Pony suffers extensive facial injuries in suspected dog attack *Warning: graphic image*

  • A Shetland pony who suffered extensive injuries to his face in a suspected dog attack is recovering in the care of Redwings.

    Alfie was discovered in his paddock with a “nasty wound”, and owing to his “fear of being handled” his owner contacted Redwings for help.

    “Alfie is a nervous pony, and his owner realised they would need help to catch him and assess the extent of his injury,” said Julie Harding, Redwings senior field officer and reception centre manager.

    “Members of our welfare team attended to assist, and sedated Alfie with a syringe-pole so that a thorough veterinary investigation could be carried out.”

    Julie added that the wound was much more extensive than first thought, and urgent treatment was needed to remove infected tissue.

    “Although no one witnessed what happened, the wound was consistent with a dog bite, and we believe that’s the most likely cause,” she said.

    **Warning: very graphic image**

    “We have a lot of experience with handling nervous and semi-feral ponies and an in-house veterinary team, and Alfie’s owner and vet agreed that signing him over to Redwings’ care would be best for his ongoing treatment and recovery. Alfie’s owner did the very best thing for him, in really upsetting and unforeseen circumstances, and we’re glad that we were able to help.”

    Alfie was taken to the charity’s quarantine centre for new arrivals on 1 June.

    “Thanks to the dedication of the team, who have been changing his bandages every two to three days, the wound is healing well,” said Nic de Bruawere, Redwings head of welfare and behaviour.

    “That part of the head is full of very important structures that could have been permanently damaged, including his salivary gland, and had the potential to cause life-long issues for Alfie and be twice as hard to manage with his fear of being handled,” he said.

    “He still has a long way to go but he’s in the right place and it’s looking positive. When he’s ready he’ll start working with our specialist behavioural centre team to help him overcome the trauma from his injury and be more comfortable with human contact.”

    Alfie is continuing to recover at Redwings

    Nic added that the team is grateful to veterinary wound expert Georgie Hollies of Intelligent Wound Care, who has been treating Alfie.

    “Georgie previously assisted us with the care of Phoenix, the foal who came to Redwings in 2021 with extensive burns from an arson attack,” he said.

    “Alfie has even been wearing Phoenix’s special hood, to secure his bandages, which had previously been donated by kind Redwings supporters.”

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