Last Sunday's incredible rescue of a horse trapped in icy water west of Loveland stopped me in my tracks.  As a horse owner I know first hand that if a horse can get itself into a pickle, it will.  And when that happens we need 'helpers' who know what they're doing. In this case, hats off to the Loveland Fire and Rescue and DVM Michael Suit.

Dr. Suit took time to let me know the details that follow.

Susan - Great to hear from you! The owner reported that the horses had been out through the night and found this little palomino mare in the water in the AM that morning.


She was so cold that when the fire and rescue team got her out of the water that her temperature would not even register on the thermometer! I suspect the mare had been in the water most likely at least a couple of hours before anyone found her.


Once she was out we administered some medications to IV and then I worked with the fire team to develop a "warming strategy." They were kind enough to provide a really great heating unit with a large flexible hose that could administer a nice warm heat source. We had several horse blankets that we placed on "Sunny" and I thought maybe we could use the heater and vent the warm air under the blankets.


"Sunny" was nervous but the owner and neighbor talked to her and she seemed to know we were trying to help. She settled down and tolerated the warm air really well.


After about an hour her temperature actually registered on the thermometer. It was still really low, but we had something to work with. I did administer some fluids into her through a stomach tube in hopes to warm her internally as well. Following about an hour after that administration her temperature was almost into the normal range for horses and she had discontinued shivering.


She was interested in small amounts of hay defecated a normal pile of manure. I have been in close contact with the owner over the past several days and she has made a remarkable recovery and appears to be back to normal.


The owner and I will touch base later this week, but Sunny appears to be doing well thanks to everyone's help! Cannot give enough thanks to the great Loveland Fire and Rescue, what an amazing group. Thank you so much for the interest and hope this is helpful. Take care. - Michael