Trouble In Paradise: Difficult Equine Birth Prompts Vet To Call The Police

By Anni K December 26, 2023

This article was originally published on docjournals

Ben is a horse owner and was overwhelmed with joy when he saw his prized mare was pregnant with a foal. This was good news as it meant that Ben would be financially more well off and have a new horse to train, something he loved to do. But when it was time for the horse to give birth, nothing happened. Understandably, Ben decided the best course of action would be to take his beloved mare to a vet so the doctor could give her an ultrasound. However, when the vet saw what was on the ultrasound, he immediately dialed the police. What did he see, and did Ben have anything to do with it? Don’t worry, we won’t leave you hanging. Read on to find out!

The images in this article are illustrative of the story are not of Ben and Felicia.

Come with us, Ben

When the vet dialed the police, the cops assured the vet they would make it to the practice as quickly as they possibly could, to assist the distressed horse and vet. They made it to the vet’s practice in a matter of minutes, but why?

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The vet needed help to sedate the massive animal since it needed emergency surgery. Ben grew worried but felt that his precious horse was in good hands. The police successfully helped the vet sedate the mare and turned to Ben, “Come with us, sir.” 

What’s wrong?

“It is very important for you to be honest with us, sir,” they told Ben. He was stunned and worried that the situation was much worse than he had anticipated. He grew more worried by the second, and the police didn’t make it any easier. 

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They pulled Ben to the side while the vet worked on the horse. They asked him a series of questions that revolved around Ben and his role as a horse owner, and he dutifully replied. As they wrapped up, a voice erupted from the surgery room. 

Felicia the mare

Ben loved his horse, Felicia, since she was great at helping out on the farm and made Ben’s life much easier on a daily basis. She never got ill or had any sort of physical issues, thus, she was a good horse to mother a foal. 

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She quickly became pregnant with a foal and was in great condition the entire pregnancy. Horses are pregnant for 11-12 months, and since Felicia was pregnant for one whole year, Ben was excited to welcome this new baby foal to his team. 

Getting the horse pregnant wasn’t easy

Ben didn’t own a stallion that could impregnate his favorite horse, Felicia, so he had to make alternative arrangements to find the perfect genes for his horse. After all, you can’t mix good genes with bad genes and rely solely on luck.

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Felicia had great genes, she was strong and healthy. Ben struggled to find a practitioner to impregnate his horse with one of a good pedigree. He even almost gave up, but he got lucky since he found the perfect stallion to impregnate Felicia.  

Finally, pregnant!

Ben found a match for Felicia, a stallion with as great genes as Felicia’s. Ben went to the vet to confirm whether the horse was pregnant after a few weeks, and the vet had good news: Felicia was pregnant, and Ben would have a healthy foal on the way. 

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The vet confirmed that the mare and foal were both in good condition initially. However, Ben started to note some signs which were unusual. Felicia wasn’t herself, but Ben did not think much of it at this stage and wasn’t too worried.

Unusual behavior

Ben noticed that Felicia was behaving oddly, but he knew that pregnancy is not easy, even for large animals such as horses. He thought she might just be uncomfortable. She grew a bit more sleepy and moved a lot less.

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Felicia enjoyed walks with Ben but she seemed to dislike it now, not wanting to wander too far from the stable. In addition, she ate less and grew irritable, both very unusual habits for this horse. Ben started to get worried. 

Nothing to worry about

Ben called the vet about halfway through the pregnancy, with some questions about horses and what to expect when they are pregnant. “Horses go through 11-12 months of intense body changes when pregnant, they are growing a large animal inside them,” the vet said, reassuring Ben. 

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Ben realized he might be overreacting to these changes. But rather safe than sorry, right? Ben continued to try and make Felicia comfortable during her pregnancy as much as he could, but Felicia grew more and more distant and became very agitated. 

Preparing for the birth

When almost a year had gone by, Ben grew more and more excited to not only meet his new foal with excellent genes but also for Felicia’s misery to end. She was massive and looked like she was about to burst at the seams.

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Ben called the vet again and asked the vet which signs he should be on the lookout for to know when to prepare for the birth. He wanted to make sure everything went smoothly and was absolutely perfect for both the mare and foal. 

The signs

Shortly after calling the vet, Ben realized Felicia was showing the signs that she was ready to give birth. He rushed to prepare everything in order for Felicia to have a comfortable and easy birth. He was very excited and nervous.

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Ben prepared and waited, but nothing. He was in shock, all the signs pointed toward Felicia about to give birth, just like the vet had mentioned a few days prior. What could be wrong with the mare? Ben didn’t want to do this, but he had to. 

What to do?

