We often read or watch stories of a person donating blood or a vital organ to a patient in life-threatening need. But it’s not often we hear about the same gift being given between equines, which was the case recently in England at the Redwings Horse Sanctuary.

The situation arose when one of the sanctuary’s horses, a small piebald mare named Coral, who was a rescue case, was losing too much weight and staff also found redworm larvae in her manure. According to the story on the Redwings website, Coral “went downhill quickly.”

Coral, feeling poorly before the transfusion.

“Coral was losing protein from her intestines. It was a critical situation, and we could have lost her,” says Redwings Veterinary Surgeon Dawn Trayhorn.

Enter fellow sanctuary resident, Rourke, a 17hh Irish Draught cross, whose plasma bloodtype proved a perfect match for Coral.
“She wouldn’t have survived without the intensive care she was given, and the plasma from Rourke was vital in getting her to turn the corner,” explains Trayhorn in the Redwings press release.

Coral is doing well now and has been returned to her equine friend group with plans to rehome her in the future if possible. As for hero horse Rourke, he came through the procedure with flying colours and was given lots of love and food rewards for his effort. He has also returned to his herd at the sanctuary. Adds Trayhorn, “Rourke did really well during the procedure and had lots of TLC and yummy dinners afterwards, before being returned to his friend group too. He’s a real animal hero.”
Watch a lovely video about the pair here, and see how well Coral looks now!