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Many of us would describe our horse as a best friend or part of the family. Like any family member, you would do anything to protect and look after your horse and seeing them in discomfort can be incredibly distressing. This was certainly the case for Katie and her horse Sam.
Katie knew something was wrong when Sam’s kind and relaxed nature changed and he became lame. Thankfully, Katie had Petplan Equine insurance so she was able to give Sam the treatment he needed to help him recover and return to his usual happy self, providing welcome piece of mind at a very worrying time.
“Sam really is such a sweetheart,” begins Katie. “When he arrived, he was just perfect. A little shy and quiet, but so sweet natured.
“He’s a bit different now,” laughed Katie. “He’s not quite the low maintenance horse I was looking for; he loves to be pampered! His party trick is to open his stable door and find food. If there is anything edible on offer, he will go for it. Sam really is a big dog.”
However, in March 2018 Katie noticed that her laid back gelding was acting out of character.
“Under saddle he started to look slightly unlevel and I knew something wasn’t right. Alarm bells started to ring when he began bucking and biting, it was so unlike him,” remarked Katie. “This prompted me to call the vet out, I was so worried.”
Has your horse been ill, injured or had to undergo emergency treatment? Did you have an experience similar to Katie and Sam? We’d love to hear about it – share your #HorseStories on Instagram, Twitter or @PetplanEquineUK on Facebook
During the first visit to Katie and Sam, the vet carried out standard flexion and lameness tests. However, it took several scans and nerve blocks for the vet to discover Sam had thickening of his annular ligaments.
“I had anticipated the standard box rest and some bute, and that he would then be back on form in no time. I was stunned when the vet said he needed an operation. It all happened so quickly; I didn’t know whether I was going to have my best friend home and well again. The worst feeling was not having him around. He wasn’t there to talk to when I came home from work.”
Sam was in hospital for two days before Katie brought him home to start the long road to recovery.
“After two weeks box rest, he was allowed to graze a postage stamp size paddock. This gradually increased to hand walking and grazing, which he really wasn’t a fan of,” explained Katie. “He was so unsettled for three months before I was allowed back on. We built his exercise up slowly, walking to begin with and gradually increasing the pace.
“Unfortunately, we did have a little set back. When we moved on to trot work, he went lame again. Sam then returned to reduced turn out and another eight weeks off. Getting back on was really nerve-wracking for me, but we were there for each other throughout.”
A year on from Sam’s operation, he is fully recovered.
“Sam went to his first competition a few weeks ago, just to pop round a small course; he was so well behaved and really enjoyed himself,” said Katie.
“I am careful with him, as I never want to see him go through something like that again. I love having my best friend back, feeling so well. Hopefully we’ll continue competing this summer and just enjoy each other’s company again. Sam means the absolute world to me!”
“I really want to thank Petplan Equine. Without them Sam wouldn’t have been able to get the treatment he’s had. I’d had bad experiences with insurers before and one of my friends recommended Petplan Equine.
“The vet’s first question to me was ‘who is Sam insured with?’ When I told her Petplan Equine any stress or worry I had about payment was put straight out of my mind as my vet deals with Petplan Equine directly. This was such a relief and meant I could focus on Sam and his recovery at an already worrying time,” concludes Katie.
For more information please contact www.petplanequine.co.uk
You can watch Katie and Sam’s full story here
Please note that terms, conditions and excesses apply. No cover is provided for pre-existing conditions. Petplan is a trading name of Pet Plan Limited and Allianz Insurance plc.