The Donkey Sanctuary staff in Cyprus have known the owner of a pair of donkeys called Adonis and Athena for several years and visit each year on their Outreach Programme to check their teeth, trim hooves and give any advice and or medical treatments.
On 23 of July staff received a call from the owner in the evening on the Welfare Emergency phone to say that Adonis had disappeared early that morning and returned home early evening with an eye injury. The owner asked if they could take the donkey straight away but due to the terrain near the area it would have been dangerous to drive with the trailer at night. As any eye injury can be an emergency the owner was asked to call our vet, which he did, and explained that he tried to get a local vet out but as it was very late and dark, the vet was unable to attend. The Sanctuary’s vet in Cyprus asked for a description of the injury which sounded as if the upper eyelid was badly swollen and so the decision was made to go and collect the donkey the next morning.
After almost a two hour drive, staff arrived at the paddock where Adonis and Athena were and the owner explained more of the story. Apparently he had checked the donkeys on the Tuesday evening as they were tethered on head collars to graze. All was well, but when he returned in the morning both donkeys had vanished and one of the head collars was on the ground. Athena was not very far away but the owner could not find Adonis. After spending all day trying to find him and shouting his name, he suddenly heard hoof beats and Adonis came cantering home.
The owner noticed Adonis’s eye was injured but the donkey would not let him near it as it was obviously painful. He put Adonis in the paddock and rang the Sanctuary. When the eye was looked at the eyeball appeared to have been punctured, was extremely swollen, and some of the internal fluid from the eyeball had leaked out. The owner explained this had developed overnight and was distraught as he didn’t know how the donkeys had become loose or what had caused Adonis injury.
Adonis allowed a head collar to be fitted and he was led to the trailer. He was a little reluctant to go on to begin with as he couldn’t see out of his left eye and therefore was unable to judge the width of the trailer. He was allowed to take his time and with a little gentle encouragement by offering an apple, he went on. Staff made sure he could not bang his eye while travelling and stopped regularly to make sure he was OK.
Soon after arriving back at our holding base, the vet came out to examine the eye, which was clearly infected. After sedating Adonis, the eye was cleaned and the full extent of the damage was found. The initial treatment was to reduce the swelling, give Adonis painkillers and to begin antibiotic medication to treat the infection. There was definitely a hole in the eye making Adonis blind and the fluid that had come out had caused further structural damage.
Since then, the vet has visited twice a day to continue with antibiotic treatments and cleaning it and just four days later the swelling had reduced dramatically.
Unfortunately it is probably going to be necessary to remove the eye but this will be done at a later date after all infection has gone, Adonis has been amazing throughout his treatment – it’s as if he knows he is being helped!
He is very happy in himself and being a model patient, and although it will never be known exactly what happened to him, the owner knows he is in the best place possible receiving the best care we can give. The vet keeps in contact with the owner and is hoping that he will one day be able to come and visit his beloved donkey.