A mare has been rescued after being found with “horrific” lesions to her face.
The coloured pony was found recently alongside her three-week-old foal in a field in East Cork.
The pair were removed by ISPCA inspector Lisa O’Donovan.
“The mare was found to have been suffering from severe photosensitivity, with horrific lesions where the skin was falling away from her body and face,” said an ISPCA spokesman.
“Photosensitisation is a serious skin condition characterized by ‘sunburnt’ crusty skin that dies and sloughs away.”
The pony was not microchipped and enquires are being made by the ISPCA to trace her owner.
The mare and foal are said to be doing well and are being kept at the ISPCA’s equine rescue centre in Mallow, Co. Cork.
“The mare is comfortable at present, but she has to be stabled and her skin kept soothed” said Ms O’Donovan.
“We are still unsure of the severity of the damage to her body, but we are thankful that she and her foal are safe and kept in a cool UV free environment.”
This is the second serious case of this condition that Ms O’Donovan has seen.
“It highlights the need to monitor [horses and ponies] daily to check for any ailments or abrasions,” she added.
“It is usually caused by a reaction to something the horse has eaten, but the skin problem does not appear until the animal is exposed to sunlight.
“It is presumed that this condition was activated by something that she had eaten in the past, that had caused issues to her liver.”
Blood tests are being carried out on the mare to assess the status of her liver.