A Walk in the rain…
Prince Henry, Henners for short, is the name of a miniature horse, resident at the ARC rescue centre. He was diagnosed with liver dysfunction in 2012. Veterinary liver tests indicated that he was seriously ill and although cheeky, he always maintained outwardly normal behaviour.
The symptoms were clear, bloated belly and liver enzyme imbalance, but no obvious cause could be found. Although the level of care that he received could not be bettered, tests at Gilliver’s vets of Gillivervet Ltd, Anderton were exhausted. At this point he had run up costs exceeding £1,000, which was only just covered by his horse insurance.
He was finally referred to Leahurst equine veterinary teaching college, part of Liverpool University. Here he would benefit from their world class diagnostic equipment and knowledge of rare causes of illness in horses. Estimated initial diagnosis costs of £1,200 were suggested, these in addition to the £1,000 already spent.
In spite of the realism that the alternative solution of having him put down was looming, his owner Caroline Howarth, the other owners at seven Stars and their friends organised a sponsored walk to raise funds for a new appeal set up to cover the costs of these further tests at Leahurst.
So on the 25 August at 6.30PM, in the pouring rain, twenty or so participants of all ages started the 5 kilometre walk. All in fancy dress and soaked through from the stormy weather, the spirit of the cause kept everyone going right to the end. The walk was a huge success and £1,300 was raised from a variety of sponsorships and donations.
Henry was taken to Leahurst on the 5 September. Leahurst vets diagnosed the cause within the first few days and it turned out to be a sand impaction or blockage in his lower intestine.
They spent 48hrs trying to flush this blockage but soon after this it became clear he would need to be operated on. The state of the art facility and the experience of the vets reduces the risks associated with operating on horses, however the fact that he was so small and the nature of the operation required to remove the impaction, meant that there was still a significant risk.
A quantity of sand was removed from his colon and following a stay in intensive care, in case he developed colic, he has made a full recovery. Total costs were in the region of £7,000, £1,500 covered by insurance and the remainder funded by sponsorship and donations.
Everyone involved would like to thank the supporters, sponsors and veterinary staff for all their help in making it possible for little Henry to return home to enjoy his new lease of life, albeit on a special diet, not including sand!