On April 2nd 2019, we received a call about a horse with an injured leg. He was wandering the streets of Ooty with a temporary bandage made of pipe and cloth, for four days.
We weren’t sure of the extent of the injury, all we knew was the local SPCA and the government vets, who knew about this horse the day his leg was injured but chose to do nothing, were with the horse when we found out, ready to euthanise him on the spot.
One of the more sensible and kind hearted SPCA members informed us of the situation and so immediately after, we arranged a call to the head of the SPCA, begging to give the horse a chance.
Convincing him that he had no grounds for euthanasia, considering they hadn’t taken an Xray nor opened the bandage to even check the wound, he agreed to let us take the horse, whom we later named Achilles.
Achilles was then prepared for the journey to us, with a dose of painkillers and antibiotics. He arrived later the same night. The next morning we called in our local vet to have his bandage removed and the wound cleaned. The bandage was wrapped so tightly, his leg had swelled up around it. After removal, we found that the cannon bone was broken. This would usually mean euthanasia for the horse, but given how far Achilles had come we were adamant not to give up. After speaking with the best vet in the country, we scheduled a surgery to amputate his leg 4 days later, the earliest our vet was available on such short notice. We were simultaneously working on a prosthetic leg for Achilles that would be fitted on post surgery and recovery. Everything was in place, Ahilles had settled in, his wound thoroughly cleaned and bandaged. Unfortunately, the leg got worse over night. The injury extended further up the cannon bone to the hock, making surgery no longer a viable option. Our hopes and hearts were destroyed as the only option left, after everything we’d done to save him, was a painless euthanasia.
Had we been informed about him by the SPCA the day the accident happened, we would have had more time to prepare, schedule the amputation and bring him straight to the city a couple days later, without him suffering too much. Instead, after 4 days of being left on the road with a badly made bandage inviting all kinds of infections and sepsis, we had to make last minute frantic decisions just to get him away from the government vets and the SPCA.
Imagine if we got to him in time and managed the amputation/prosthetic as planned. It literally breaks our hearts that we couldn’t, though we did everything in our power to fight for him and save his life.
Achilles now lays beside our Angel Afri, forever loved wild and free.