A mare and her three week young foal were recently removed from a field in East Cork 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.
Photosensitization is a serious skin condition characterized by "sunburned," crusty skin that dies and sloughs away. 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.
This is the second serious case of this condition that Inspector O’Donovan has seen, and highlights the need to monitor daily to check for any ailments or abrasions. Blood tests are being carried out on the mare to assess the status of her liver.
“The mare is comfortable at present, but she has to be kept stabled and her skin kept soothed. We are still unsure of the severity of the damage to her body, but we are thankful that both her foal and herself are safe and kept in a cool UV free environment,” said Inspector O’Donovan.
It is presumed that this condition was activated by something that she had eaten in the past, that had caused issues to her liver, but more may be determined from her blood test.
Unfortunately, the mare was not micro-chipped and enquires are ongoing to trace her owner. Both mare and foal are currently doing well in the care of at the ISPCA Equine Rescue Centre in Mallow, Co. Cork.
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