Ben didn’t want to call the vet distressed, but he had no other choice. Felicia was showing clear signs of birth, yet no baby foal was there. He had prepared everything just like the vet mentioned he should, but with no luck. 

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The vet asked Ben how Felicia was behaving, and Ben said she had become restless but not moving from the spot. The vet told her to have her lie down and stretch so she could relax, but Ben was hesitant to do this because of the horse’s feelings toward Ben.

You have no choice

The vet told Ben he must not be hesitant, yet Ben was afraid. What if she bolted off and hurt herself and the new baby? Ben told the vet he didn’t think it was a good idea, but the vet insisted he should do so promptly. 

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“It is the only way to ensure the safety of both horses, a matter of life and death, even,” the vet told him. Ben was scared but decided to be brave for both his horses. He loved them dearly and didn’t want anything to happen to either one of them.

That’s odd

Ben gently and slowly convinced Felicia that she needed to lay down; her baby was at stake, after all. Felicia managed to trust Ben and started to lie down. The worst part was over, Ben thought. Now to just turn her on her side. 

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The vet said to Ben he needed to turn her on her side — it didn’t matter which side, just to turn her. Ben gently coaxed Felicia to turn on her left with success. “Doctor, her bump looks unusual to me,” Ben said to the vet.

What was that?

The vet asked Ben, “what does the bump look like? Is it not perfectly round?” Ben said that he must have missed it during her pregnancy but there was an unusual bump sticking out from the side of her belly.

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“The belly should be perfectly round, no extra bulges!” the vet exclaimed. Ben grew more and more anxious that something might be wrong with his prized horse and his new baby foal. What could be wrong with them, he thought.

“I need to see you”

The vet didn’t sound too happy about the situation. Something was terribly wrong. “I think I should come to see you, Ben. Let’s do an ultrasound to make sure Felicia and the new foal are in good health. I’d rather be safe than sorry,” the vet said. 

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Could it be that serious, Ben thought, that the vet has to come out all this way? Is the vet overreacting, perhaps? Felicia didn’t seem like she was in physical distress at all; only agitated at this point in time. 

“I’ll be right over”

The vet said it was very important that he had to come to Ben’s farm and do an ultrasound on the mare. The vet got in his vehicle and rushed to Ben, only to be greeted with bumper-to-bumper traffic — this was not good. 

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“I need to see you urgently, Ben, but I am stuck in traffic! It’s peak hour, I don’t know if I will make it on time!” The vet sounded very distressed. What if he didn’t make it to Ben’s farm in time? Could Felicia and the foal be at risk?

We’ve got a plan

Ben thought maybe they should meet halfway to the vet, but there was no way that that would work. There are no safe spots on the way to the vet in the city. The best is to wait for the vet and hope that everything will be okay. 

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Ben told a friend about the situation while he waited but the friend suggested they should pick the vet up with their motorbike and make it to Ben faster. After all, he was in the city close to where the vet was. 

At the farm

The vet arrived within a few minutes at the farm with the help of Ben’s friend and his motorcycle. He immediately rushed to where Ben was waiting anxiously with his horse and her unborn foal. They both looked emotionally exhausted. 

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The vet approached Felicia and she started moving. It was almost as if she knew something bad was happening and that the vet was there to help her. The vet realized this and told Ben and his friend to give them some space. 

Examination begins

The vet gently approached the distressed horse and tried to reassure her he was no threat with slow and deliberate movements, not spooking the horse so she wouldn’t run off and hurt herself. He got close to her and started the examination. 

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He knew upon the first touch he needed to sedate Felicia. It wasn’t looking good. He knew it was difficult to sedate horses, but since Felicia was in no state to allow Ben and his friend to get close, he had only one option. 

Ben decides

Sedating the horse was a risk; there were two options that Ben needed to decide on. You can use a heavier sedative from a distance, or risk getting up and close with the other option. Both carried tremendous risks and Ben needed to decide. 

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Ben realized up close, the vet could risk getting hurt, rendering him out of order to assist the horse if anything else happens. But from far away, the horse and her baby could get hurt. It was a difficult decision.

Let’s do it

Ben decided it was time to sedate the horse from a distance. It was a huge risk but it needed to be done. The vet still needed to perform the ultrasound and assist Felicia with whatever was causing her distress.

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They had to clear the stalls and prepare the sedatives. Ben grew worried as Felicia became more and more restless; as if she knew something was about to happen. The vet instructed them to not look while he sedated her.

Sedated

Finally, the vet called Ben closer. He said the sedation was successful and Felicia was now much less restless. He could now start the ultrasound. He almost sounded relieved and optimistic, but Ben knew it would still be a challenge to see what was happening. 

