UPDATE:  June 18th, 2016
by Rein Lily
Dear Members and Dulzura followers, in the first week of June, our board of directors passed the vote to end Dulzura's suffering. On June 8th, 2016, our lovely Dulzura was humanely laid to rest. The fact that the neurological condition was severe enough to limit her happiness in this world, even with having a new home; and given the understanding that Dulzura would become a danger to herself and any handler, making her neurological condition much more than the simple liability of having horses, drove it home to each board member what the right thing to do for Dulzura was. From the Iberian Horse Rescue board of directors, we thank you, Facebook page members, and specifically HiCalibur Horse Rescue for coming forward and being there for us, every step of this rescue. And to The Foundation for the Pure Spanish Horse, for helping us save yet another Andalusian from slaughter. Sweet Dulzura, may your soul soar above the clouds, free at last, free, at last.
Photo courtesy of HiCalibur Horse Rescue
Dulzura was rescued from Mike's Auction in Southern California on the 14th of May. It was a heroic group effort by IHR, and done with gracious and generous help of HiCalibur Rescue and The Foundation for the Pure Spanish Horse.

Dulzura ...[was housed at] HiCalibur Horse Rescue in Southern California near San Diego. She was seen by Dr. Anderson on Wednesday, the 18th of May, for her initial vet examination and assessment. It was already apparent that something was wrong.

This is what Dr. Anderson found upon examination:

Dulzura is very thin and scrawny. She lacks muscle. Her feet needed to be done.

Dulzura's neurological damage became most apparent when the farrier--who is very good according to the vet--could not trim her front feet because she is unable to balance with one front foot off the ground. She cannot do it.

The neurological disease/damage she has is very advanced in the front end. The mare has a delayed response to moving her front. Oddly, the rear appears pretty normal.

She has a marked lack of chest, and shoulder muscle.

Dulzura does NOT perceive where her own front legs are. Dr. Anderson said you can cross her front legs, and she will just stand there. You can REALLY cross them, and she will just stand there. She doesn't know they are crossed.

The vet did not see a sign of injury. It would take further diagnostics to determine what the neurological disease is.

Dr. Anderson would start with the blood test for EPM, although you usually see EPM in the hind rather than the front.  The EPM blood test would need to go to Kentucky. It is approximately a one week turnaround to get the results back.  If it is EPM, there is medication. It won't make her well. The best you can hope for is to stop the progression of the disease.  If not EPM, further diagnostics would be needed such as a bone scan, neck X-rays; and it would need to be done in an equine clinic or hospital. It is extremely expensive, and in the end, there is no cure. We will not put Dulzura through that at this time in her life.

In Dulzura's case, the neurological problem is cervical--in her neck somewhere. It is spinal cord and Central Nervous System damage/deterioration/disease. Chiropractic is not a modality in this case.

The vet said Dulzura is beautiful, and a beautiful mover. Dr. Anderson said she DOES NOT BELIEVE DULZURA IS IN PAIN, that she can be comfortable.

She CANNOT BE RIDDEN--too dangerous. She can fall down.

Same for a baby. SHE CANNOT HAVE ANY MORE FOALS--she is a danger to a baby for the same reason.

Dulzura will not be available for adoption.

If you want to help with the costs of caring for Dulzura or others you can do so through Paypal at info@iberianhorserescue.org.  Thank you!

 Photos courtesy of HiCalibur Horse Rescue
“There is no perfection, only beautiful versions of brokenness.”
Shannon L. Alder
 “Animals, like us, are living souls. They are not things. They are not objects. Neither are they human. Yet they mourn. They love. They dance. They suffer. They know the peaks and chasms of being.”
“Now that her spirit had left, I’d thought she would feel light. Then I realized it was the spirit that carries the weight of the body and not the other way around.”
Jessica Maria Tuccelli, Glow