Equine casualties treated at inauguration

Sen. Kennedy may have been the most famous Inauguration Day casualty but he wasn't the only one who needed medical attention in Washington yesterday.

Two parade horses suffered life-threatening medical emergencies before the parade got underway. Mouse, an Appaloosa horse, suffered serious injuries when he was hit by a truck. The Humane Society of the United States, which had stationed vets and supplies near the Mall for just such an emergency, jumped into action.

Here's the report from HSUS:

When the emergency report of an injured horse was sounded, HSUS and Health Department staff immediately alerted Lt. Col. John Stott of the U.S. Army Veterinary Services and the Days End Horse Farm Rescue equine ambulance which was on call with HSUS. The group rushed to the aid of Mouse, a 10-year-old appaloosa horse who had suffered a visibly mangled leg and multiple lacerations. When responders arrived on site they found a bloody scene: Mouse was lying on the ground with his hindquarters suspended in the air and his rear leg caught in the front grill of a heavy-duty truck. Incredibly, Dr. Stott was able to stabilize the horse before he was loaded onto the ambulance and transported to the Prince George’s County Equestrian Center.

Scotland Haisley, senior director of emergency services for HSUS, said the situation initially looked dire for Mouse, as volunteers spent two hours untangling his leg from the grill, but that he was now expected to recover.

A mayday was also issued for Showtime, a 23-year-old palomino/appaloosa cross from Michigan, who suffered a gastric attack. Dr. Stott and others rushed to treat the horse and he recovered in time for the Big Show. Showtime was the last surviving horse from the Michigan Multi Jurisdictional Drill Team and Color Guard's performance team at the 1993 Clinton inauguration. The HSUS mobile unit also served as a warming station for police dogs on patrol in the sub-freezing temperatures.