Color: Fleabitten Grey
Just after New Year’s in 2018, the video of an adorable, senior, white pony who had landed in the Bowie, TX kill pen came through Celine Myer’s Facebook feed. She could tell by looking at the pony that he had a number of health issues so her Ark Watch Foundation obtained him so that he could get the care he needed. The little, pure white, gelded pony was named Snowy. Snowy had lots of “fat pads” on his body but he was also emaciated. In other words, at one time in his life, Snowy had been extremely overweight but was currently starved.
This is a dangerous sequence of events in both ponies and donkeys. It can cascade into a “crash” of the equine’s entire internal organ system resulting in hyperlipidemia which is often fatal. Snowy’s bloodwork indicated he was lipaemic and the first few weeks of Snowy’s rescue were touch and go. Snowy’s bloodwork also showed a significantly elevated CK level. The CK level registers muscle enzymes and it was clear that Snowy’s body had been so starved, it had begun to eat his muscles in order to sustain his life. His liver values were of much concern and the vet started Snowy on a course of Uniprim in the hopes that the antibiotic might help to improve Snowy’s liver function. He was also put on a daily dose of Denamarin for his liver. Snowy was carefully refed and eventually, his bloodwork began to improve. However, the vet suspected that Snowy might also have Cushings Disease which turned out to be the case. Snowy was started on a daily dose of Prascend to treat the disease. As soon as he had recovered, he came to Red Bell Run.
Snowy is still on Prascend as well as several other medications. Now, at 30 years+, Snowy is a poster boy for Cushings, Equine Metabolic Syndrome and Insulin Resistance. To combat this, he has certainly done his part to help research these diseases. He has participated in a study for Boehringer-Ingelheim, a manufacturer of equine medications, for a drug that would help insulin resistant equines. He was also the subject horse of a lecture on equine metabolic diseases for Tryon Equine Hospital. He has a carefully controlled diet and several supplements to help him. He’s doing his part!
These days Snowy lives in his private shelter and paddock across from our Medical Services Office at Longear Villas. He is watched over carefully by our equine staff and vet techs. So far, despite his age and many issues, he is happy and spends his days communing with his neighbors, Mariah and Buddy Jackson. He has always preferred to live alone (we think he was gelded late in life). Snowy absolutely loves people and will come up to his gate to greet anyone who happens by with a nicker. Our Snowy is quite the character and happily participates in being dressed up by our staff and acting as an ambassador on our Red Bell Run tours! We love having Snowy at Red Bell Run and hope he’s around for many more years to come.