We celebrate our vets on the frontline

This weekend is World Veterinary Day (25th April) and this year it’s especially poignant as vets, including our own at Redwings, continue to work on the frontline of animal welfare amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

We couldn’t let this day go by without celebrating our amazing vet team and letting you know about a very special resident who is currently undergoing treatment in our Horse Hospital. So, let’s introduce you to our latest patient, three-year-old Orwell!

Cob cross Orwell was just a foal when he was rescued in 2017 with nine other ponies who were discovered in extremely poor condition, suffering from overgrown hooves, lice and large worm burdens. He’s well known to the vet team due to his slightly twisted muzzle and misaligned jaw which means he requires regular specialist dental work to ensure he can chew comfortably.

Last weekend, Orwell unfortunately began to show signs of colic – a severe type of abdominal pain, which can be a sign of something very serious. 

He appeared to respond well to initial treatment, but within a few hours, his condition started to deteriorate and tests showed his intestines were becoming stressed and inflamed. While the vet team has suspended routine surgical procedures in response to the coronavirus outbreak, they knew emergency surgery was the only option for severely unwell Orwell.

Senior Veterinary Surgeon, Nicky Jarvis, said: “The decision was made to take Orwell to surgery and hopefully correct the cause of the colic. Luckily we have full surgical facilities at our Hospital, so a surgical team was quickly assembled and Orwell was taken to theatre under a full general anaesthetic.”

The skilled team operated throughout the night and discovered Orwell was suffering from a heavy impaction within his intestines, which had also become slightly displaced from their usual position.

Following the surgery, poor Orwell was very dull and required extensive care from the vet team who worked in shifts to provide him with pain relief, anti-biotics and fluids around the clock.

He has been allowed short walks to enjoy nibbles of grass with his ICU nurses Leigh and Meg (pictured above), and currently needs regular attention to change his abdominal dressing and the belly band supporting his surgical wound.

Nicky added: “Orwell has finally started to turn the corner and become much more his ‘old self’. He is not a fan of his intensive care stable and much prefers to be outside, so he often tries to follow you out of the stable. It’s hard to explain ‘bed rest’ to a pony!”

It’s still early days in Orwell’s recovery but the progress he has made so far would not have been possible without our veterinary surgeons, vet nurses, equine carers and nights team, who together have ensured he has received all the care he needs. They are our frontline heroes!

If you’d like to help our Horse Hospital help more ponies, like Orwell, please consider donating by clicking here.

Thank you #RedwingsAngels