Foster home for Elsa, last year found with horrific leg wounds

Foster home for Elsa, last year found with horrific leg wounds



Elsa's story:
Two year old filly Elsa was discovered, abandoned on a remote lane in Tyne & Wear, on 15th January last year suffering with wounds on her back legs so deep her muscle was exposed. The stunned member of the public called the RSPCA and took Elsa to their own stables to keep her safe, while inspector Jacqui Miller rushed to the scene and called a vet immediately after she saw Elsa "suffering with the worst injuries I’d ever seen on a horse". Thanks to painstaking round-the-clock care by staff at the vets and the RSPCA Felledge, a specialist equine centre in County Durham, Elsa survived and a year after being rescued has found a foster home with Katharine from Tyne & Wear.


Katharine, who has two horses called Chico and Honey, said: “To see Elsa now, you would never believe she went through such an ordeal, she is a happy little thing, and her legs have healed so well you’d never tell she suffered so much. The team at RSPCA Felledge have done a wonderful job with her - they even took her to Equifest last August where she won Rescue Pony of the Year.”


The wounds to the back of Elsa’s legs were completely exposed, infected and bleeding, causing her excruciating pain. The RSPCA inspector who rushed to the scene described Elsa's wounds as 'horrific' and 'so deep that her muscles were exposed.' Elsa, named after the Disney princess because of the frozen weather at the time, was given strong painkillers and examined by the vet, who discovered that the wounds were not fresh. The damaged skin was rotten and badly infected. It is not known how Elsa suffered her painful injuries but the vet predicted that her wounds were at least three days old. The team at RSPCA Felledge equine centre worked around the clock to dress Elsa’s wounds with a special solution to create a barrier that prevented further infection. The team at the centre were inundated with kind message from people who were anxious to hear if she continued to progress.


Elsa’s road to recovery continued to be a bumpy ride. As her wounds started to heal, the skin became tight and sore, and once she began to go out into the paddock, the staff noticed she was also lame. X-rays revealed poor Elsa was in fact also suffering with ‘laminitis,’ causing the painful rotation of the pedal bone in one of her feet - another serious condition for the young ponty  to overcome. Several months of specialist treatment and remedial shoeing followed and Elsa bounced back against all odds and has now found a foster home - her first steps to a fairytale ending, just like her Disney namesake.


Katharine said: “Elsa settled into my yard so quickly, and she’s so cheeky, she’s really livened up the place. I was looking for a companion for my sprightly 24 year-old horse Chico, as my Exmoor mare Honey who’s 23 prefers to take life in the slow lane. Elsa has been ideal, she’s just a calm little pony and takes everything in her stride. She’ll be a little small for me to ride so I hope to have her here with us until she’s ready to be backed in a year or two, and then I know she will go onto make somebody somewhere a really super little riding pony. For now, she’s happy enough pottering about being cheeky. She’s into everything, her favourite thing is to follow me into the feed room, I’m always shooing her out”


The team at RSPCA Felledge were sad to see Elsa leave the yard, after so many months of intensive, one-to-one care and treatment, but are delighted she has settled in. Yard manager, Lisa Paulin, said: “We couldn’t be happier that Elsa has settled in so well with Katharine and her horses. When she was first rushed here this time last year, suffering so much from her wounds, we really couldn't have imagined her story would have such a happy ending. Elsa is one of many, many ponies cruelly abandoned in this country and her story is a prime example that even with the most terrible of injuries, animals can be determined to bounce back against all odds.”


To support the work of the RSPCA and help the charity continue to rescue and rehabilitate horses like Elsa, please text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).