The Story of Chance

Taking photographs under these circumstances is not easy and is often done in a hurry using a mobile phone camera, so please accept our apologies if any of the images are blurred.

The quotes in red are from Sue's emails.


Our welfare calls this winter were dominated by the story of Chance, a piebald colt cob foal of around 7-8 months old, who was found on waste ground in Sligo town, apparently abandoned.

Abandoned colt foal with wounds on neck





The emergency call came into the ISPCA, the county vet, the Gardai and subsequently ourselves.









The little pony needed urgent and immediate attention due to severe, badly infected wounds on both sides of his neck.

Festering wounds on neck





On arrival . . . stinking festering wounds on both sides of his neck










He was obviously in a great deal of pain and very weak, so at the request of the county vet we collected him immediately and settled him in a warm stable where two young vets attended him.

"The photos aren't great as it was just too dark in the shed - I think the flash mustn't have come on and I was too engrossed in what we were doing to notice!"

First treatment in stable


They worked on him for two hours, cleaning and debriding the wounds, administering tetanus, antibiotic and pain killing injections and bandaging him up for the night.


Debriding the wounds


Wound on right side of neck


Wounds on left side of neck


Debriding the wounds


"He's exhausted tonight but has been picking at a bit of hay and straw so hopeful he'll sleep a bit too and feel brighter in the morning."



Although it was her day off the next day, one of the vets called again next afternoon to repeat the process – and for several days afterwards, until we could be reasonably certain all the debris and pus had been removed.

28th January - "More and more the wounds look like a massive attack by another horse, most probably a stallion. Today the necrotic skin came away of its own accord when the bandages were changed so the area is even bigger now, but at least the muscle underneath is no longer grey but pink and healthy looking."


The true extent of the wounds on the right side


The true extent of the wound on the left side


" In himself he's as bright as a button, except when we have to do the dressings, and it is humbling to think of the pain he must be suffering and yet he remains so cheerful. They wounds are shocking though we have to remain optimistic that with youth on his side he will heal eventually."

The photographs are scary but believe me the reality was worse. We all wondered if such massive wounds with such huge loss of skin and muscle could possibly heal, yet heal they did! The next weeks saw a visible daily improvement.

Chance's story continues - here