Lola, a senior Tennessee walking horse, is alive and well thanks to two fire departments, a caring veterinary clinic, and devoted caretakers.
Dr. Natalie Skillman, owner of Skillman Veterinary Services and Lola’s vet, shared the happy ending to the ordeal on Facebook.
On Tuesday, the mare who is in her late 20’s didn’t show up for breakfast. All of the other horses came up from the large field in Greenfield, Indiana, but she was nowhere to be found.
The barn owners immediately started walking the fence line and finally spotted her.
Lola had fallen into a creek bed and was submerged in the freezing water with just her head above water. “There is no way of knowing how long she had been there, but our guess it was over a few hours,” wrote the clinic.
Sugar Creek Township and Buck Creek Township fire departments arrived to help rescue the elderly horse. They used a backhoe and straps to safely lift her out of the creek and place her on dry land.
The 1000-pound horse was weak and unable to use her legs at first. When Dr. Skillman arrived, Lola was “shaking violently” trying to conserve body heat and her heart rate was five times the normal resting rate.
The vet recalled, “She was physically exhausted from the last hours, and we were all discouraged if she may have any life in her..”
But Lola is a fighter and after ten minutes started to stand on her own and even ate a little hay.
“With down horses the next 24 hours are always crucial, please pray and cross your fingers for a smooth recovery for Lola! So far, she’s holding steady like the champ she is,” stated Skillman.
The sweet mare was started on fluids and anti-inflammatories as the rescue team worked on raising her body temperature. Blankets, towels, heating packs, and even a generator were used to warm up the freezing horse.
Slowly her body temperature rose, and she started to show interest in her grain and hay, which was a good sign.
Jennifer Cross, Lola’s owner, commented on the vet’s post to thank everyone for their help.
“Words cannot describe the gratitude I feel toward all the wonderful and skilled people who participated in the rescue of my beloved Lola. Pulling her from that shallow, watery grave and offering her warmth, comfort and expert treatment, could only be accomplished by a team of amazing and compassionate (and strong!) individuals. The world needs more people like them.”
She also said that Lola is moving around and eating and drinking like normal.
Skillman also thanked both fire departments and everyone who helped. “It truly takes a village with horses and yesterday we were fortunate to have a village with not one but two amazing Emergency depts!”
Be sure to share this amazing rescue story with your friends and family!
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