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March 2011

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We started off March by welcoming Bles’ baby, Rusty.  Rusty unfortunately was born with a papilloma the size of a 50c piece attached by a well attached stalk just below his off side eye, and it really did not look nice and could potentially cause problems later in life, so we popped him and his mum into the horsebox and took him to the Vet where it was removed.   Nice and simple.  Unlike poor Ellis.

You will remember from last month that a horse was brought in from Kwanobuhle, Uitenhage, covered with Mange and as we found out later, car oil!  When we got him in, he just stood there with his head almost touching the ground – he had just given up.  Because some people think they know better than anyone else, he had been ‘hidden’, but with community help, he was found and brought in by Stanley and Liezl.   It was difficult to know how to approach his problem, considering the vastness of it all.   Having had horses for 30 years I had never seen anything like it and so we commenced with the Equiwash treatment, until the penny dropped that what little coat there was, was smothered in oil.   As they say in the classics, there is more than one way to skin a cat so we started trying all sorts of things to get it off.  So far, a slathering of Croc Oil donated by John Sweet and Repcillin, followed by a dousing with Super 10 donated by Golden Products’ Mavoureen has been the best solution.  The combination softens the caked oil and that makes it easier to wipe/scrape off without distressing the horse too much, although it distresses us! The gunk sticks under your nails and is not easy to remove.   Unfortunately, we can only ‘do’ a small section at a time, as Ellis gets testy with us fiddling and his skin is sooo sensitive.  His legs and face and ears have been mostly cleaned, but the body just goes on forever!   The Golden Products were suggested by Samrec in reply to a question by a Photographer:  What does Samrec use for the penguins?   Thank you, Luc, for asking the question!

Although it was a bit of a battle, Treloar gave Ellis a pedicure.  He also had screw worm in all four heels – again, I have never had this problem when I had my own horses so it has been a learning curve all round.  Well done! To Liezl and Stanley for doing what was necessary, even when we got depressed at the slow rate of work to remove the oil.   Needless to say, Ellis has perked up quite considerably, clearly showing that he appreciates everything that is done for him.  Liezl, Stanley and I were often found jumping for joy on finding new hair growth on face and body!  Ellis, my boy, you might never be an International Show Horse, but you won’t be ‘naked’ forever.

One gentleman who comes to visit began by bringing in watermelon as a treat for the horses and donkeys.   It was quite funny though, to watch the reactions of the various equines.  The Thoroughbreds turned their noses up as if to ask what exactly were we thinking, but our township horse and donkey, tucked in with gusto, skin and all, and with much slobbering all round.  And the gentleman is quite chuffed at being part of the repair process to Ellis.

Although regularly vaccinated, 2 horses belonging to an owner came down with African Horse Sickness, but due to prompt action being taken by the owner, both horses have survived their ordeal and will in due course, recover their former weight.   Tests done, State advised, results obtained.

A 33 year old ex Racehorse, living out the remainder of his life with his chums, having been dewormed and given correct feeding, is being monitored.

SPCA Uitenhage phoned to say that a donkey had been hit by a bread truck and could we please come and collect.  When we got there, we were assisted with loading the poor fellow onto the horse box and took him off to our Vet where staples were inserted to above the eye.  Although a bit shocky when we got him home, he recovered except for his back where a couple of vertebra had been knocked out of kilter.  Thanks to a generous donor, the chiropractor visited and did what he could to relieve any damage.   The staples were removed and it was found that all had healed well.   As I don’t believe he will be capable of pulling and working with a cart, his owner has been asked to release the donkey to us for rehoming and hopefully soon, he will live a life of relative luxury.

Another horse with a bad wound was brought to our attention but with the co-operation of the owner, a decision will be made in due course as to the future of the horse. 

A new Volunteer, Melody, assisted the at the Humansdorp Clinic where we picked up a coughing horse that was sent on for Veterinary attention, and a donkey with a stab wound that was cleaned up with our soap, water and Epson Salts, and also the two horses, one with a decent bridle with a tacky bit and the other one with a bit attached with rope over the poll. As we had one bridle that had been donated to us some time ago in the Travel Trommel, along with some of your donated bits, a quick swop was done. (I wonder if anyone will recognize the bridle they donated and that was used?!)   We finished off with a check up on Hanna, the donkey with the traumatic wound to her cheek, in her new home.

I arrived back at the Stables to find that ‘Clarendon Park Cares’ schoolchildren were visiting the Animal Welfare Society to walk the dogs, and that they had also brought stacks of carrots for our horses and donkeys, which of course made them everybody’s new Best Friend.

A donkey that had received a bash on the eye from a vehicle was attended to and has made a good recovery.

A horse was reported to us as ‘looking sad’, only to find on checking that the owner had done the right thing and had the horse euthanased, due to age, before we got there.

