Impaled Horse Continues Recovery

A horse that had a 3-foot-long tree branch pierce his side in January is still fighting infection in his chest and had another brush with death last week.

Amigo, a 10-year-old Arabian endurance horse, was almost euthanized last Tuesday when his lungs collapsed during surgery, according to his owner, Gary Sanderson.

Veterinarians at the University of Tennessee Equine Hospital had put the horse under anesthesia in order to perform a rib resection to drain an abscess in his chest. After Amigo's lungs collapsed, the team was able to stabilize him, but was unsuccessful in treating the abscess.

"I was crying, I thought I was going to have to euthanize him," said Sanderson. However, Amigo pulled through and by Thursday was outside grazing in a small paddock. The same day, veterinarians were able to reach the abscess and flush most of it, said Sanderson.

The veterinarians are "guardedly optimistic" that Amigo may be able to go home in the next two weeks, according to Sanderson. "He just bounces back like a rubber band, he's a no-quit horse, I've never seen anything like it," he said.

Amigo's story has picked up a large following on Facebook, where his fan page now has more than 6,000 members. "Without this support, I couldn't have gotten through this," said Sanderson. "The group was originally put together to just keep my friends updated about his condition, but it just keeps growing."

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Liz Brown

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