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Vet Gazette

Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine eNewsletter

Helpful Horse Gets Yummy Thank You

June 17th, 2013

Taffy helps Lionel Snyder open her Thank You gift.

As a referral hospital, OSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital sees a large number of emergency cases and that means blood transfusions are often needed. In the large animal hospital, the go-to horse for blood donations is Taffy.

Taffy is a 1,600 pound draft horse with a mellow attitude and a heart of gold. Because of her size and good health, she is able to give a lot of blood without feeling any effects. “She doesn’t mind a bit,” says farm manager Lionel Snyder. “And she has a blood-type that works with many horses.”

In early June, Barbara Ellison had to rush her mare Corey to OSU vet hospital when post-partum bleeding could not be stemmed. By the time she arrived, Dr. Melissa Esser had hooked up Taffy and acquired enough blood to start an immediate transfusion.

An ultrasound revealed that Corey had suffered vaginal tearing. The bleeding was stopped and she was put on antibiotics and IV fluid. “She was bleeding out and Taffy saved her,” says Ellison. Corey recovered and is doing fine.

To show her appreciation, Ellison and the staff of Wild Turkey Farms in Wilsonville, brought Taffy her very own bag of wild berry horse treats. According to Snyder, Taffy really, really likes to eat so it was the perfect gift.


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