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Worldwide Veterinary Service Welcomes New Foal After Pregnant Mare Requires Emergency Surgery!

Tue 6th Aug 2019

The vets at our International Training Centre in Ooty, India, recently treated a pregnant horse who was showing many signs of distress…

Riia is one of the ponies living at Hill Farm Animal Refuge, near the WVS training centre in Southern India. During the last couple of months of her pregnancy, our vets discovered she’d stopped eating, also showing signs of being in extreme pain and distress. These are classic signs of a colic, a painful condition of the gut commonly seen in horses.

Our vets soon got to work to treat the issue. After passing a tube into Riia’s stomach to relieve any blockages, it was clear this wasn’t as simple as we first thought. She didn’t improve and was also no longer passing urine. Worried for the pair’s safety, the team urgently performed further tests to check for other diagnoses. After further examination, they could feel that the horse had a twisted uterus. This was the cause of her pain and was potentially going to prove fatal for her unborn foal. 

To correct the condition and untwist the uterus, we sedated Riia and rolled her using a controlled method called the ‘plank method’. Rolling a horse can, in some cases, be enough to encourage the organ to untwist itself. Unfortunately the uterus was still twisted, so the next move was to prepare her for surgery.

The operation began - our vets were able to manually untwist her uterus back into its normal position. Once back in its correct place, she soon came round from the anaesthetic and seemed much happier! The team made sure she was comfortable with lots of hot water bottles to make sure she stayed warm. The next 24 hours were crucial for both Riia and her unborn foal following this intrusive surgery. Fortunately, with lots of TLC, the next day both mother and foal were recovering well.

Three months later and Rilian was born! Everyone at ITC Ooty was delighted to see the new foal born healthy – with Riia adapting to motherhood perfectly. He is already a curious young animal and loves exploring the fields near our centre with his mother!

Please donate today to ensure we can save more animals like Riia and Rilian. Thank you!