We’ve talked before of why we “take the time it takes” to rehab horses that find their way to the Joyful Horse Project.

BellaBella provided us with another reminder this week. She is a 6 year old quarter horse mare that looks like a million bucks on the outside. Solid black and super gentle – no one could explain the occasional erratic outbursts that were keeping her training from moving forward.

We took Bella in at Rachel’s rehab ranch in Bastrop just a few months ago for further evaluation and training in hopes of building a more solid foundation before trying to find her a new human partner.

Last week we had a bi-annual visit from holistic equine dentist Phil Rattliffe who discovered the problem. Phil operates in the field providing dentistry services to our rehab horses using only hand tools and minimally invasive procedures. But Bella had an old cracked molar that would require a surgical extraction — so we scheduled an appointment for the following week at The Whole Horse Clinic in San Marcos.Cracked tooth

What they found is pretty gruesome – not only had the cracked molar been slowly decaying for 2 – 4 years but shards of the tooth had broken off and imbedded in the soft palate of her mouth. These shards were calcifying there and slowly working their way into her sinus cavity causing infection.

Tooth ExtractionNeedless to say, the surgery took hours but Bella is back home at The Balance Point with Rachel resting and recuperating from her ordeal. She is being treated with antibiotics and colloidal silver in addition to pain medication and topical arnica to make her more comfortable as she heals.

We are inspired by Bella’s calm patience through her long ordeal and the pain she has been dealing with for so long. What an amazing horse!

We are hopeful she will make a full recovery and the infection will subside now that the tooth and shards from her palate have been removed. However, part of the root cap is ossified to the bone and we can’t do any more to drain the infection without additional surgery by a specialist.After Extraction

Time will tell how Bella responds and we appreciate any healing energy and prayers our supporters can provide.

Even with our non-profit discounts and volunteer care, Bella’s evaluation, surgery and post-op treatments are already nearing the $1,000 mark.

If you can find it in your heart to make a tax-deductible donation of any amount to help Bella heal we would greatly appreciate it.

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