Veterinarians at North Carolina State University (NCSU) are boosting the survival odds for a Corolla wild horse foal found weak and underweight earlier this month.

Descended from horses brought to North Carolina by Spanish explorers more than 500 years ago, the Corolla herd resides on privately-owned land located in North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

Corolla Wild Horse Fund Executive Director Karen McCalpin said the herd’s managers were in the field darting mares with contraceptive when they found the foal in mid-June.

“He was exceptionally small and thin,” she said.

The managers transported the foal to the Dominion Equine Clinic, in Suffolk, Virginia, for treatment before he was moved to the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine for further evaluation and treatment. Once there, veterinarians set to work stabilizing the colt.

“When we got him on June 17, the foal exhibited low blood pressure, low temperature, and low glucose; he couldn’t appropriately oxygenate (his body); and his heart rate was low,” said Jennifer L. Davis, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVCP, an associate professor of equine internal medicine. “He didn’t get enough oxygen or nutrients in the uterus. “

Veterinarians also discovered urine collecting in the foal’s abdomen, Davis said.

Veterinarians stabilized the foal, named William, by administering medication to regulate his blood pressure and to allow him to properly oxygenate his body. William also underwent surgery to repair a tear in his urachus (a tube that connects the bladder to the umbilicus), from which he recovered very well, Davi