Australia — The veterinarian charged with caring for burned horses in the Pinery bushfire in South Australia has described how the animals were cared for following their injuries.
The Pinery bushfire burned from November 25 to December 2 last year, primarily affecting the Lower Mid North and west Barossa Valley regions immediately north of Gawler. At least 86,000 hectares (210,000 acres) of scrub and farmland burned during its duration.
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Speaking at a Horse SA health and industry information night last week, Dr Robin van den Boom spoke of the injuries horses sustained in the fire, including burns, eye and coronary band injuries, and airway problems, as well as other wounds not directly caused by fire. A longer term effect has been the increase in sand colics, following rain in later months.
Theres not a lot of literature on the effect of bushfires on horses and treating them. Weve gained our own experience through this, said van den Boom, Associate Professor of Equine Health at the University of Adelaide.
It was a terrible event that happened, but it has been a learning experience.
The fire came to within about 500 meters of the University of Adelaide Equine Health and Performance Centre before the wind changed.