Towards the end of April 2021 we received a call from another charity about a distressed newborn foal. The foal was spotted by a member of the public being kicked and bitten by other ponies on a South Wales mountain. The other charity were informed and went straight to the rescue. Despite their best efforts to reunite the little foal with her dam, they had to remove her for her own safety. Lluest Horse and Pony Trust immediately drove to collect her and bring her back to their farm. The trusted orphan companion Teddy bear came out of retirement and the little foal drank her milk every hour through her first night, although she was a little wobbly at times, she had plenty of fight and sass. We chose to name her Maggie, after one of our special supporters, Maggie Wagstaff, who sadly passed away earlier this year.
First steps in the rehabilitation process…..
The following day vets examined her and took blood samples. As had been suspected, the blood results showed that she had no antibodies. Unlike humans and other animals, foals do not receive antibodies from their dam before birth, they receive their antibodies through their dam’s colostrum after birth. Therefore when a foal is born, it has no natural defence against infections. A foal can only absorb antibodies from sufficient quantities of colostrum in the first 12-18 hours of life, after this time it is no longer possible for ingested colostrum to provide the foal with useful antibody levels. Conditions that result in stress to the foal, for example a traumatic birth, death of, or rejection by their dam, can also shorten the length of time that the foal’s intestines can absorb antibodies. This lack of antibodies leaves the foal susceptible to septicaemia and join ill. Little Maggie was given strong antibiotics, electrolytes and scheduled to have a plasma transfusion. She was also given medication to help her pass droppings.
Transfusion and a little set back…..
Maggie successfully received her plasma transfusion; it went well despite having a small reaction. The reaction meant she had to have a break halfway through, this helped as she was also very hungry and fidgety. She was such a brave little girl and was full of herself afterwards. Whilst she was doing very well afterwards, a few days later she had a small set back. During an early morning feed, Maggie had a frightening seizure. We rushed her to the vets, but much to our relief, on the way she returned to normal and was Bucking and prancing around the box. Blood tests revealed two of her liver enzymes were not within normal range. Her follow up blood tests showed that her levels were back to normal and thankfully we have not had any other seizures since.
A new mom….
Orphan Maggie’s bad start in life has left her nervous of other horses. After she was well enough, she was given a foster mother, called Moon. Moon was instantly in love and protective of Maggie, but sadly Maggie has not cared for Moon very much. As time has passed Maggie has allowed Moon closer, but she will not interact or get close enough to touch. The little foal enjoys zooming very fast around the paddock, but because she has weak flexor tendons, she has spent more time confined.
Rescue is just the beginning for a little foal like Maggie…
Our team’s short term aim will now be to rehabilitate Maggie to full health and gradually integrate her into a herd. Maggie is growing well but has needed expensive, special heel extension shoes, to correct and strengthen her weak tendons. She will have a tough battle ahead to grow stronger and learn to be independent. As an orphan separated from her mother so young, she needs to learn how to socialise with her own kind. With the additional hind limb deformity, she has many obstacles to overcome. To ensure she grows healthy and strong, Maggie has been fed mares replacement milk around the clock and will be gradually weaned off milk as she grows. Whilst her legs are being corrected, Maggie needs short turnout sessions in the company of Moon. She will remain under the care of the vets until her legs are strengthened and she no longer needs special shoes.
We need your donations to protect the future of Maggie and those like her…
Maggie is already growing stronger but she has a very long road ahead. Just attending to her care will cost approximately £280 a month for the rest of the year, not including if she needs unforeseen and ongoing veterinary care.
Give Maggie the best chance at a future beyond Lluest
While every donation is vital, regular monthly gifts can have the most impact. This means we can plan ahead with our resources with guaranteed income, as we raise Maggie to be a healthy adult horse.
£10 a month will contribute towards vital care costs, like milk replacer, feed and veterinary care, to ensure she moves forward from her birth into neglect that she wouldn’t have survived.
Make a regular monthly gift through Paypal here, set up a standing order or downloading our Direct Debit form on our donate page here
Our bank account – Lluest Horse and Pony Trust, Sort code: 08-92-99 Account No: 65672392
If you are a UK tax payer please don’t forget to make your donation go even further by filling in our Gift Aid form , it allows us to claim an extra 25% on every £1 you donate, you can download a Giftaid form here.