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Phoenix has been enjoying a change of scenery this week!
Our little fighter has been moved from his isolation area inside the Horse Hospital into a stable in a small outdoor yard so he can enjoy some fresh air.
When you have to wear a lot of thick bandages day in, day out, you can get very warm so our vets decided he would be much more comfortable if he continued his recovery somewhere a little cooler.
Mildred, who we hope in time will become his foster mum, has moved into the yard with him which will give them both the chance to bond further.
The pair have also had the opportunity to explore one of our nearby special care paddocks together, where Mildred has been teaching Phoenix how to graze and drink from a water tank.
As his skin heals it is also incredibly itchy, so providing him with the ability to stretch his legs in the yard and on limited turnout in the paddock helps to keep him distracted so he’s not always rubbing at his bandages, as well as exercise his joints and tendons.
And talking of bandages – we’re wondering about changing his name to Houdini! Over the Bank Holiday weekend, he kept our vets and nurses busy by wriggling out of his bandages when their backs were turned!
When it takes over 90 minutes to put fresh bandages on his wounds, you’ll appreciate that any distraction is very welcome, not just for him but for our teams too!
To help him feel more comfortable, a special suit has also arrived for him this week which helps to hold the bandages close to his skin and stops them moving about so much if he feels the need to scratch an itch. We think he looks like a superhero – what do you think?
While it’s fair to say his cheeky personality is starting to shine through, we must continue to stress that Phoenix’s condition remains touch and go. While he may look well on his way to recovery while frolicking about in his paddock, our vets remain cautious about his long-term prognosis.
Due to his age (he is now only a mere nine weeks old) and the extent of his injuries, his immune system is under-developed. While he had many blood samples taken during his time at Lingfield Equine Vets, shortly after he was discovered, we have just started to undertake our own tests having wanted to give him a break from needles and a chance to settle into his new surroundings first. Blood and urine samples will give us a much more accurate picture of his overall health, which is still not 100% known.
Simply put, just because he appears well today sadly doesn’t mean he will be tomorrow – and this is likely to be the situation for some time.
Having never seen such a young pony with such extensive burns before, it is difficult to say how long his recovery will take or the enduring impact his horrific ordeal will have. What our teams are focussing on is giving him the best care and loving home they can, and they’re only able to do that thanks to you!
We’ve had another unprecedented week of donations, including another Amazon Wishlist that sold out in 30 minutes - a new record! As we learn more about what Phoenix needs to help him heal and stay as comfortable as possible, we will continue to update his Wishlist on a weekly basis with all the essential veterinary supplies needed as he hopefully progresses in his recovery.
In the meantime, the best way you can help Phoenix and other horses and donkeys in our care is by making a donation. A gift of £30, for example, could fund the cost of changing Phoenix’s bandages every day.
If you’d like to make a donation, please call 01508 481000 or you can give online by clicking here.
Be aware that our lovely Supporter Engagement Team, who answer our phones and process our donations, are dealing with a very high number of calls, emails and letters thanks to your amazing support, so please bear with us if you can’t get through straightaway. Just know that every donation and show of support – whether it’s a comment on one of our social media posts or a get well card for Phoenix – are all very much appreciated.
Thank you #RedwingsAngels
Read the first blog post Phoenix Fights: Week One here
Or discover his original rescue story here