The RSPCA is appealing for help covering the veterinary costs of an abandoned horse who was found with a fractured leg after protecting a foal from being attacked by a stallion.
The 12-year-old gelding, nicknamed Dancer, was found in north Hampshire in a herd of approximately 14 other horses on 12 July.
One of the horses was a stallion and was seen galloping across the field, frightening the mares and foals.
Dancer had tried to intervene and protect a mare and her foal, but received a kick to one of his hind legs.
Police were called and a vet saw Dancer was suffering, so placed him into the care of the RSPCA to be treated urgently.
RSPCA inspector Nicola Denham was first on the scene to find Dancer and transported him to a specialist boarding yard where he has been receiving treatment for his injuries for the past few weeks.
RSPCA inspector Denham said: “We have still been unable to trace Dancer’s owners, but in the meantime we have been caring for this beautiful boy.
"An x-ray showed that poor Dancer suffered a splint fracture in his leg and infection was already setting in, so we had to call in urgent vet treatment to give him the best chance of survival.
“If that wasn’t bad enough, he also tested positive for strangles, a serious bacterial infection that's extremely contagious between horses and must be treated with extreme caution, so he was quarantined and received specialist ‘flushing’ treatment from the vet to tackle the virus.”
Dancer’s treatment has been paid for by RSPCA Hants and Surrey Border branch with very generous donations from the RSPCA Alton, Haslemere and Petersfield branch, who were keen to give what they could to help when they heard about Dancer’s situation.
RSPCA Hants and Surrey Border branch are appealing for donations to help fund the rest of the gelding’s treatment.
Inspector Denham continued: “Dancer is such a lovely horse with a great future ahead of him, but we really need the support of the public to help continue to fund his treatment.
"We have already incurred costs of nearly £6000 for treatment on Dancer’s fractured leg, antibiotic treatment for his infection and specialist treatment for the strangles virus with visits from the vet every other day - and as a charity, our branches are really struggling to keep up with the ongoing costs to get him fully back to health.
"We're appealing to horse lovers who might be able to spare some funds to help us get Dancer over this big hurdle so he can be found a new home. We would be so grateful for any contribution people can spare.
“Sadly, situations like this with large groups of horses including stallions that are carelessly left to breed is a recipe for disaster. As inspectors, we see this sort of situation far too often, and owners should never leave stallions in a herd like this.
"Thankfully we managed to trace an owner of the stallion and strongly advised them to remove him from the field due to the risk he posed to the other horses, and I’m pleased to say they followed our advice. I have also been to check on the mare and foal several times since and they are doing well.”
Dancer’s recovery is slow but he is responding well to treatment. An x-ray this week will show how the fracture to his leg is healing, and he will remain on box rest for the next few weeks while he continues to receive treatment.
Those wishing to donate towards Dancer’s treatment can do so via this link: https://mydonate.bt.com/donation/start.html?charity=68649
All funds raised will go directly to the branch and ring-fenced for Dancer’s care, with any extra going towards the care and rehabilitation of other animals in the care of the RSPCA Hants and Surrey Border branch.
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