Look­ing af­ter one an­other

Piako Post - - FRONT PAGE - KA­T­RINA TANIRAU

Di­ag­nosed with Fi­bromyal­gia and chronic fa­tigue, Te Aroha woman Toni O’Re­gan faced the re­al­ity of her horse rid­ing days be­ing over.

Hav­ing rid­den and worked with horses most of her life, the thought of never be­ing able to ride again dev­as­tated her.

Then she was given the op­por­tu­nity to own a six-year-old, for­mer race­horse Global Dom­i­na­tion.

Fi­bromyal­gia is a med­i­cal con­di­tion char­ac­terised by chronic wide­spread pain and a height­ened pain re­sponse to pres­sure. Not want­ing to ag­gra­vate her con­di­tion fur­ther and get­ting around on crutches at the time, O’Re­gan was re­luc­tant at first, but as soon as she saw him the con­nec­tion was in­stant.

O’Re­gan nick­named him Dobby, af­ter the house elf on the Harry Pot­ter movies.

Ex-race­horses are usu­ally tem­per­a­men­tal, but O’Re­gan said Dobby in­stinc­tively knew that she was in a frag­ile, phys­i­cal state.

‘‘I needed an an­i­mal that I could trust. I couldn’t af­ford to get knocked around,’’ she said.

Four weeks ago, Dobby was be­ing trans­ported from Ki­hik­ihi to his new home in Te Aroha, when the horse he was trav­el­ling with lost her bal­ance, and stood on his back leg.

The ini­tial wound was small, but it didn’t take long for in­fec­tion to creep in.

Mixed an­i­mals vet Clau­dia Wil­son from Te Aroha Ve­teri­nary Ser­vices was called and so be­gan Dobby’s in­ten­sive treat­ment.

‘‘Ini­tially we were re­ally con­cerned. If it got into the fet­lock joint, the prog­no­sis would have been poor,’’ Wil­son said.

A horse en­thu­si­ast her­self, Wil­son was on call at the drop of a hat.

‘‘Dobby is a nice na­tured horse who is smart. As much as he didn’t like the in­jec­tions, he knew it was good for him.’’

Dobby re­sponded well to two types of an­tibi­otics and has al­most made a full re­cov­ery.

His wound dress­ing is changed daily and with a new day comes a new coloured ban­dage to show sup­port for dif­fer­ent char­ity or­gan­i­sa­tions.

On the day the Pi­ako Post vis­ited, his ban­dage was pink in sup­port of Breast Can­cer aware­ness.

‘‘Clau­dia is amaz­ing, I’m a very par­tic­u­lar horse owner,’’ O’Re­gan said.

‘‘We have the best equine vets right here on our doorstep.’’

There’s a long list of peo­ple O’Re­gan wants to thank in­clud­ing Dy­navyte NZ, Mike and Jean Price from Top­stock NZ and all those who have made do­na­tions so far on Givealit­tle and by buy­ing raf­fle tick­ets.

‘‘To be given this sup­port has blown me away,’’ she said.

‘‘He’s my ther­apy horse. We have helped each other in re­cov­ery.’’

‘‘He's my ther­apy horse. We have helped each other in re­cov­ery.’’

KA­T­RINA TANIRAU

Toni O’Re­gan gives Dobby a cud­dle with her vet, Clau­dia Wil­son.

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