Alison has had her beloved horse Ladybug since she was a yearling; she is a much-loved part of her family. Being a single mother of three children on a low income, Alison has always understood the financial responsibility of owning any animal. She carefully budgets and has savings to cover if unexpected veterinary care is needed.
When Ladybug was injured in the paddock, she was medically treated by her local vet, but she became toe touching lame at the walk despite treatment. Her local vet referred her to Camden Equine Centre to be seen by Dr Marta Wereszka, a specialist equine surgeon. Marta saw that the wound was very close to the calcanean bursa, and radiographs confirmed infection of the underlying bone. Marta gave a guarded prognosis for Ladybug’s life, and surgery was needed to flush the infection and debride the bone. Various techniques were used to make sure a high concentration of antibiotics was at the site of infection. Ladybug was sent home after surgery into the owner’s care and the referring veterinarian. The vet bills had come to almost $6000, and Alison took out a loan to help cover some of the costs; she was prepared to do this to save Ladybug.
Ladybug was recovering well from the surgery and made considerable improvement; however, there were some concerns at her 4-week post-surgery check-up. The wound would not seal and continued to drain purulent material. Radiographs were retaken and showed that the infection had turned into a sequestrum. This meant Ladybug would have to undergo another surgery to ensure a quality of life. The expense of the second surgery was too much for Alison, covid has impacted her income Alison was faced with the option of euthanasia.
Animals in Need is a donor-supported initiative that helps University veterinarians at the University’s teaching hospitals treat animals whose owners cannot afford to pay for their care. With the help of the fund, Ladybug was able to have a final using ultrasound and radiographic guidance on the precise location of the sequestrum to be found. Marta made an incision directly over it, carefully reflected the tendons and removed the loose piece of bone.
Ladybug has made a full recovery, and Alison and her family were incredibly grateful for the support.