What could have been a tragic situation last year turned out to be a Christmas miracle for one adorable pony nicknamed "Ditch Pony" and "Ponz." It's all thanks to the gentle nursing and TLC from one very kind veterinarian.
Dr. Carmen Franck Vaughan is credited with saving the pony's life last year after Amelia Animal Control contacted her about the sick animal, who had been discovered in a muddy ditch — abandoned and left to die.
Dr. Vaughan wrote on Facebook: "We got him back to the hospital and the weakness that should have resolved with warmth and hydration remained, and it became obvious that this pony wasn’t just cold and weak, he was neurologic."
Apparently, the horse had ingested opossum feces left on the ground, which affected his spinal cord. This type of damage can cause paralysis that worsens and spreads the longer it goes untreated.
So Vaughan went straight to work on treating him. From arranging a special sling so he could stand properly to allowing him to get weekly massages and laser therapy, Vaughan put forth all her efforts for a year to help him recover. It seems like all her hard work has more than paid off.
Now, Ponz can walk, trot, canter, and even run — basic things a healthy pony can do. It's hard to believe that several months ago, he could barely stand up correctly.
"Today is a day that I never thought would really happen," Vaughan wrote on Facebook. "I am sharing our Christmas miracle with the world one year later."
Vaughan said the pony now serves as an inspirational story for her and her whole family.
"He is always in the back of my mind when I am trying to find the strength to keep treating a tough case or even fight a battle in my own life," she wrote. "So far, he has helped to raise over $6,000 for the Richmond Mounted Police and Central Virginia Horse Rescue combined, and I think he knows it!"
We love a happy ending! We're so glad Ponz got his.