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Rescued donkey Snowy receives urgent treatment at The Donkey Sanctuary

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While aiming to provide top-quality care for all the equines during the COVID-19 pandemic, one of The Donkey Sanctuary’s residents required urgent medical treatment 

Eight-year-old Snowy was rushed to The Donkey Sanctuary’s state-of-the-art hospital, close to its international headquarters in East Devon – with his friends Fern and Derek for support – for urgent treatment to remove a suspected sarcoid near one of his eyes. On arrival, vet Vicky Grove and her colleagues prepared Snowy for surgery with an IV catheter and mild sedative to help keep him relaxed.

“Snowy was given an intravenous induction using ketamine and kept under anaesthetic with a top up of the drug. As the suspected sarcoid was close to his eye, an injection of local anaesthetic was used to numb the area, and his eye was taped up to protect it from the laser beam. The operation lasted only about 15 minutes because the lesion was only small, but due to its location right on the lower eye lid, it was highly significant. Using our laser diode machine to cut the lesion out meant the surrounding tissues were heated up, which helps to reduce recurrence,” says Vicky.

The trio of donkeys were returned to their sanctuary in Sidmouth following Snowy’s operation, where they joined their friends in time for dinner. The removed nodule was analysed and confirmed to be a sarcoid, but thanks to its speedy removal there shouldn’t be any need for follow-up treatment with topical chemotherapy.

Snowy’s recovering well under the watchful eye of The Donkey Sanctuary’s expert team. Due to travel restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, vets are only able to visit during emergencies, but the grooms at Sidmouth are sending regular updates and photographs so they can monitor Snowy’s progress remotely.

For more information, visit thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk

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