December 9 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 10, 2013
An emaciated foal found just days from death in a field with a maggot-infested wound on his leg has been rescued by a horse charity.
A member of the public reported the foal, thought to be about eight weeks old, to the Redwings Welfare team on October 1 after seeing him lying down and struggling to get up.
He was severely underweight, and had an injury down the back of his hind leg that had been left untreated, which was covered in flies and maggots.
The charity’s senior field officer Julie Harding called one of the Redwings vets, Nicola Berryman, who attended along with RSPCA inspector Nicky Thorne. “On examination the vet found him to be body condition score 0, which means he was completely emaciated,” Ms Harding said. “He looked like a skeleton. “He was covered in matts and burrs and was incredibly thirsty, so much so that despite his pain, when we produced a water container and he heard the water pouring into a bucket he immediately brightened up and tried to make it over to us.
“There was a river in the field but although the other cobs in the field were able to walk down the bank to drink from it, he was unable to because of his leg. “He drank five litres of water and rehydration powder in one go.”
Matty, as he has been named because of the state of his coat, was taken to Redwings’ specialist horse hospital in Hapton, south of Norwich.
Ms Berryman said: “I cannot imagine the amount of pain he would have been in. The number of maggots and flies present indicate that the injury had been like that for at least a couple of days. He was most probably dumped in this condition.
“This is the first time I’ve ever given a body condition score of 0 – it’s completely unacceptable. Without our intervention he would certainly have died within a day or two.
“In all my years this is genuinely one of the worst cases I have ever seen, simply because he was so close to death. Sadly Matty’s is by no means an isolated case, we are increasingly seeing young colts in particular being abandoned when they are no longer wanted. I am just pleased we were able to get to him in time and we are so thankful to the lady who reported him to us in the first place.
“Despite his pain he was clearly determined to survive; he has been a star patient throughout and is already looking brighter every day. He also has the most amazing eyebrows we have ever seen.”
Despite extensive investigations by the charity and RSPCA inspector, no owner could be located, and there was no trace of Matty’s mother in the area.
Matty is now being cared for by the charity’s vet team and is making good progress.
RSPCA Inspector Nicky Thorne said: “This poor foal was completely neglected and would not have survived much longer. We would like to hear from anyone who knows who this foal belonged to. This kind of cruelty is simply appalling.”
Anyone with information about his owner is asked to contact the Redwings Welfare team on 01508 481008.
To donate towards Matty’s care, text code RWHS00 followed by the amount you’d like to give (eg RWHS00 £5) to 70070 or visit www.redwings.org.uk