A dog owner has relived the heart-stopping moment when she feared her new puppy had been trampled to death by a horse.
Lucinda Lighting, from East Horsley in Surrey, was out walking with children William and Molly and their puppy Daisy, when the traumatic incident happened.
After three-month-old Daisy, a rescue dog from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in Old Windsor, Berkshire, suddenly strayed into a field of horses, Lucinda found her puppy lying motionless and raced to her local vets, who swiftly referred the beloved young pet for expert care at Linnaeus-owned Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists in Winchester, Hampshire.
Lucinda recalled: “My children had run forward to pet some horses which were in a field alongside the path.
“Daisy ran after the children but carried on through the post and rail fence and into the field.
“Almost immediately, one of the horses started to chase her and trampled all over her, kicking her in the head in the process.
“It was such a traumatic moment. I was crying, the children were hysterical and Daisy was just lying motionless.
“I slipped through the fence and ran towards her. When I picked her up, I was convinced she was dead.
“It was so scary. She wasn’t moving and her neck was at a funny angle, so we ran with her to the car and headed straight for our local vets.
“By the time we arrived she had come around a little but was making pitiful noises and whining and wincing. She was alive but not in good shape.”
The family’s vets realised the severity of the situation and quickly referred Daisy for emergency care at Anderson Moores, which is part of Linnaeus and provides specialist-led care in a number of services.
Bruno Lopes, one of the residents in veterinary neurology and neurosurgery at Anderson Moores, took charge of Daisy’s care.
He said: “Daisy was quiet and wobbly in all four limbs and her examination was suggestive of a problem affecting the balance centres and the brain. She also appeared in great discomfort and was unwilling to lift her head up.
“A CT scan of her head, neck, chest and abdomen showed multiple fractures to the back of her skull although, fortunately, these fractures did not appear displaced or to be causing any compression of Daisy’s brain.
“There was also evidence of bruising in three areas of her lungs and she had suffered a broken tooth.”
Incredibly, though, Daisy did not need surgery to repair the widespread damage to her skull.
Bruno explained: “Surgical management of skull fractures is typically reserved for cases with open or severely displaced fractures, those with brain compression secondary to bleeding and those with progressive neurological deterioration.
“Fortunately, none of these applied to Daisy, so we were able to proceed with a more conservative management of her injuries.
“She was hospitalised for close monitoring of her traumatic brain injury and for any changes in her respiratory rate and effort, and she was given pain relief and anti-inflammatory medicines.
“She remained in hospital until she showed clear signs of improvement and appeared comfortable with her medication. Luckily, in Daisy’s case everything was quite straightforward and she recovered quickly!”
Bruno still advised Lucinda to carefully monitor Daisy’s progress during her recovery, especially for any deterioration in her mental capacity, any epileptic seizures, swelling to the back of her head or any worsening of her mobility.
He said: “Monitoring of her recovery is really important, not only in the short term but also in the long term. Consequences from traumatic brain injury, in particular post-traumatic epilepsy, can occur months to years after the event.”
He also advised an initial period of strict rest, short walks on her lead using a harness and the complete avoidance of any running, jumping, climbing stairs and or vigorous playing.
It all worked well, with Lucinda thrilled by Daisy’s care and recovery.
She said: “Daisy’s doing amazingly well now. You wouldn’t know anything had happened and she’s already back to her normal self.
“We are so grateful to Bruno and the wonderful team at Anderson Moores. They’ve done a terrific job.”
Anderson Moores provides specialist-led care in orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, internal medicine, cardiology, dermatology, oncology, anaesthesia, diagnostic imaging, dentistry and physiotherapy.
For more information on Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists, which is part of Linnaeus, visit https://www.andersonmoores.com/home/ or search for Anderson Moores on social media.