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Passing of Horse Tram Clydesdale, Finniss

Last week, we sadly lost one of the Victor Harbor Horse Drawn Tram’s non-working horses, Finniss. He was euthanized after it was diagnosed that he had rapid onset colic and endotoxaemia, and a suspected ruptured gastrointestinal tract.

When identified that Finniss was unwell, a vet was immediately called to examine him. Finniss was treated for suspected colic and his condition seemed to improve. However, the next day staff observed that he still looked generally unwell and a second vet was called to further examine Finniss.

The vet advised that as Finniss did not seem to be responding to the treatment, he should be sent to a clinic for an IV, and he was immediately transferred to the Morphettville Equine Clinic.

At the clinic Finniss was assessed to be a medical rather than a surgical case, and was placed on painkillers and administered an IV. Following this treatment, Council was advised that his hydration levels had lifted and he seemed to be responding positively to the medication.

However, within a matter of hours of receiving this advice, Council received a further call from a vet at the Clinic advising that Finniss’ condition had deteriorated, and that his prior and current symptoms suggested he had ruptured his gastrointestinal tract, and that in her professional opinion surgery was highly unlikely to be successful. The vet advised that Finniss be put to rest as he was in a lot of pain.

After considering the vet’s advice, the difficult decision to euthanize him was made.

The consulting vet at the Morphettville Equine Clinic advised Council that both endotoxaemia and colic are very common in Clydesdales, and nothing could be done to avoid the same issue happening again for our horses.

Finniss had undergone a vet check earlier in the month where he was assessed as being in good health. Additionally, the horses are checked every day by staff.

In 2014 when one of the tram’s horses passed away from a twisted bowel due to colic there was evidence to suggest that large quantities of carrots had been fed to the horses from well-intended passers-by. While Council installed additional signage at the time to deter this, there is evidence to suggest the horses are being fed carrots again over the back fence at their paddock. While the vet suggested the condition could have been spontaneous, there is a chance it was caused by feeding the horses excessive carrots.

The Council asks members of the public to observe the signage around the horse paddocks, and refrain from feeding the horses. They have closely monitored and measured diets.

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Street Address
1 Bay Road
Victor Harbor SA 5211
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PO Box 11
Victor Harbor SA 5211
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Data Last Modified: 2012-07-18T11:20:59
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