A mare found neglected and emaciated has made a remarkable recovery.
Redwings Horse Sanctuary’s welfare team was called by a member of the public in January to an underweight horse that had diarrhoea.
Senior field officer Julie Harding found the three-year-old skewbald in an Ipswich field (pictured below).
The 13hh mare, now known as Whitney, had untreated worms, lice, salmonella and rainscald. Her body condition was scored 0.5 out of five.
Another horse – a six-year-old piebald mare now called Maggie – was also found to be very underweight and showing signs of diarrhoea.
With support from the RSPCA and on veterinary advice, both horses were seized and taken to Redwings for emergency veterinary care and treatment.
Whitney was so weak that for the first month in Redwings’ care she needed an Anderson Sling to support her.
“She simply had no strength to stand or move”, said Redwings’ welfare vet Nicola Berryman.
“Her legs would tremble beneath her own weight, meaning she was at constant risk of collapse and therefore needing the support of the sling and 24-hour care.”
Six months after their rescue and following intensive veterinary care, Whitney has made a “miraculous” recovery.
“She looks amazing and is unrecognisable from the emaciated mare I found that day,” said Julie.
“At times we really didn’t think she would make it.
“Whitney still has a way to go, but happily is well enough to have finally been turned out with Maggie (pictured below). I just can’t believe it’s the same horse.”
The mares’ owner was given a caution on 7 May for the neglect of the two horses.
The horses have now been signed over to Redwings, which is the UK’s largest horse sanctuary, permanently.
The charity cares for more than 1,500 rescued horses and donkeys at 10 UK centres each day and has a further 500 living in guardian homes.