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We recently shared the heartbreaking story of Gerald, a pony who was found in horrific condition. His hooves overgrown, he had no access to water and had been denied much-needed medical treatment. Gerald’s story of neglect is something that our Inspectors see too often.

Where is Gerald now?
Thirteen months since we seized Gerald, he is still in the care of AWL NSW. Gerald has been diagnosed with Laminitis, a painful lifelong condition which can be excruciating if left untreated. Equine specialists agreed that Gerald’s condition was a result of the inadequate diet he had been given.

What is Laminitis?
Laminitis is a debilitating disease and is associated with inflammation of a specific layer of the foot (the laminae) which is closely associated with the hoof wall and the bone of the foot (the Pedal bone). As the inflammation progresses, these layers start to separate, resulting in intense pain.

There are multiple causes of Laminitis, some of which include diet, stress, severe infection, obesity, repetitive mechanical impact, and Cushing’s disease. Symptoms will begin with the reluctance to walk, however, in severe cases the pony will be recumbent and unable to walk at all. If the condition is left untreated, the pain becomes unbearable. The layers of the foot separate resulting in minimal support of the sharp Pedal bone, which can rotate downwards and in severe cases can penetrate through the sole of the hoof itself.

Gerald the Pony Condition Gerald the Pony   Pony and Woman in Uniform

“If Gerald was left untreated he would be in agony. Left alone in the middle of a paddock, unable to walk or even access his food. It would have been a slow and painful deterioration of a beautiful pony”. – AWL NSW Senior Veterinarian Dr. Deshaylia Moodley.

Due to Gerald’s poor condition, the AWL NSW vet team enlisted the help of the Camden Equine Centre, a specialist service of the University of Sydney. The team at the Equine centre assessed Gerald and after performing a physical examination, advised that Gerald’s clinical signs were consistent with moderate to severe laminitis with previous abscessation of the left forefoot. They also performed x-rays of his feet which indicated the presence of chronic changes within all four feet. Based on these results the team concluded that this will be a lifelong condition which will require continuous management to maintain an acceptable quality of life.

Gerald is receiving regular farrier treatment to his hooves to manage his condition and has been provided a safe area with soft footing underneath to provide him the best care possible.

The cases our Inspectors see every day are tragic. Could you do what they do? It takes the best kind of people to rescue animals from situations like Gerald’s and we wish we didn’t need to respond to cruelty concerns. But until our Inspectors are no longer needed, then we continue to come to their aid. Please donate today and help us continue to care for animals just like Gerald.

Online donations can be made here or call AWL NSW on 02 8777 4461 to make a donation over the phone. All donations over $2 are tax-deductible.

If you can, please consider a donation, no matter how small.
Every dollar helps our Inspectors continue to save lives like Gerald.

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