Is the end in sight?

A few final hurdles for us to jump and then we should be able to go back to business as usual at the rescue …. again we find ourselves needing to ask for your help.

Strangles abscess
Strangles abscess

Rather than just declare ourselves re-open now that our quarantine period is over we want to practice what we preach as regards best practice and responsibility.  This voluntary step on our behalf will involve our vets testing every pony, horse & donkey at the rescue to ensure they are all clear from strangles and that none of them are carriers of the disease.

Tomorrow, the 10th of May, sees the first 10 of our ponies have nasal swab tests to find out officially if they are clear from strangles.  The vets will send all the swabs to the Irish Equine Centre for analysis.

Either next week or the following week another 10 will be done and then the 9 donkeys, hopefully by the end of the month all the testing will be complete.

This evening Sheena is busy sorting a holding/testing area, unfortunately despite last year’s appeals we did not get funding to construct a proper treatment area so a temporary set up will be created instead.  The ground here in the burren with the drought over the past few weeks means that there is little hope of using wooden fencing poles as it would be akin to driving them into rock!!

Anyway we said we need your help so here are our requests:

  1. Each individual swab test is going to cost €35.  This equates to €350.00 in testing fees alone for each group of 10, of which we will have 3 lots bringing it to an overall total of €1,050.00 (this is for lab fees only, obviously we will also have our own vet’s charge for doing the testing).  Perhaps you could sponsor an individual test or get a group of your friends to join you in sponsoring a test, eg yourself & 6 friends donate €5 each =  one test or €10 each = two tests
  2. We know not everyone can contribute financially but it costs you nothing to tell others about our appeal
  3. Send calm thoughts to all the gang to enable us to test each of them – the swabs are long as they have to reach all the way to the back of the nasal passage so we need each pony/horse/donkey to co-operate with us!
  4. Send healthy successful vibes our way that the tests come back clear so we can go back to rehoming and rescuing without worrying about spreading infection

As we said above we are doing these tests in line with correct procedure, it is not mandatory for a facility to undergo the time, effort or expense (it is not even mandatory to close down or go into quarantine) to ensure we are strangles free but having seen the pain & suffering the disease causes we want to ensure we are doing our bit to help eradicate it’s spread.  We lost Tiny Tim, Frankie (pony) and Katie to this awful disease so as far as we are concerned it is a disease which should be treated seriously and every effort made to ensure we do not unwittingly rehome a carrier to someone who has contact with other horses.  (A strangles carrier does not display any outward signs of carrying the disease and it is when it comes into contact with other horses that an outbreak occurs).

Whatever you can give or whatever you can do … we, on behalf of them, thank you heart

getting weight back on


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