Catherine Hayes, Luka and 4 yro Wyatt Hayes, Bailey Hayes, Belle, Dakota Hayes, with their horses.
Catherine Hayes, Luka and 4 yro Wyatt Hayes, Bailey Hayes, Belle, Dakota Hayes, with their horses. John Gass

Family face hendra scare on Nobby's Creek farm

IT was a terrifying moment for Catherine Hayes when equine vet Greg Baldwin said her sick horse Stixy could have hendra.

As terrifying as that was, it was nothing compared with what happened next.

"When the vet got here, he told me I was highly exposed and I'd exposed my entire family to it," Mrs Hayes said.

"I was so sick I didn't sleep."

Mrs Hayes bought Stixy six weeks ago and he'd only had his first vaccination against hendra.

To be fully covered, a horse requires two shots with six-monthly boosters.

Stixy lives on a Nobby's Creek property with Mrs Hayes, her husband and their three children, as well as four other fully vaccinated horses.

On July 14, Mrs Hayes discovered Stixy near death in a paddock.

"He was on his side, he had a high temperature, was lethargic and was just so sick," she said.

"When Greg arrived he was covered up and told me he would have to assume he has hendra, until bloods come back, because his vaccinations had not been complete."

The tests were negative for hendra, which was a huge relief for Mrs Hayes.

"I didn't think about my kids in all of this," she said.

"I just want to get the word out that vaccinations have to happen. You're not just putting your family and other animals at risk; you're putting your neighbours at risk too."


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