Friends at Work: The University of Queensland Vet School Bailed Itself Out…While Helping the Horses in the Flood

UQ Small Animal Hospital, originally uploaded by The University of Queensland

The photos of the devastation on the campus of the University of Queensland are pretty discouraging. As you’ve probably heard by now, the Brisbane River rose far above its banks and spread through and, in some cases, over the beautiful city of Brisbane in Queensland province in the northeastern corner of Australia.

In this photo, you see veterinarian Natasha Curlew checking a newborn miniature foal that was orphaned in the Lockyer Valley floods, which preceded the Brisbane flood by a few days. A core group of veterinarians has created a virtual Noah’s Ark for the animals that have been able to reach them…but the tragedy of a true flood is that so many animals are stranded where they are.

A dedicated veterinary team fed, washed, provided medical treatment and comfort to 35 dogs, 20 birds, 10 cats, seven horses, 2 rats, 2 quails, 5 guinea pigs and 2 Siamese fighting fish (so far) during the past week and is still receiving animals.

University officials described “horses that had worn down their hooves swimming for up to 30 hours to stay afloat. “

Specialist equine veterinarian Dr Andrew Van Eps said that seven horses were brought in for medical treatment for injuries sustained in the floods and his staff members were heading out to farms to treat more horses.

“We have horses in various states of health. Quite a few horses have contracted pneumonia after breathing in flood water while swimming to stay alive,” Dr Van Eps said.

“There is a horse here that was housed in a stable when the flood arrived and had to tread water for about a day to survive.

“We are also are caring for a miniature horse foal that is only a few days old and was orphaned by the floods.”

Besides Van Eps, the equine hospital team includes Dr Susan Keane, Dr Philippe Manchon, Dr Steve Zedler, Dr Claire Underwood, Rebecca Johnson, Kylie Semple, Kate Hertrick,Trent Dawson, David Manchon and Natasha Curlew.




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