Dripping Springs horse gets Southern hospitality after rare surgery

Barbara the horse post-surgery (WATE Photo)
Barbara the horse post-surgery (WATE Photo)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A young horse from Texas, going by the name of Barbara, managed to capture the hearts of many and has made the journey to East Tennessee for a rare surgery at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.

Barbara was born in January with a wry nose deformity that pulls her nose to one side, making it increasingly difficult to breathe and even eat sometimes.

Many owners would put the animal down simply for the cost of corrective surgery. Barbara’s owner, Martha Carroll-Talley, learned there could be a second option, but that meant coming to Tennessee and leaving with a nearly $30,000 hospital bill.

“What lesson does it teach our children if we just dispose of things because they’re a little different?” says Carroll-Talley.

“It was a pretty complex surgery and it was composed of a lot of smaller surgeries so we had to cut the hole in her neck to allow for air,” says UTCVM surgery resident Tanner Snowden.

Thankfully the surgery was a success with no complications and Barbara is now on the road to recovery with her second chance at life.

“It’s great to see her stand up. I saw her before surgery with the nose but it wasn’t until she stood up that we saw the finished product,” said Snowden.

Breathing is temporarily a bit different post-op because of a tracheotomy tube in Barbara’s throat, but that is expected to come out soon. The surgeons had to take out one of Barbara’s ribs on her right side for a bone graft on her jaw. If all goes well, Barbara will be back home to Texas in six weeks.

If you would like to donate to Barbara’s GoFundMe page, click here.

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