Just to make it a bit more clear… Bernice, Delilah’s mother, did not cause her death. The trampling was awful. But Delilah died of a GI tract infection that was progressing too fast for the antibiotics to stop it. The vet warned that it could take her very fast when he saw her yesterday. He didn’t find any injuries from the incident. It probably didn’t help Delilah much to have the extra stress. But it’s just as much my fault as it is Bernice’s that she got trampled. I knew she was sort of slow and lethargic going out, but thought it must be because she’d just woken up. She probably already had a high fever by then and I never checked. And having a high fever and being weak and lethargic gave her a whole lot less chance of staying out of the way of mare politics.
Bernice was considerably better this year with Delilah than she was with either William or Albert. Less crazily protective. We could get in the stall with them and handle the baby without the mare bowling us over. And we’d all commented on how much she’d improved.
She is very sad and depressed today. She’s been in the stall with Delilah all morning, standing vigil. About an hour ago, she seemed to have started accepting that her baby was dead, and called to the other horses once or twice. During the night, the boss tells me that Bernice was helping him care for Delilah. Hanging over them both, nuzzling and licking her while he took Delilah’s heart rate and massaged her a bit to soothe her. She got additional banamine and omeprazole, and she looks as if she’s peacefully sleeping. It doesn’t look like she struggled or suffered greatly. Just faded away.