Spencer Horse Recovering Following Emergency Surgery at Cummings School

Substantial bone and soft tissue damage from gunshot wounds

North Grafton, Mass.– A horse brought to the Cummings School’s Hospital for Large Animals yesterday from Spencer, Mass. with gunshot wounds has this afternoon undergone emergency surgery to manage bone and soft-tissue injuries to the head, veterinarians said today.

This afternoon, Dr. Carl Kirker-Head, associate professor of surgery for the equine hospital, surgically removed the horse’s eye and multiple bone fragments caused by several gunshot wounds, he said. The procedure took more than three hours.
The horse is a 22-year-old gray Paso Fino stallion from Spencer, Mass. The horse, named Picaro, was brought to the Hospital for Large Animals yesterday by Carol Gaucher of Spencer Animal Control and walked in under his own power.
“We removed Picaro’s right eye and multiple bone fragments caused by gunshots this afternoon,” said Carl A. Kirker-Head, MA, VetB, the associate professor of surgery in charge of the horse’s care at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. “He is currently recovering from anesthesia.”
Members of the Cummings School community and area residents have come forward to offer donations, support, and adoptive homes for the horse. At this time, the Hospital for Large Animals is not allowing visitors, given the critical nature of his wounds.
Members of the community interested in making donations to the Cumming School’s Hospital for Large Animals in honor of Picaro can send checks made out to “Trustees of Tufts College” and mail them to: Office of Development & Alumni Relations, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, 200 Westboro Road, North Grafton, MA 01536. For links to online giving, please visit www.tufts.edu/vet/giving.
Two photographs of Picaro are available for download by the media at http://vet.tufts.edu/pr/20100115_media.html or by contacting Tom Keppeler at tom.keppeler@tufts.edu or at (508) 839-7910.
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
Founded in 1978 in North Grafton, Mass., Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University is internationally esteemed for academic programs that impact society and the practice of veterinary medicine; three hospitals and two clinics that combined treat more than 80,000 animals each year; and groundbreaking research that benefits animal, public, and environmental health. The Hospital for Large Animals, known for advancements in surgical, sports medicine, respiratory, and internal medicine, treated more than 1,800 cases last year.
About Tufts University
Tufts University, located on three Massachusetts campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville, and Grafton, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.


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