DAVIS (CBS13) — The UC Davis Veterinary Hospital received its first few patients from the LNU Lightning Complex Fire Wednesday night after ferocious flames and thick smoke tore through ranches and farms in rural Solano County.
Unfortunately, many animals didn’t make it out, but for some of those who did, it’s going to be a long road to recovery.
Dr. Monica Aleman, a professor of equine internal medicine, said two adult horses came to them from that area with severe burn injuries.
Ava, the 11-year-old draft horse, has burns all over her body. She was brought in from the Quail Canyon area and is the sole survivor of six horses. Ava’s owner lost their home and truck in the fire.
Puzzler, a Welsh Pony, is also being treated for burn wounds.
“The range of the injuries go from first to third-degree burn injuries,” Dr. Aleman said. “That means that the skin is essentially gone and it destroyed also the underlying tissue.”
The horses are receiving around the clock care and are provided with fluids for hydration and medicine for pain management.
“We are against something very critical. Our skin is our largest barrier, if you will, for infection. If we lose that barrier we have nothing to protect us,” Dr. Aleman said.
The doctors are also monitoring the horses for smoke inhalation, another type of internal injury that could have long-term effects.
“We also have an ophthalmologist looking at their eyes because very often if you burn your face, you burn your corneas,” Aleman said.
In addition to treating these burn victims, some of the staff are fire victims themselves.
“We have people here working that lost either property or some of their animals so they were evacuated themselves, but here they are, everybody is here trying to help,” Dr. Aleman said.
It’s all hands on deck, to help a community and their four-legged loved ones heal.