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'Sickest ever' Miniature pony abused by kids makes a miraculous recovery after being saved by the DSPCA


An abused pony not expected to survive the night made a miraculous recovery after being saved by the DSPCA.

Vet Elise O’Byrne-White said little miniature horse Bobby was the sickest she had ever seen.

And she gave the little Falabella pony little chance of surviving after she was brought in from a housing estate where she was being abused by youngsters.

A local contacted the animal charity over concerns for the animal’s infected eyes which had growths coming out of them and made her temporarily blind.

Vet Elise tells a new six-part RTE documentary series on the DSPCA, The Shelter: Animal SOS, which starts tonight (Friday), that Bobby was in a shocking state when charity inspector Tony McGovern brought her in.

A quick check showed the pony’s heart rate was more than double what it should have been.

Elise said: “It can be so many different things – it can indicate pain, infection, inflammation. Because she was so sick we didn’t really have time to do further diagnostics. We just needed to start treating her.


“She was really dehydrated as well and had a mild anaemia which is low red blood cells.”

Elise immediately put the horse on an antibiotic drip but did not expect the poor animal to survive the night.

“For a horse to be lying down is always serious. Even when they are quite sick they will still stand for you,” she said.

She thought Bobby, who had been suffering from septicaemia, only had a “tiny chance” of pulling through.

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But next morning the pony was standing up and was able to eat and her temperature was dropping.

Elise said the medications were working and it was “kind of a miracle” she was still alive.

“I’ve never seen a pony that sick before. She was on death’s door when she came in to us. I didn’t expect her to pull through,” said the vet.

The documentary shows Bobby four weeks later, well on the road to recovery.

Equine manager Clare Owens said: “When she came in she had quite a serious internal infection and it was so bad it was actually affecting her eye sight.

“She had very little vision in both eyes so she has been under constant veterinary care. She’s now made a very good recovery and her sight has returned in both her eyes.

“She’s still on medication and getting weekly checks from the vets. But she is getting turned out every day with her companion Scout.

“She does seem to enjoy having people interacting which is great.”

Delighted Elise said: “I think that’s one of the biggest turn-arounds we have had here for one of the horses.

“We’ve seen a lot of things but nothing as sick as poor old Bobby.”

  • The Shelter: Animal SOS airs tonight (Friday) at 8:30 pm on RTÉ One.

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