The Veterinary Department would like to introduce you to 31 year old Fred. Fred was a patient at the hospital a few weeks ago due to a sore eye which we started treating at Brookfield Farm in August. Fred has a long history of eye problems which had left him with scarring on the front of his left eye. This became painful in August, and despite initial improvement he developed an ulcer. Poor Fred became increasingly grumpy which is distressing for the farm staff and us as vets.
Despite our best efforts the treatment for Fred didn’t seem to be making a difference and in order to give him the best chance we sent some photos to a referral ophthalmologist for a second opinion. Unfortunately the decision came back that his eye problems were not curable and in order to keep him comfy they recommended removing his eye. This may sound like a big decision and it is, however in this case it was also an easy one to make. Because Fred’s eye had been getting more painful we knew they were right and the only way to take the pain away from Fred would be to remove his eye. This was done under standing sedation and local nerve blocks to ensure he didn’t feel a thing and is a much safer procedure for an older donkey than having a general anaesthetic.
Fred wasn’t too impressed with his bright blue bandage after the operation, although his friend Roddy thought it was rather smart, and appeared quite jealous he wasn’t getting all the attention, but the next day when it was removed Fred was like a different donkey. Before the operation he had been quite subdued and slow to go anywhere, but after the operation he was striding out to grass like a new donkey.
He is now back at Brookfield Farm, in his old group and is completely back to normal. We are thrilled he has adapted so well to life without his troublesome left eye.