Big and Beautiful
I'm Angel, usually attached to Jess the Donkey. I'm a big girl, but many have called me a gentle giant. I'm very curious and I'm becoming quite showy. If you're ever passing you might meet me on the road doing my daily exercise!
In January 2020 we were contacted by Angel's owner looking for help and advice. Angel was very underweight and they had been unable to get a farrier to trim her feet in over a year. They were concerned for her and contacted us for advice. It was agreed that Angel would be transferred to Crosskennan in March but with our advice, the owner decided to work on her care themselves. Unfortunately, although they made progress, Angel developed more issues and in June 2020 Angel and Jess the donkey were surrendered to us by their owner who could no longer provide the care they needed. Angel arrived with very poor liver function and a terrible mite problem.
She was extremely underweight when her owners originally contacted us but they had made some progress in her gaining weight although when she arrived she was still in a very poor state.
Poor liver function often results in a loss of appetite. Bloods confirmed the liver issues and immediately she was put on a course of treatment to improve the liver. This was very slow, and for the first few weeks we had to coax her to eat anything. Meals went untouched and volunteers and staff collected fresh long grass from the sides of the road to try and encourage her appetite. This did the trick and she began to eat, although slowly and at times without much interest, she did begin to gain weight.
Simultaneously we were working on the issues of her legs which a previous vet had diagnosed as a serious fungal infection and had told the previous owner to have her pts as the only course of treatment. We were immediately on alert at this, of course, infections can spread so quickly after all. But Angel wasn't suffering from a fungal infection, but from feather mites, so much so you could see them crawling on her.
In order to treat she needed pain relief and sedation just to be able to work with the legs, her beautiful feathers needed to be clipped away so we could treat the damaged skin beneath.
With her health on the mend, we turned the focus to her mobility and her handling. Although she had been in her previous home for fourteen of her fifteen years, she had never done much handling or work. She had never been around many different people either and she wasn't sure of all the new people and changes at the sanctuary.
We took time building trust and a connection with her. One of our staff members on maternity leave came in, to work with her specifically as she has extensive knowledge and experience of Clydesdales. They began daily walks to strengthen joints and muscles, and to encourage Angel's movement. It was a pleasure to see Angel grow, in strength, in size, and in confidence as the week's progress.