Wild horse caretakers forced to say goodbye to mustang Ellie Mae

Ellie Mae, a wild mustang removed from the beach earlier this month. [CWHF photo]

Ellie Mae, a wild mustang removed from the beach Dec. 4 due to an unsound leg, had to be euthanized Thursday after an infection spread to her joint.

The Corolla Wild Horse Fund brought the older wild horse to the rescue farm in Grandy after she was no longer able to keep up with her harem on the beach. Caretakers discovered Ellie Mae had cellulitis, a painful condition caused by bacteria entering into the body through a wound.

Though she was treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, Ellie Mae’s condition deteriorated this week, leading to an emergency call to the fund’s veterinarian.

“This had been a concern even after an aggressive round of antibiotics, several vet check-ups over the last two weeks, and great care taken to keep her living quarters clean and dry,” CWHF herd manager Meg Puckett said in a Facebook post. “If you remember the orphaned foal Chris, this was the same thing that ultimately led to his euthanasia. It’s a devastating prognosis for any horse, with few treatment options, high levels of pain, and a poor long-term prognosis.”

Puckett said Ellie Mae was in her 20s and lived a long, good life for a wild horse.

“She leaves behind many offspring on the beach and she spent her last few weeks comfortable and loved on the rescue farm. Rest easy, Ellie Mae.”

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.