PENRYN -- A brand new intensive care unit at a local animal hospital in Penryn is helping farm animals beat the odds of their injuries.
It’s an injury every horse owner fears — a broken leg. It’s what happened to 13-year-old Annie, but thanks to fast-acting medics at Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center, she now has a second chance at life.
Oftentimes when horses break their legs, it can be a fatal injury. In the case of Annie, she broke one of her back legs not too long ago and is already making a full recovery.
But the road to healing wasn’t an easy one.
"She basically had to live here at the hospital tied to a rope overhead," said Veterinarian Dr. Langdon Fielding. "So, she wasn’t allowed to lay down for about three or four months because the leg had this fracture and we knew if she laid down that there was a chance that she could end up breaking the leg even further."
When Annie came to the intensive care unit at Loomis Basin she could barely walk and to make matters even more urgent, she was pregnant.
Veterinarians said keeping Annie standing for several months was key to both her recovery and the smooth delivery of her foal, who is now only a month old.
"If you look at where things were 30 or 40 years ago, we would probably not even try (to save her)," Fielding told FOX40. "Whereas now, you know, it's like yeah, we think we can fix this, we think we can make her go home.”
Annie’s success story is far from common.
Just recently, there has been a string of horse fatalities at race tracks across the country, with many horses having to be put down due to leg fractures, among other injuries.
Dr. Fielding said the more research there is on the sport the better to improve safety both on and off the track.
"It's trying to regulate it really well and make sure that everything is being done to make it as safe as possible for the horses," he said. "It’s a tough thing but it’s our job and it's our responsibility to try to keep them safe and healthy and happy."
Annie will soon be returning home with her foal.
"That last set of X-rays everybody was like cheering, they were so happy," Fielding said. "It looked like it was starting to heal because the nightmare is that she takes one wrong step and all of a sudden, makes the break worse, but she made it through."