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Gelding with severe wounds from rug ‘loses his fight to survive’ months later

A gelding in his 20s found with “huge infected sores” on his withers caused by his rug has been put down five months after his rescue as he was “losing his fight to survive”.

HorseWorld rescued the “extremely emaciated and weak” thoroughbred-type gelding, named Sydney, from a field in Wiltshire with two other horses in June after a member of the public noticed the gelding’s condition.

Sydney during his time at HorseWorld

A spokesman for the charity said the “sweet-natured” horse’s rug had clearly not been removed or checked for many months and it had worn deep into his skin causing the infected wounds and “immense” pain.

“On arrival the vet put Sydney onto a programme of intensive care. For weeks his wounds were flushed twice a day by the grooms,” he said. “He also had various creams prescribed to try to aid the healing process, and numerous courses of antibiotics to try to fight the infection that had taken hold.

“Sydney remained a calm, kind gentleman, allowing the team to help him despite everything he had been through.”

The spokesman said despite the team’s best efforts it became apparent the infection had spread to Sydney’s bones and even with high levels of pain relief, he was showing “more and more” discomfort.

“While he still had the occasional good day where he would happily graze and roll in the field, his bad days were getting worse and more frequent,” he said.

“All viable options had been tried and it was clear that the only option left to prevent any further suffering was to put him to sleep.”

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Sarah Hollister, HorseWorld welfare manager, said Sydney was “such a special horse”.

“You could tell from his character that at one time in his life he had been well cared for by someone,” she said.

“We always pour our hearts and souls into our horses, but Syd is one that we’ll never forget. It’s not the ending to Syd’s story that we desperately wanted but we can take comfort in knowing that at least for the last few months of his life he could remember how it felt to be loved.”

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