Sparkle shines on her way to recovery

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- A miniature horse named Sparkle continued to receive treatment at the University of Tennessee's Veterinary Medical Center after she was hit by a car last Friday night.

Sparkle is free from harm yet still consumed with pain.

"What we're primarily dealing with is the fractures to her pelvis," said Dr. Steve Adair, animal surgeon.

On Thursday, Horse Haven of Tennessee posted an Facebook update on Sparkle, saying that because of the damage to her pelvis she is unable to defecate regularly. They said veterinarians at UTVMC put her on Lidocaine to help out her bowels and decrease her pain level.

Horse Haven also said in the update that Sparkle is slightly jaundiced, probably because she hasn't been eating well — likely because of the pain as well — so her body was using fat as energy. UTVMC has started a twice-daily feeding tube regimen to help her get the proper nutrition. They also may take a look at her jaw to ensure there are no damage preventing her from eating.

Sparkle is in good hands at UTVMC.

"She's actually looking pretty good," Dr. Adair said.

Veterinarians have worked to nurse Sparkle back to health.

"It's kind of amazing how she is coping with it right now," Dr. Adair said.

Sparkle's wounds are a reminder of a day she nearly died in the middle of the street last week.

"It was awful; it was horrible," said Stephanie Solomon, Operations Director at Horse Haven of Tennessee. "It's really hard to see an animal that was hit by a car."

Solomon said first responders called Horse Haven of Tennessee after a car hit two miniature horses and two goats. Sparkle was the only animal to survive the Strawberry Plains crash last Friday night.

"She had two large gashes on her side and was having a hard time moving," Solomon said. "She has a fractured pelvis and some broken ribs."

Solomon said the first step to helping the animal heal was to name her.

"She's really sweet and she's really pretty, and I thought that she needed a pretty name," Solomon said.

Sparkle's owners had to give her up because they could not afford to pay the $2,000 vet bill.

Horse Haven of Tennessee collected donations to cover the cost of care. As of Thursday afternoon, $1,090 had been raised.