A horse whose birth at a rescue centre near Alicante in 2014 was described as miraculous has fallen victim to rare condition never before seen in Spain.

Christened Lily, the horse was born at Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre just over two years ago to a badly neglected mare who was rescued by the centre but was in such a poor condition that she died within days. The foal she managed to give birth to just before she died appeared healthy and has enjoyed life at the centre, but in recent months there were concerns over her well being.

After receiving treatment for a neck injury her condition deteriorated and she was diagnosed with tick fever and then myonecrosis in her neck muscles due to tick fever treatment injections. With her health worsening Lily was rushed to the veterinary hospital in San Vicente where a mysterious lung infection was discovered.  Samples were taken but Lily died on August 10th before the results were known.

An autopsy revealed hard mineral lumps in her neck, heart and lungs, pointing to systemic calcinosis and calciphylaxis. No case of this condition had previously been recorded in Spain and only a handful have ever been known in America.

Vets at the hospital have preserved the stones in formaldehyde to be sent to the University of Cordoba for analysis next month.

Easy Horse Care co-founder Sue Weeding said that it was a tragic loss for the centre, compounding the loss of Lily’s mother two years ago.  “We hope that Lily’s death will help to bridge some of the knowledge gaps in equine medicine, and learnings from Lily will one day help other horses,” she added.

There was further bad news for the centre last week when another of its horses, Bettina, was also admitted to the veterinary hospital, and died after attempts to remove a major intestinal obstruction.

The combined veterinary costs have put the centre’s finances under severe pressure, and Sue Weeding appealed for donations to assist with the additional expenditure. “Our seven charity stores are very slow during the August holidays and Rod (co-founder Rod Weeding) and I are already dipping into our own dwindling savings just to cover the daily feeding costs of our 96 rescued horses, ponies and donkeys.”  Mike Dunne

Secure online donations can be made here: easyhorsecare.net/donate/one-off-donation