Maggot-infested foal rescued by Redwings

  • An 8-week old foal has been rescued after he was discovered collapsed in a field with a maggot-infested wound.

    A member of the public reported the foal to Redwings when they noticed he was unable to get up. The foal was severely underweight and had an untreated injury down the back of his hind leg, which was completely covered in flies and maggots.

    Redwings vet Nicola Berryman was called to attend the scene along with RSPCA inspector Nicky Thorne.

    “On examination the vet found him to be body condition score 0, which means he was completely emaciated,” said Julie Harding from Redwings.

    He looked like a skeleton.  He was covered in matts and burrs and was incredibly thirsty. When he heard the water pouring into a bucket he immediately brightened up and tried to make it over to us, despite being in considerable pain.”

    Matty at the scene of his rescue

    The foal, now named Matty, at the scene

    The foal was taken to Redwings’ specialist equine hospital where the vet staff cleaned and washed his leg.  They also found the maggots had entered his hoof capsule, which was coming away.

    Redwings’ vet Nicola Berryman said: “I cannot imagine the amount of pain he would have been in.  The maggots were eating away at the flesh inside his hoof.

    “The number of maggots and flies present indicate the injury had been like that for at least a couple of days. He was most probably dumped in this condition.

    “Without our intervention he would certainly have died within a day or so.”

    Matty's foot where the hoof is breaking away from the foot

    Matty’s hind leg where the hoof is breaking away

    Despite investigations by the RSPCA and Redwings, no owner has been located. Anyone with information about his owner is asked to contact the Redwings Welfare team on 01508 481008.

    Matty, as he has been named because of the state of his coat, is now being cared for by the charity’s care team and is making good progress.

    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.

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