Chancey – Miniature Horse
Chancey was targeted in his corral by 4 dogs that were running in a pack. They tore his muzzle off, ate it, and then proceeded to drag him under his chain link fence and in doing so broke his neck. They tore him up really badly from end to end before his owners were able to get to him after they heard a commotion down at the corral. They hit one of the dogs with their truck and the others ran off. They were all killed two weeks later when they attacked another family’s goats.
The day that we agreed to have Chancey come to the ranch for recovery, Nancy called University of Southern California San Diego, Burn Center, and asked to speak to one of their best burn surgeons. A little while later, she was contacted by Dr. Mayer Rosenbaum. Nancy explained that we had a little horse coming in to the ranch that had his entire muzzle and upper lip missing, and that there was no skin attached anywhere on that part of his muzzle. She asked if he would please come to the ranch to look at the little horse and help figure out what could be done for him. She also asked him if he could bring some breathing stents, describing the stretched skin over his nostrils and the difficulty the little boy was having taking each breath. She also asked him to make his visit for free, as a donation to the little guy. The doctor did not hesitate. He agreed immediately. The next day Dr. Rosenbaum arrived at the ranch, and with him he brought a veterinarian friend to help assess the horse.
The first order of the day was to insert the stents into Chancey’s nostrils, and suture the flowered end to the skin at the edge of the remaining top section of his false nostrils. As he took his first clear breath in who knows how long, we all took our next breaths with him. What a wonderful relief to ‘not’ hear him breathing as if each was his last.
The veterinarian made a statement next that was of grave concern to us all. She said, “His face may not be the biggest problem here. His neck is broken, and he likely will not recover from that. It does not look good.” Nancy chose to ignore the comment outwardly, but inside her heart skipped a beat. Then she shook it off and determined, “If he has lived for two months with a broken neck, we can help him continue to live.”
Chance could not carry his head with his broken neck. His shoulders were displaced 100%. The left shoulder was even with his neck, and the right shoulder stuck out almost six inches. His muzzle was dropped to the ground at all times, just an inch or so above the ground, whether he was standing or walking. The sideways ‘V’ in his neck did look like an impossible task to repair. But if anyone could do it, Nancy and the volunteers were up for the job. The more challenging the task, the more heart and soul they would put into it, day and night, to accomplish the impossible.
Every two hours the tiny bit of gum tissue that remained over Chancey’s teeth was rubbed so that the edges would not heal, but continue to granulate in. Twice a day his stall was sterilized. Every three days he was given Reiki energy treatments. Twice a day he was put on the MRS2000 magnetic resonance stimulation mat. He was massaged every day. Once a week he was given chiropractic treatment for his hips and pelvis.
People say, “why didn’t you just put him down?”. Chancey proved every minute of the day that he did not want to go anywhere. He helped right from day one with his own recovery. He never missed a meal, and within minutes of his terrible ordeal was eating the fresh grass outside of his corral where he had been dragged, even with his lower muzzle and lip completely missing. Chancey is a trooper in every sense of the word. He wanted to be here and we were not going to kill him because it was too much work, or it would cost too much, or it would take too long. If an animal shows us that it wants to be here, that it wants to live, we will help it at all costs. We are a 100% no-kill rescue, and we mean it.
Chancey today is vibrant and beautiful. His gum tissue grew up right under his false nostrils after one year and three months. His neck improved month after month. Today you would never know he had a broken neck. His shoulders are just three eighths of an inch off from one another. His scars are barely visible when he is body shaved. Chancey loves life like no other. He trots a high legged trot all over the property and gallops as fast as the wind. He can spin on a dime.
His face is still in recovery and the new skin is taking on a black pigment little by little, which will make it very strong. In approximately another year we may be able to implant a balloon in his face to stretch out some skin with hair on it and graft it onto his muzzle so that he will have much more protection on that part of his face.
To know Chancey is to love Chancey. His care continues to be very expensive. Chancey is well enough to share his story with burn survivors and accident survivors. When they meet Chancey and see that his story is similar to theirs, and see where he is today and watch the joy he has in life, it gives them such hope for themselves and turns their thought processes completely around to realizing that if an animal in the condition that Chancey was in wants to be a big part of this life and then can contribute the way he does to these people’s lives, that they can do the same. What an absolute joy to see the interaction of this beautiful horse with these beautiful people.
Please donate to Chancey’s care today!