A leading animal charity has warned of the dangers of laminitis after being forced to destroy a pony with one of the worst cases of laminitis it has seen.

Shetland pony Tango was handed over to the Blue Cross when his elderly owner could no longer care for him.

But vet Natasha Seely at the charity’s equine welfare centre in Burford, Oxfordshire said it quickly became evident the pony was in agony.

“This is one of the worst cases of laminitis I have ever seen,” said Natasha.

“The pony was in a chronic state, and had clearly been in considerable pain for some time.

“His condition and level of suffering was such that we had no option but euthanasia.”

When Tango arrived at the centre he was virtually unable to walk. An immediate veterinary examination diagnosed severe laminitis, and X-rays confirmed that Tango’s feet were in the worst possible state, causing him excruciating pain with no likelihood of recovery, leaving the only option of euthanasia.

Vicki Alford, equine centre manager at The Blue Cross, Burford added: “Laminitis is a painful and debilitating condition that should be treated immediately by a vet and prevented from reoccurring through long-term management.

This is a shocking example of how dangerous it can be if left untreated, and should be a warning to all horse owners.”

To read more about laminitis, and how to spot signs and prevent the condition, click here.