Miniature horse shot in leg undergoes successful surgery

Two-year-old Max was shot earlier this month

Photo Courtesy: WPRI

ACUSHNET, Mass. (WPRI) — A miniature horse that was shot in the leg in Massachusetts is recovering from a successful surger.

Two-year-old Max was shot earlier this month while he was tied to a tree on Julie Nightlinger’s Acushnet property.

“Shattered the bones, tore the tendons,” Nightlinger said.

Doctors told Nightlinger Max’s leg would not heal and that he would either need a prosthetic leg, or he would need to be put down.

“He can’t survive on three legs, and that’s not right if he’s not going to heal right and he’s gonna be in pain,” Nightlinger said. “He’s only two, he has so much to give.”

Supporters have given generously to help Nightlinger afford the prosthetic. A page set up for Max’s medical expenses has already raised more than $13,000.

Max underwent surgery recently at Myhre Equine Clinic in New Hampshire, where doctors took out pieces of broken bone and bullet fragments. Nightlinger said a company called Anicell donated stem cells to Max’s cause and doctors are attempting to use them to heal his leg.

“We’ve got a good blood supply to it, but sometimes the hoof can just come right off and if that comes off, that’s a very important structure and we would have to consider a prosthesis at that time,” said Dr. Grant Myhre

In the meantime, Max will remain in New Hampshire, where he will receive therapy and might have to undergo other surgeries.

According to Nightlinger, police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding Max’s injury. She said police came to her property to search for the bullet that hit him, but she said they did not find anything.

Police are still searching for the shooter.

Copyright 2015 WPRI

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