experienced mom! Within about a week, Gemma was thriving. Jewel did persevere, despite her age and previous neglect, probably because she had Gemma to live for. Gemma was born with an umbilical hernia that was repaired. Almost a year later, Red Bell Run was asked to take this pair so that Gemma could have the room she needed to grow and thrive, and Jewel (who has turned out to be 30+ years old) could get the specialized care she needs. Jewel is a “jewel” and sweet as can be. Her badly damaged eye has been removed so she is more comfortable. Gemma is quite the character and keeps her poor mom busy with her shenanigans. We’re happy to say both are now doing well in our Hilltop Barn! 

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