FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4)– The staff at Colorado State University’s veterinary teaching hospital treats all sorts of animals. One patient is getting some TLC because of a unique situation.

Snuggles the mini-horse isn’t only important to her owner but to a lot of people.

“She’s a therapy horse. We take all of them to nursing homes and children’s shelters,” said Snuggle’s owner Melanie Tatum.

Snuggle and her owners made the 600 mile trek from Lubbock, Texas to CSU’s Veterinary Hospital so the mini-horse could get back to work.

“This one has glaucoma and this one– she lost her eye when she was a baby,” said Tatum.

“She can’t see very well but she can see around a bed, wheelchairs, she can see the children when they come up to her,” said Snuggle’s owner Ed Jones.

In 2008 Snuggles had surgery at CSU to save her only eye.

“We came up here and fell in love. We love the doctors, we love the school, we love the town,” said Tatum.

Five years later the entire family is back for a checkup.

“We want to do whatever we can to keep her having as much eyesight for as long as possible,” said CSU Veterinarian Dr. Cynthia Powell.

Powell performed Snuggles’ original surgery. She carefully checks the eye for the progression of glaucoma.

“She’s still visual so prognosis is really good. We’ve been maintaining her for five years so we assume she’ll continue like this,” said Powell.

With a clean bill of health Snuggles won’t have to undergo another risky surgery. She can return to Texas to get back to work doing what she does best– making those around her feel a little better.

In order to maintain the sight in her eye Snuggles will have to be on medication for the rest of her life and also return to CSU for checkups in the coming years.


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