'Dearly loved' donkey Jonty passes away - Tribute from The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth

  Posted: 16.09.20 at 13:33 by Joseph Bulmer

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Staff at The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth said goodbye to much loved donkey Jonty this month, with staff paying tribute to one of the sanctuary's more famous residents.

Jonty received national attention last summer when his unique UV protecting eyewear gained him coverage in the press, with one newspaper dubbing them ‘Braybans’.

Jonty’s fetching eyewear stemmed from a common yet painful eye condition called recurrent uveitis, meaning he had an inflammation in part of his eye and was sensitive to bright light. The mask helped protect him and make him more comfortable.

Jonty was back in the public eye in April of this year, helping inform the public on how The Donkey Sanctuary's grooms and vets were adapting to the unique circumstances brought about by lockdown.

Jonty received dental treatment from veterinary surgeon, Jesus Buil Garcia and veterinary nurse, Dominique Doyle as soon as soon as his multiple dental issues made him uncomfortable.

As Jesus and Dominique are partners, they were able to work in close proximity to one another, ensuring Jonty received the best care possible.

At the same time, grooms at Slade House Farm made an improvised treatment room to eliminate the need to travel to the sanctuary's donkey hospital. Jonty coped well with the dental treatment and subsequent tooth extractions.

A spokesperson for The Donkey Sanctuary said: "It is with great sadness that we announce that the dearly loved Jonty has passed at the age of 18.

"Jonty's mask helped protect his eyes from UV rays. He was always well behaved during veterinary treatments.

"Our grooms, who were looking out for quidding (dropped food) and weight loss, carefully monitored Jonty over the following months. He required daily eye drops, but a scratch and the occasional ginger biscuit always accompanied these."

Grooms noticed that Jonty was beginning to lose weight and that he had started quidding. Slade’s vet Polly Vogel took a blood sample to try to find out why, and noted that he was “extremely well behaved” and stood perfectly still during his tests.

Unfortunately, Jonty’s blood test gave the indication that he was not coping very well anymore and this, along with the difficulties and issues in his mouth, caused the farm and vet team to discuss his long-term quality of life.

Polly explained: “Everyone was keen to prevent Jonty suffering and ensure he was not in pain, and the difficult decision was made to put him to sleep. It was a lovely sunny weekend before the procedure, and the grooms spent extra time grooming and fussing over him.”

"Jonty crossed the rainbow bridge on a warm, sunny afternoon. He was surrounded by all his human and donkey friends."

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