Another month has flown by and the skelatal horse we met back in December is becoming more and more of a memory. Anakin has now put on nearly 200 pounds since his rescue, and he is starting to glow with renewed health and vitality. He’s enjoying more and more turnout time, which now includes limited pasture time out on grass! In true Anakin style, our boy celebrated this milestone with a lovely roll in the grass, leapt into the air, then proceeded to get straight to grazing. It’s such a joy to see him acting like a normal horse, enjoying the little things in life, and leaving his past behind. His attitude remains cheerful, and he continues to clean up his dinner plate like a good boy. We’d like to see about another hundred pounds on his frame, and it looks like Anakin will happily comply with our wishes.
In a previous update, we mentioned that Anakin was diagnosed with glaucoma in his left eye, and that we were treating it with drops under the direction of an equine ophthalmologist. Sadly Anakin’s eye is not responding to treatment. His vets have concluded that he has little to no vision remaining in that eye, and that our best course of action, for Anakin’s comfort, would be to have the eye removed surgically.
It seems so unfair after all this horse has been through to be faced with partial blindness and surgery. But losing an eye, while it seems traumatic to us humans, is often not such a bad thing in a horse like Anakin. For one thing, animals tend to adapt very quickly to a loss in vision. In Anakin’s case, he can no longer see much of anything with his left eye, and again, in true Anakin style, he’s handling this with grace. He uses his other senses to monitor his surroundings, and as long as we don’t sneak up suddenly on his blind side, he remains calm and secure.
So why does the eye need to be removed? Pressure has been building up in his eye for some time now. Measuring that pressure was what alerted us to the fact that something was wrong. We’ve continued to monitor the pressure, and while we don’t feel that Anakin is in pain now, it’s only a matter of time before it starts to become really uncomfortable for him. So the kindest thing we can do for him is to remove the eye. It’s a fairly simple surgery and if all goes well, he’ll be home the very next day. He’ll need a lot of care following the procedure, but if there’s one thing we’re good at here at SAFE, it’s caring for Anakin.
After he’s recovered from this setback, he will look different. But here’s the thing: Anakin doesn’t care what he looks like! He considers himself the handsomest boy in the barn, and that opinion will never change. The loss of an eye will never diminish the beauty of this horse. He will be fitted with a prosthetic so for the most part, it will just look as if his eye is closed. A perpetual wink? Now that’s true Anakin style.
The surgery will likely take place in the next few weeks. With the discounts that we receive from our veterinarian, the surgery will cost approximately $1,500. We welcome donations to help offset the cost of this surgery. Donations from Anakin’s friends have already covered about half the funds needed to pay for the surgery, so we’re in great shape to get our boy the care he needs. We’ll be sure to keep everyone updated.
Although Ani is facing this sad setback, it is a tremendous relief that he will be facing it with all so many people in his corner. He’s genuinely touched a lot of hearts.