Shetland takes emergency trip in car boot to treat sore tooth

  • A Shetland pony took a memorable trip to an emergency dental appointment recently to the surprise of fellow motorists.

    Ruby, who has dwarfism, was chauffeured to visit a specialist in the boot of her owner’s car on Tuesday (5 December), as no more suitable transport was available.

    Emily-Jane “EJ” Donaldson explained an equine dental technician had recently treated her horses’ teeth at her farm on the island of Orkney.

    After checking Ruby’s teeth, the dental technician recommended EJ took her to see a specialist as she had a broken tooth that would need extracting.

    “The specialist was going to come out to the farm but [we knew] she would have to be sedated,” said EJ, adding the pony is “very special” to her.

    “We were concerned how the sedation would affect her due to her dwarfism. We decided it would be a lot safer for her to go into the surgery.”

    EJ and her husband lifted the pony into the boot of their car, where she travelled very happily.

    The pony arrived safely at the practice, where she was carefully lifted out of the car and taken into the clinic.

    Once sedated by the vets, the pony became a little unsteady on her legs, so the team treating her found a tool box that was just the right size to fit underneath Ruby and give her some support.

    They covered this with a towel and the specialist — who was sitting on the ground in order to reach inside the small pony’s mouth — was able to successfully extract the offending tooth.

    Ruby is making a good recovery and is now “a lot happier” eating her feed.

    “She was an absolute star,” said EJ, adding she was “very worried” about the extraction.

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    EJ explained she bought the pony around 15 years ago as a three-year-old and she has thrived despite her condition.

    “Because she was only three she was even smaller than she is now, but she was perfectly fit and healthy and I thought ‘there’s no reason she shouldn’t have a fulfilled life’,” she said.

    EJ added when she became engaged to her now husband she made it clear that Ruby was part of the deal.

    “He has come to love her,” she added. “She has such a lovely nature and she is really gentle.

    “She’s friends with a big Irish cob and an Irish sports horse — when it rains she stands underneath the cob for shelter, he totally dotes on her.”

    NB: H&H does not recommend transporting horses of any size in a vehicle that is not designed for that purpose.

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