Boris is an 11 year old, 17.5hh Thoroughbred gelding. He is an ex race horse that later was bought by a well off family and then neglected. He was locked in his stable with no food, water or exercise for weeks on end.
Boris was rescued on 23rd August 2018. When he arrived at The Backwater Sanctuary he was literally a walking skeleton, extremely malnourished with 0% body fat/muscle.
We later learned that he was so starved by his previous owners that he’d even developed a habit of eating his own dung, also a sign of mineral deficiency.
Boris’s bodily reserves were almost entirely depleted and his immune system was practically non existent. After consulting our amazing equine vets, we were told that his recovery will be long and hard.
We’re still struggling with his weight today, after six months of rehabilitation.
When he first arrived, Boris’s teeth were a mess, no surprises there given how neglected he was. This was one of the reasons why despite slowly increasing his feed, he wasn’t putting on weight (with bad teeth, horses are unable to chew properly and digestion is compromised). In February, he got his teeth rasped.
When horses are starved for long periods of time, the acidity build up increases the risk of stomach ulcers. Another reason why weight gain is slow. Boris has now completed his prescribed month’s course of stomach ulcer medication (Pantosec) which should help him slowly put on some pounds.
His coat has been all over the place since he arrived. Now he’s groomed three times a week to help shed the excess coat in summer.
Boris was also put on a course of antibiotics, twice, for his wounds which are taking much longer to heal, given his low immunity.
Feed: We’ve calculated Boris’s diet based on his estimated weight and body condition. His diet currently includes 85% dried oats,15% bran mash, boiled groundnut cake (high in protein to help weigh gain), sprouts (high in amino acids), rock salt (mineral supplement), Liv52 (to help liver function) and a Himalayan powder, brilliant for digestion.
We’ve been told by our vets and equine experts that Boris, though well on his way, will take the longest to heal. It may even take 2 years for him to recover fully. And so with infinite patience and love, we move onward and upward with this beauty.