The horse, Romeo, that had been surrendered to us some time ago, found his new adoptive parent and last I heard he was walking through the Village as though he owned it.  So happy for you, my boy!  And thanks to Michelle.

And then, along came Crayon.   SPCA Uitenhage very kindly brought in a 3 month old donkey foal for attention - they had found her on the side of the road with no mummy in sight.  There was no apparent reason for it, but she just could not stand, or should I say, she could only stand with her hind legs which meant that she was groveling around in the sand and probably having some difficulty with drinking from her (disappeared) mom.  Feeding commenced forthwith and, although it has been difficult sometimes, physiotherapy, milk, Lucerne and grass and now finely sliced carrots, a sling to aide standing and generally just teaching her to walk again hoping that head and muscle memory would kick in at some stage.  So, lately, it is a very special pleasure to be greeted at her evening feed in the dark, to find her standing and waiting to have her milk. Thanks to lots of Love and Attention from the staff, as well as suggestions from Eugene, a qualified prosthetist, not to mention bags and bags of patience, Crayon is making a rapid recovery and already she appears to have stolen somebody’s heart.  And this all boils down to not hobbling your donkey in an acceptable manner, rather just bending the leg back at the knee and tying a riempie around the forearm and cannon!   The owner need not contact us about when she can come back as he might get a reception he did not plan for!

One of our adopted donkeys has had a baby of her own and due to the fact that his legs are so black they are blue, the adopters felt they could not call him Gainsboro so have settled for The Blue Boy instead!

A complaint received about a horse that was just skin and bones, led to finding out that the horse was in fact aged and riddled with cancer and his owner would be calling it a day for him shortly, based on Veterinary advice.

Then the inevitable happened:  Our dear Socks, long time friend and traveling companion, died of a twisted gut on the 24th.  It was all mercifully quick for him, but his owner is devastated about losing his ‘child’, and though we were called very early in the day, he died before we could get there.  So long, Socks!

Loading his carcass was only accomplished with much hitching and unhitching of the horsebox and hauling by neighbours and the bakkie, the owner and us.   Clearly we need to get a winch on the bakkie because at these distressful times, one does not need to be doing physical jerks to do the removing.

Our Daisy is back at work, her nose completely healed after a sharp object wielded by some cretin, inflicted a serious wound on her nose.

Liezl phoned in the middle of the night on her weekend on duty to say that she had been contacted about a donkey being knocked down on Old Cape Road.  We duly took off, horsebox in tow, only to find the mare in her final death throws.   As we were arranging her euthanasia, she passed on.  We were again called out for a mare and foal, this time in the daylight, in the same place.   Both were brought in and once we had ascertained who the owners were of the fatality some hours previous and also of the mare and foal, everyone was informed of the circumstances and instructions to ensure that the animals were kept off the roads.

We also were visited by two donkey mares, one panicky with plastic colic and the other who was having difficulty in doing her ‘business’.  Both have made a recovery and been returned to their owners.

Warm fuzzies

Ann’s Bread slices and toasts from a school hostel – Donkey Delights.

Having my Grandson, Samual, 3 years old, phoning me without his parent’s help or knowledge!

Receiving commission from Isabella Childs from her sale of beautiful hand-made Stocks to the local Riding community.

Receiving another donation of a bucket of Repcillin from John Sweet - just in time for Ellis.

Receiving 2 grass rolls and 50 bales of grass from generous benefactors.

Taking a pic of the newest giraffe baby, lying right under daddy on one of our ‘sad’ trips.

Receiving the donation of a splinky camera from Ayesha – Thank You So Much.  Ayesha is the adoptive mommy of Molly, one of our donkeys.  Ayesha took a picture of Molly and this won her a camera competition – so she passed her ‘old’ one on to us!

Having the bakkie serviced at Maritime Motors on their current ‘special’, thereby saving us money that can now be used elsewhere.

Chris Foster, Electrician, came in and sorted out the new plug point and reset the light fitting in the new office and left a generous donation at the same time.

Having a juvenile European Bee Eater visit the Unit!  A rare sighting these days.

Cold pricklies

The Earthquake and subsequent Tsunami – affecting members of one’s family!

Kragga Kamma Game Park having to remove the Rhino’s horns to ensure their survival.

Hearing that Peter the Great, 27 year old Thoroughbred, had gone to meet his Maker.

As we are already in the 5th day of April, we apologise for the lateness of this newsletter, but we owe it to our equines and their owners to respond to their needs first.

Please have a look at our Facebook page to see the pictures relating to many of the above stories.  Thank you, Ayesha, for setting the page up and for the grand job you do with our pictures.

M

Website: www.echcu.co.za

Facebook: East Cape Horse Care Unit

Banking Details:

Bank: Standard Bank

Name:  Racing Association, National Horse Trust

Number: 080563473

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