We were contacted by the Horse Wardens for Cardiff City Council as they had many Welsh Cobs roaming or fly grazing the land in Wales.
On this particular occasion, the Warden had been called to a busy main road leading into Cardiff to a dead foal on the side of the road. On arrival she called a vet and a lorry to take away the animal. Whilst speaking into her phone she was surprised to notice the foal move its head so on further investigation, she realised that the foal was alive. When the vet arrived he said that it was very dehydrated and under nourished and didn't give it much chance of life. But the Warden persisted and the foal was taken into the care of the council.
After a short time, the foal had picked up and it was decided to find it a home. We were contacted and the following day, Humphrey arrived. He was named Humphrey after a little girl who visited often had fallen in love with him. Poor Humphrey was very under weight and very quiet for a foal. Our vet came and did a few tests which needed to be sent off. He told us what to buy to try and help Humphrey put on weight and give him more energy and we did our very best for a month. The tests showed he had a very bad worm infestation which had been treated in Cardiff but he just wasn't getting any better. One of volunteers even asked a 'Horse Whisperer' and healer to come in and see him, just in the hope that something could be done. By this time everyone who worked for us and everyone who visited had fallen for Humphrey and all were wishing him to recover. The vet said to give him another week but in that week he went downhill fast, so the kindest thing to do was to put Humphrey to sleep. Everyone was devastated, he really had got into the minds and hearts of everyone involved.
It was found that the adult roundworms which can grow to 50cm in length are particularly dangerous to foals and young horses as older horses develop immunity. When ingested from grass the larvae transfer through the gut wall, to the liver and then to the lungs. The larvae are then coughed up and swallowed where they mature to egg laying adults within the intestine. So to any horse owner it is imperative to get your horses wormed.
These poor horses in Wales and other parts of the UK who are often just abandoned onto poor grazing with no health care and allowed to breed are then subjected to the most horrific deaths.