Quantum Leap Farm is a nonprofit comprehensive equine therapies center providing therapeutic horseback riding and other rehabilitative programs for kids and adults living with short or long-term physical, emotional and cognitive injury or disability. We help people build strength, achieve goals, and overcome challenges by engaging them with horses.
Recently one of our therapy horses, Tampa Bay, mysteriously injured himself overnight in his stall. He greeted us in the morning with a 3 to 4 inch long abrasion and an adjacent laceration on his forehead, just medial to his right eye. And yes, we combed his stall for possible hazards (as we do regularly) and have to this day not come up with a good explanation for his injury. I’ve been horse-keeping for almost 40 years now and will forever be amazed at horses’ creative capacity to injure themselves: if there were a font for exasperation I would be using it here!
Initially we weren’t too impressed with Tampa’s wound, but while we were examining it he snorted and we observed bubbles at the laceration site – yikes! Realizing this was more than a simple laceration - this wound actually penetrated Tampa’s sinus - we phoned up our local veterinarian, Emily Weaver from Odessa Equine Clinic. Dr. Weaver carefully examined and debrided the wound and discovered that Tampa had indeed fractured some facial bones. After removing some damaged skin and bone fragments and performing a thorough examination, she determined Tampa’s wound required surgical intervention and referred us to Surgicare Center for Horses in Brandon.
Thankfully, I can’t say we’ve accumulated frequent flier miles at Surgicare in our 11 years of operation, but we’ve been there often enough to know we can expect lots of TLC and a high level of service from Surgicare’s staff. This trip was no different. Although we arrived just prior to closing time Dr. Kuebelbeck took plenty of time to examine Tampa’s wound. While she was doing so, her staff members could not have been more gentle and sweet to Tampa, who by this time must have had a wicked headache and was quite over having folks poking around his wound. Dr. Kuebelbeck also felt Tampa’s wound was surgical and indicated the odds of him having uneventful recovery without surgery weren’t good. Bone fragments and possible other debris lodged in his sinus would eventually necrose (that’s die and rot in laymen’s terms) and cause subsequent infection – a very difficult thing to treat once established. We opted for surgery.
Dr. Keubelbeck explained the procedure and the recovery process to my satisfaction, and eased my fears about putting an otherwise healthy 21 year old horse under general anesthesia. Surgery was performed promptly and uneventfully, and Tampa recouped under their watchful eyes for a few days post-surgery. He returned home looking good as new, relieving any fears I had about facial disfigurement and having to rename him “Franken-Horse” (kidding of course)! Actually, you’d never know it happened and the best part is, neither does he. Thanks to Dr. Keubelbeck and her staff Tampa is fully recovered and is back to his full-time occupation as a therapy horse, enjoying the continuing admiration (and many carrots) afforded to him by his numerous fans and riders.
Over the years we’ve always been treated with the utmost respect and kindness by everyone at Surgicare. We’ve celebrated many happy endings with them, and they’ve offered copious amounts of comfort and consolation on a few occasions when happy endings weren’t in the cards. Because of Quantum Leap Farm’s status as a 501-c-3 charitable organization, Dr. Keubelbeck has worked closely with us managing costs and helping us make the best medical decisions we can in light of our budgetary constraints. For this and all her other kindnesses we cannot thank her and her dedicated staff enough. I highly recommend Surgicare Center for Horses to all our equestrian friends and colleagues and will continue to do so. Thanks Dr. Kuebelbeck, to you and all your staff for your professionalism, expertise and special brand of tender, loving equine care!
Edie Dopking, PhD, Founder
Quantum Leap Farm, Equine Therapies
10401 Woodstock Road
Odessa, Florida 33556