A day after the Bay Area community stepped up to help an injured newborn horse, doctors at the University of California at Davis determined he doesn't need surgery.
The colt, named Valentine, spent two days stuck at the bottom of Morrison Canyon with a broken pelvis before hikers found him Sunday — which was Valentine's Day and may have contributed to the name he was given.
Crews from Fremont Animal Services and the fire department hoisted the horse, who is believed to be 7 days old, out of the nearly 100-foot ravine, officials said.
On Tuesday, Valentine underwent a CT scan and doctors found a fracture near his hip that doesn't necessitate surgery and will heal on its own. Instead, the colt will need three or four months for rehabilitation.
"If the fracture was near [a blood] vessel, we would be worried about bleeding," said Mathieu Spriet, an associate professor at UC Davis. "Or if the fracture [was] compromising the weight-bearing part of the pelvis."
The prognosis would also have been different if Valentine’s injury was closer to the groin area.
"This fracture doesn't interrupt the connection between the limb and the spine," Spriet said.
Animal services officers had initially said that Valentine's pelvic fracture sat squarely on top of major arteries, and one wrong move could sever the colt’s blood flow and kill him. Officials had said the horse would need surgery to repair his pelvis.
"He doesn’t have a fever, his lungs are clear, his heart’s in great shape," said Sarah Cattaneo, an officer with Fremont Animal Services. "You’d never guess that he went through what he did by looking at him."
On Tuesday, caregivers gently bundled the young horse — while cooing "Good job!" and "What a good boy!" — from Owl's Crossing Ranch in Pleasanton into a trailer that took him to UC Davis. An animal services officer and a ranch owner took care of him overnight, making sure to administer pain medication and feed him every three hours.
"He's cute and he's a lover," Cattaneo said. "He's a fighter."
Crews who rescued the young colt on the weekend said he was badly hurt, dehydrated and clinging to life.
"The colt was a little worked up, but it was just so weak that it kind of just played with us," said Fremont firefighter Osh Ahmad.
Diane Offutt of Owl's Crossing Ranch echoed the sentiment.
"Normally they've got their mom with them, so mom controls whatever they do," she said. "With this guy, he's like 'OK, you can all be my friend.' So that's pretty special."
Fremont Animal Services officers said Monday that the agency does not have the money required for Valentine’s surgery.
After hearing about Valentine’s condition, a Burlingame woman created a GoFundMe campaign Monday to raise money for the colt’s surgery and medical care. As of Tuesday, 193 people had donated $15,233 in 17 hours, surpassing the $10,000 goal.
However, it turns out that the donations will no longer be needed for surgery.
"This is fantastic for him," Cattaneo said. "I mean this is about him [and] the fact that he doesn't have to have surgery."
Animal services officials are asking for public input to decide what to do with the money, which they hope can be used as a fund to continue helping Valentine.
Police continue to investigate how the colt ended up in the ravine and who, if anyone, he belongs to.
Anyone who would like to financially contribute to the colt’s recovery can contact Fremont Animal Services at 510-790-6640. Callers should mention the donation is for "Valentine."
NBC Bay Area's Rhea Mahbubani and Kristofer Noceda contributed to this report.