Mystery illness still making horses sick in North Carolina; horses hooked up to IVs

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HERTFORD, N.C. (WAVY) — For three weeks, horses at New Hope Stables in Hertford, North Carolina keep getting sick.

“It’s like a roller coaster ride, you think you’re over the threshold and then another one goes down and another one goes down,” said owner Carla Bundy.

The stables had a total of 17 horses. Of those 17, 15 became sick with abdominal issues, and four of the 15 died. Every day, the staff says they worry another horse will show symptoms or even get worse. The sick horses were hooked up to IV’S and they continue to get their temperatures taken daily. Everything the horse does is logged in its own booklet. The horses have been tested for infectious diseases both common and not common to the area.

“After all that came back negative, they started pulling feed, water samples. Ok maybe it was accidentally something in the feed? No one trying to harm them deliberately, but all of that stuff is coming back negative,” said volunteer Nancy Harrell.

Now they worry the horses could have been intentionally poisoned. They say the horses haven’t been left alone since, and the stables have increased security measures.

“We are taking steps to put in security cameras, put in security lights,” said Harrell.

The liver and heart from one of the horses that died was sent to a Pennsylvania lab for further testing. The cost for all of this isn’t cheap. Just one IV bag is $150.  One horse needed more than 20 bags. Emergency vet calls are $500. They say blood tests to look for a disease are $1000 a horse.

“We’ve been completely and totally blown away by the support. On the GoFundMe page the Oaks veterinary clinic where all of the vet bills are at, they have been gracious enough to set up an actual account there where people can call them directly and deposit money straight into paying for one of the horse’s vet bills,” said Harrell.

The staff says they’re so grateful for the veterinarians who have been working around the clock to care for the horses.

If you would like to donate to the horses or donate directly to The Oaks Veterinary clinic, please follow these links. GoFundMe: Help New Hope Stables Save The Herd | The Oaks Veterinary Clinic

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