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Tufts E-News --Tufts' 'Mane' Man

Tufts E-News --Tufts' 'Mane' ManIn an effort the Boston Herald calls a ‘miracle,’ doctors at Tufts’ Veterinary School saved a seven-year-old horse from critical injuries caused by a tragic barn fire. No. Grafton, Mass.

Boston [04.09.04] Mistakenly written off for dead in the aftermath of a barn fire that killed three of his stablemates, Amadeus - a seven-year-old chestnut gelding - was admitted to Tufts' Hospital for Large Animals with little chance of survival. While many urged the horse's owner to put Amadeus down, he instead put his faith in veterinarians at Tufts. Just 10 days later - after some intensive care by the Tufts team - the horse is alive and kicking.

"[Tufts veterinarian Dr. Shane DeWitt said] Amadeus, a 7-year-old jumper who since March 23 has been the ‘mane' man at Tufts, is off his meds and expected to fully recover," reported the Boston Herald.

A Thoroughbred-quarter horse mix, Amadeus was admitted to the Veterinary School's intensive care unit in critical condition. Suffering from smoke inhalation, the horse's lungs and air passages were severely seared from the heat.

"I was concerned," DeWitt told the Herald. "But I thought he had a fighting chance. He had no external burns. The smoke is what caused the majority of the damage. Typically in humans, it's what kills them."

Three horses had already died in the fire - which occurred at the Revere-Saugus Riding Academy - and a local paper had already reported Amadeus as the fourth casualty. Friends of the owner, Wallace Ward, urged him to put the badly hurt horse to sleep, but he refused.

"It didn't look good, but we said to Tufts, ‘Do whatever has to be done,' Ward told the Herald. "He's part of the family."

Amadeus was given a tracheotomy to help him breathe. Tufts doctors then placed the 1,100-pound horse on oxygen, gave him intravenous fluids, performed a tracheotomy and monitored him around-the-clock.

Less than two weeks later, the horse has had what United Press International called "a full and surprising recovery." He was released from the hospital with only a bandage on his neck and an occasional cough.

"I'm absolutely fascinated this horse made it," state humane officer Lt. Alan Borgal told the Herald. "He looks beautiful."

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