Dave and Taunya Milender - Zionsville, IN
"OUR STORY" - DUSTY'S HOPE TO TELL!!
Dusty How does one begin to tell a story of hopelessness and deep sadness, a story of attempting to accept the fate of losing a friend who has brought joy and happiness in difficult times?
It can be told because the hopelessness turned into hope, and the deep sadness became a wonderful, awe inspiring miracle that has changed an acceptance of loss into an unbelievable second chance of living out a full and healthy life for our beloved horse, Dusty! This has all evolved due to the wonderful compassion, dedication, and medical talent of Dr. Joseph Thomas in his use of Chinese herbs for diseases and/or ailments that these beautiful creatures may suffer. While reading the testimonials of other lives he and his wonderful family have touched, it became very evident that we were meant to find Dr. Thomas to help Dusty in her most dire condition and probable death due to advanced liver disease.
This ordeal began late January - early February of this year (2006) when she went off her feed and hay. I took her temperature and found it to be somewhat high and immediately started antibiotics. After a couple of days of treatment, things started going downhill when I checked her gums and the whites of her eyes which were very yellow. I immediately called my veterinarian who came right out and drew bloodwork and told me to continue on the antibiotics. The next day was when we realized how serious the situation was. The blood showed liver failure possibly due to a biliary obstruction of stones. Some of the values were very high - even off the chart. He then told me that the prognosis was not good and that I should take her to the University Vet School where the most current technology could be used to assess her condition. Bloodwork was repeated, an ultrasound and biopsy were performed. The blood was worse than the original done about 5 days previously. The ultrasound didn't show stones but the bile duct tracts and the liver itself, were very enlarged. Some of the results also showed that a previous hepatic event had occurred that had caused alot of scarring with fibrous tissue. They kept her until the biopsy results verified the advanced stage of liver disease. She was hooked up to IVs, very lethargic, and had suffered a severe nosebleed. They informed that there was nothing that they could do to reverse the damage to the liver and to take her home. They sent her home with steriods "to make her comfortable" while her condition would continue to deteriorate and that she probably wouldn't be with us for very much longer. I was absolutely devastated!! Working in the veterinary field for 21 years, I never dreamed that any of my animals couldn't be saved or treated without a positive outcome! There was also a feeling of abandonment from people who I had always held in high esteem. I was trying to prepare myself for the loss of a mare that we had raised from a foal 21 years ago. I never would have dreamed that the last time that I had unsaddled her in the fall, would be the last time! I just couldn't believe that this could happen!! I had always done the very best that I could to care for my animals, keeping them vaccinated and dewormed, doing what I believed was the best care that I could provide. I couldn't deal with the thought of losing her - she wasn't that old to me! She was never sick, always strong and willing when we went trail riding. She made it possible for me to ride again after having severe back problems that resulted in a spinal fusion! She gave me joy and a sense of peace when we would go riding with my friends while I was going through breast cancer! I prayed to God while holding her head in the stall at vet school and asked for a miracle! My husband went on the internet and searched for "liver disease in horses". This is the moment when our lives and Dusty's life began to change forever.
Dr. Thomas' article appeared on the search and I contacted him immediately. Being involved all of these years in the veterinary field, I had never looked outside "western medicine" or any alternative medicine that might be availble, always believing in what I had learned and the experiences from the different cases throughout the years. I knew in my heart, after reading everything in Dr. Thomas' website, that I had to contact him. After consulting with him and receiving his thoughts on Dusty's condition and her dire outlook, hope once again filled my heart! I knew that we needed to use Dr. Thomas' talents to give Dusty every chance possible and she hasn't looked back since!! She soon was eating again. The next week she actually was running a little and pulling my husband around when being lead to the field. The yellow color began to fade and now she is acting like a young mare again - running, bucking, kicking and snorting - feeling better than she has in a long time. After a little over 1 month of treatment with the herbs that her body needed, we drew blood once again. Her values were back to normal with the exception of the two highest values which were rapidly improving. Dr. Thomas related to me that her liver function shows that not only are there no longer liver cells dying, the liver is regenerating at a rapid pace!!
In dealing with Dr. Thomas throughout this whole ordeal, we have found a wonderful, caring human being with a great dedication and talent that he uses to help these wonderful creatures. He and his family have shown us the utmost respect and compassion throughout this difficult time. They have given back our hope and the horse that we love - the results are definitely miraculous!! When all of the others have stated that there are no words to express their gratitude and appreciation, not only for his talents in this Chinese herbal medicine, but also for the compassion that they have shown - there truly are NO WORDS!! He and his family are truly blessed and a wonderful blessing to all that have found them, and the horses that live because of their love and dedication for these animals! We will be forever grateful that God answered our prayers for a miracle!
With deep admiration and gratefulness.