Final Ponies with Swamp Cancer Euthanized in Chincoteague

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The last 4 ponies at Assateague suffering from swamp cancer have been put down.  Chincoteague Volunteer Fire officials say surgeries and medicine didn’t help to battle this fungus and the pony committee felt it was time to end their suffering.  However, from all of this – vets have been working to create a preventative vaccine for the fungus and is now waiting for FDA approval.  The Fish & Wildlife service is also looking more at this fungus and how it might be eradicated from the refuge as it can affect any animal – not just ponies. Here is the full post from the Chincoteague VFC Facebook page:

Throughout this whole “swamp cancer” process we have consulted with Dr. Hansen and Dr. Glass. They have been generous with their time and service. Our vet team has been hands on practically 24/7. After much consultation and much professional vet medical opinions, a decision was made to humanely euthanize the last four remaining ponies fighting this awful, awful fungus. Shadow, Lightning, Calceti’n and Elusive Star as well as the others received the very best care money could buy. They had surgeries, more medicine than you can imagine, round the clock care and lots and lots of love and attention. They just couldn’t fight this off and before we let them suffer any more than they have been, we feel the right decision was made. Our pony committee members have been awesome. I will never be able to say enough about them. As well as I will never be able to say enough about you all out there. Your genuine care, thoughts and concerns, your time, your selfless donations, your love for all things ponies will never be forgotten. If anything good has come out of this it is that Dr. Hansen is/has diligently worked on creating a preventive vaccine for this fungus and is now awaiting FDA approval. Cross your fingers that it gets approval and we can work to vaccinate our ponies very soon. Also, Fish & Wildlife service is taking a good hard look at this fungus and will hopefully be doing everything they can to eradicate it from the refuge. It isn’t only a pony problem. It can affect any animal that comes in contact with it. This has been a learning experience, an exhausting experience and a life experience. I ask that when you say your prayers for 2019 that you say an extra prayer for the ponies, the cowboys, the Chincoteague Vol Fire Co as well as the entire island community. I can’t say it enough, you guys rock!!
Denise Bowden
CVFC PR Officer
Pony Committee Member