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Surgical Case Study: Chance the Redwings Pony


haematoma in horses

Chance was found by two boys in a sink well on Llangynidr Mountain. The boys alerted their parents, who put Chance in their car and took her to a nearby charity, the Society for the Welfare of Horses and Ponies (SWHP). Chance became part of the Redwings family when the two charities merged. Chance underwent emergency surgery in our theatre, here at our equine vet clinic. 


Chance is Referred to Our Equine Vet Practice

One morning, the staff at Redwings noticed that Chance looked very uncomfortable. After initial assessment by their own on-site veterinary surgeon, it was quickly recognised that Chance’s clinical signs suggested that she could not be treated in the field. Therefore, she was referred to us. 


An Extensive Examination

Chance underwent an extensive work up but something wasn’t adding up. Whilst it appeared from the outside her guts had shut down, all the tests run on her blood and abdominal fluid suggested they might not be the cause of her discomfort. Being very small, internal examination was very risky but it was just possible to make out an abnormal mass – the question was, was it this mass making her feel so uncomfortable and if so, what was it?

Emergency Surgery

Chance’s discomfort worsened so we were left no option but to operate. With Laura as anaesthetist and Naomi as surgeon, off she went to theatre. After checking Chance’s gastrointestinal tract, Naomi confirmed it was the picture of health so she dove deeper in search of the mystery mass. Low and behold Chance had a huge haematoma (blood clot) on her left ovary – finally an explanation as to why she was in so much pain. Naomi swiftly removed the ovary and the haematoma making sure all bleeding had stopped.


What is Haematoma?

A haematoma is a localised collection of blood and fluid. Haematomas usually present as a soft swelling, often on the hindquarters or chest. They often occur due to trauma, such as a kick or other impact.

Smaller haematomas that are close to the surface of the skin can often resolve themselves, but it is advisable to contact your vet for advice if you think your horse might have sustained a haematoma. In some cases, such as Chance’s, a haematoma will require intervention.


Recovery and Recuperation

Under the care of the Avonvale vet and nursing team, Chance recovered swiftly from her anaesthetic and over the next few days her cheeky and sassy personality emerged once again. 

Once home, back under the wonderful care of Redwings, Chance was able to recuperate in one of their rehoming stables before she was strong enough to go back to her herd.


redwings chance haematoma case study


Emergency Equine Surgery at Avonvale Equine Vet Practice

Our equine vet practice, based near Banbury, offers full surgical facilities. Our experienced and highly qualified equine vets can carry out routine and emergency surgery, including emergency colic surgery and orthopaedic surgery. We cater for a range of horses and ponies, including competition horses, leisure horses and companion ponies. 

Register your horse online with Avonvale Equine Vet Practice today. 


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