Monday, January 17, 2011

University of Queensland's Equine Hospital Keeps Its Head Up Above the Flood

The photos of the devastation on the campus of the University of Queensland are pretty discouraging. As you've probably heard by now, the Brisbane River rose far above its banks and spread through and, in some cases, over the beautiful city of Brisbane in Queensland province in the northeastern corner of Australia.

A core group of veterinarians has created a virtual Noah's Ark for the animals that have been able to reach them...but the tragedy of a true flood is that so many animals are stranded where they are.

A dedicated veterinary team fed, washed, provided medical treatment and comfort to the animals that had been able to make it to their new equine hospital in Gatton. Gatton is the site of the University's new vet school, which only opened on August 6th.

University officials described "horses that had worn down their hooves swimming for up to 30 hours to stay afloat. "

Laminitis researcher and equine specialist Andrew Van Eps BVSc, PhD, MACVSc, DACVIM said that seven horses were brought in for medical treatment for injuries sustained in the floods and his staff members were heading out to farms to treat more horses.

“We have horses in various states of health. Quite a few horses have contracted pneumonia after breathing in flood water while swimming to stay alive,” Dr Van Eps said.

“There is a horse here that was housed in a stable when the flood arrived and had to tread water for about a day to survive.

“We are also are caring for a miniature horse foal that is only a few days old and was orphaned by the floods.”

Besides Van Eps, the equine hospital team includes Dr Susan Keane, Dr Philippe Manchon, Dr Steve Zedler, Dr Claire Underwood, Rebecca Johnson, Kylie Semple, Kate Hertrick,Trent Dawson, David Manchon and Natasha Curlew.

Photos and flood details courtesy of the University of Queensland.

 © Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site,, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to

Follow the Hoof Blog on Twitter: @HoofcareJournal
Join the Hoofcare + Lameness Facebook Page

No comments: