As Britain swelters under the summer sun, vets at the world’s largest donkey hospital, have come up with a novel idea to help one of their donkeys cope with the bright sunshine as he recovers from temporarily losing his sight.
Jonty’s special ‘bug-eyed’ mask makes him stand out from the crowd at The Donkey Sanctuary’s international headquarters in Devon. The unusual eyewear helps block UV rays.
The problems started for Jonty when he stood on a sharp thorn, which painfully embedded itself into his hoof. Following a simple procedure at the state-of-the-art donkey hospital, the thorn was removed, but things got worse for Jonty.
Vicky Grove, a Veterinary Surgeon at The Donkey Sanctuary, said the stress of the injury possibly triggered the recurrence of a chronic eye problem.
“Jonty suffered an immune-mediated inflammation of his whole eye and he lost his sight.”
The veterinary team needed to protect their patient from the strong sunlight, and the special mask – which gives Jonty his bug-eyed appearance – was just the ticket to block the UV rays.
“The mask is just like wearing sunglasses, and Jonty has made some good progress, though the back of his eye is still damaged,” Grove said.
“We are monitoring his eyes with an ophthalmoscope, and we have tested his eyesight with an obstacle course, which he has completed so we think he is now just partially-sighted.”
Jonty will be wearing his mask for much of the summer and the sanctuary’s expert vets will be monitoring his progress.