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The vet asked Ben to help stretch the horse a bit more to enable him to do the ultrasound. The machine beeped and the vet started the procedure. His optimism quickly faded as he saw what was on the monitor.

On call

The vet turned pale and said to Ben that they should step outside. Ben was terrified; he assumed his horses were both in dire condition. He feared neither of them would survive. Would Felicia still give birth to his precious new foal?

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In the distance, Ben heard the sirens of the police. He couldn’t believe the vet had called the police. Why would he do this? What did he do wrong? Ben felt dizzy on his feet. The vet tried to explain to Ben why he called on the police. 

Ben, listen closely

“Ben, what I saw on that monitor, was terrifying. I need you to remain calm and allow the officers onto your farm. Something that shouldn’t be in that horse’s belly, is in there,” the vet told Ben in a very firm voice.

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Ben realized this wasn’t a joke and that his world needed to come to a standstill. Would he lose his horse and have to explain why to the police? It just didn’t occur to Ben that this would be the end result of what should have been a miracle.

Surgery

The vet told Ben that he needed clearance and equipment from the local police to perform this emergency surgery on Felicia. The only way he could do it was with the help of the local police who had assisted him plenty of times before. 

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Locals knew the cops weren’t just any ordinary police. They were trained to help the vet in these kinds of situations. Ben seemed to calm down a little bit since they wouldn’t need to arrest Ben or interrogate him for something. 

You need to speak up

The police arrived and helped the vet sedate Felicia. The sedative the vet used on Felicia was only to calm her down, not put her to sleep in order to perform the surgery. It is a controlled substance, only they could provide help and clearance for it. 

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“Sir you have to answer a few questions, now that Felicia is sedated,” the police said to Ben. He thought everything was okay and he was in the clear, but it seemed to not be the case at all. Ben’s anxiety started all over again. 

How did the horse get pregnant?

The police initially asked Ben routine questions, such as whether he was the person that he claimed he was — essentially confirming his identity, and confirming that he owned both the farm and the horse. He confirmed all the details needed.

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They then started asking questions that puzzled Ben. They wanted to know how Ben got the horse pregnant, to which Ben replied that he had done ample research on the method and that it would work. It should have been legal, Ben thought. Why would they ask this?

Mugshots

The police confirmed that while the method that Ben used was legal, something else was off. Ben started to panic, he thought he had done enough research on the subject and that Felicia would be okay. How could something so simple turn so wrong?

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The police then started showing Ben mugshots. At first, this confused him a lot. Why would they show him this? Nothing at this stage made sense and all he could think of was that his horse would be taken away from him. 

Do you know this man?

Ben didn’t look at the mugshots thoroughly and the police urged him to calm down and look closely. Why? Ben didn’t know any of these criminals. Were they trying to taunt him? Maybe they thought this would scare Ben into confessing something. 

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“Do you know this man?” Ben hesitated and then it dawned on him. This face did look familiar, but he could not put his finger on it. “Sir, we cannot force you to answer us, but it is best you try to remember where you saw him.”

Wait a minute

Ben realized who it was, and then grew very concerned. “Will my horse be alright? Can you please update me on the status of Felicia and the foal?” Ben asked the police. He was reassured that the vet is an expert at what he does.

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“This is the man Ben contracted to impregnate Felicia. Everything was legal, right?” Ben was getting increasingly nervous. “Sir, this man is a known criminal.” Ben didn’t understand. Why was he being questioned, and what did he do to his precious horse?

“I can’t believe it!”

The criminal in question is known to botch the procedures when it comes to horses, they grimly told Ben. They had multiple cases but needed the final proof once a live specimen was born. He was a fraudulent seller of horses. 

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Ben was in shock! The vet told him he found a microchip in the horse’s belly, and that was what the bulge was. It is very rare that horses survive these botched operations since it carries significant risks. Ben’s heart beat faster.

Felicia is okay

The vet reassured him that he performed the surgery with expertise and that Felicia was in good health. She didn’t suffer any long-term consequences due to the chip and she had a healthy little foal. Some tension was relieved upon hearing this good news.

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Ben was the perfect person to assist in this operation since the criminal was finally brought to justice without harming another horse. The foal was worth a lot of money and in peak condition and it was legally Ben’s new horse. He did not have to surrender him. 

Happily ever after

Ben was relieved that he was in no trouble at all and that both his horses were in good health. He thanked the vet for his urgent care and expertise in the surgery. Ben’s friend was also thanked since he helped in a big way. 

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The police thanked Ben for helping them track this terrible criminal down and bring him to justice. He would be able to keep his new foal whom he named Siempre, and not surrender him to the police. Siempre was a top-breed horse. Lucky Ben!