A mare with “horrific lesions” has been rescued from a site in East Cork, according to the Evening Echo.
The animal, and her three-year-old foal, were removed from a field by an inspector for the Irish Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) and brought to a rescue centre in Mallow.
The mare was found to have been suffering from severe photosensitivity and exhibited “horrific lesions” where the skin was falling away from her body and face.
Blood tests are being carried out on the animal to assess the status of her liver. It is hoped that more information about the condition will be revealed by the test results.
An ISPCA spokesperson described the condition as an extremely serious one and one that is often characterised by “crusty skin that dies and sloughs away”.
While it is usually caused by a reaction to something ingested, the problem does not manifest until the skin is exposed to sunlight.
The ISPCA confirmed it is currently trying to trace the owner of the animal. Neither the mare nor the foal are microchipped.
“The mare is comfortable at present, but she has to be kept stabled and her skin kept soothed,” said ISPCA inspector Lisa O’Donovan.
“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.”
This is the second serious case of the condition that Inspector O’Donovan has seen. She said it highlighted the need for animal owners to monitor daily for ailments or abrasions.
She said that as a charitable organisation the society relies heavily on the support of the public in terms of funding and urged people to continue to make donations to the ISPCA via their website www.ispca.ie.
This story first appeared in today's Evening Echo.