Hercules was one of a herd of horses Wings and Paws rescued, back in January 2021. They were found in a terrible condition with no access to food or water and had clearly been neglected.
Not only were they all drastically underweight, but the entire herd was also rather unwell thanks to being left with no blankets or proper shelter. They all had runny noses and eyes, poor hooves and their teeth looked unhealthy too, so they were quarantined, whilst we awaited a visit from the vet.
All the horses were given vet treatment and after a couple of weeks of care, most of them were well enough to be re-homed. Unfortunately, Hercules a gorgeous piebald, Gypsy Cob, had to be treated for a variety of issues, so it was decided that he would be kept at the Wings and Paws farm while he recovered and gained more weight.
More bad news for Hercules
Unfortunately, the vet also discovered that Hercules was a Rig (meaning he had an undescended testicle), so he would need to see a specialist vet to be gelded - an operation to remove the testicles.
After a quick examination, it became apparent that someone had already tried to castrate him previously, but it appeared to have been performed rather badly as they had only dealt with the one testicle and left the other one inside him. This would have caused him a lot of unnecessary suffering and pain.
When he was finally well enough, we booked an appointment with the specialist to arrange the operation and Clare, the Wings & Paws CEO, drove Hercules to the vet the night before for the big day.
Unfortunately, Hercules' blood results came back showing that he had an infection, so the specialist told Clare to take Hercules home again and gave her antibiotics to treat the problem. Although we were bitterly disappointed and the costs were now spiralling out of control a little, we knew that an operation of this scale was very dangerous, and we couldn’t risk it while Hercules was unwell.
The ‘mane’ event
Two weeks later, Clare again made the trip with Hercules to the specialist and waited with bated breath to see if he could undergo the procedure - this time he was given the all-clear and the operation was able to go ahead.
Because of the previous botched surgery, the specialist vet was unsure which side to ''go in'' and the first attempt was of course on the wrong side. So, he was opened up again and the vet found the undescended testicle all the way up in his abdomen, way higher than expected, and which would have caused a lot of discomfort for poor Hercules.
Hercules shows us his strength
After a night's stay at the vet centre, Hercules was allowed to go home the following day. Clare collected Hercules and transported him back to the farm to be waited on hand and foot by Clare and the Wings and Paws farm volunteer Alex, while he recovered from his surgery.
Hercules being the hero that he is and living up to his name, made a full recovery and once he was well enough, he was moved to a different field with his future girlfriend Misty.
A happy ever after
Hercules is now loving life and spends a lot of time with Misty. He will be broken in this summer with the hope that with enough training, he'll be able to be taken out on tour with the Wings and Paws Rescue team. We’re sure that he will enjoy his life with us getting lots of exercise, meeting the public and showcasing what Wings and Paws Rescue stands for.