Payractar the Estonian horse recovering well after suspected wolf attack

"Bayraktar" the horse. Source: ERR

Last weekend, in the village of Heimtali, Viljandi County, a horse named Payractar was injured following a suspected attack by wolves. ETV show "Ringvaade" headed to the equine clinic at Tartu's Estonian University of Life Sciences (Eesti Maaülikool) to visit the horse and check on his progress.

Although Felipe Correa, head doctor at the equine clinic, was unable to say for sure whether it was in fact a wolf that had attacked Payractar, it is known that a pack of wolves does live in the village of Heimtali. Sheep in the area, owned by well-known Estonian artist Anu Raud, recently suffered a wolf attack for instance.

However, Correa said that, in his experience, an attack like this is very unusual. "I saw something like this ten years ago, but this is the first time I have seen it in Estonia. Talking to colleagues, I have heard that it often happens to sheep, but I have never seen this with horses."

The 1.5-year-old stallion, who was attacked at the weekend, weighs 400 kg. "Usually it's not easy with stallions, but he's very calm," said Correa.

The main injury suffered by Payractar was a nasty wound on his foreleg, causing damage to the muscle. The wound has to be cleaned daily to ensure it heals properly. The animal has also been given a course of antibiotics and a tetanus vaccine, with Correa estimating that it will take two to three months for the wound to heal.

"Potentially longer, but it depends on what the owner can do at home. He will stay in the clinic for at least 10-14 days. If the owner can't manage at home, then the horse will have to stay for the entire process," Correa explained.

As the owner wants the young stallion to become a sport horse, it is important that the tissue, which grows on the wound does not interfere with the animal's sporting ability in the future.

For now however, Payractar cannot be given too much rest, because the more he rests, the more scar tissue is likely to form on the wound.

According to Correa, the horse has to start walking as soon as possible. "We use different products and ointments so that the tissues recover properly and there is not just scar tissue," he said.

Even though an electric fence surrounds the enclosure, where the injured horse is kept along with his companions, it did not provide enough protection to prevent an attack. "I'm guessing that this horse was either alone or away from others, which is quite unusual. As a rule, horses tend to stay together."


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Editor: Michael Cole

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