Vet Sews Fish Onto Pony's Face to Help Burns Heal After Acid Attack

It was one of the first surgeries of its kind.

In a unique operation, veterinarians in the U.K. used a fish to help heal a pony that was burned in an acid attack. 

Cinders, an 8-month-old pony, had been dumped in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, before being taken to Rainbow Equine Hospital in North Yorkshire.

She has been receiving around-the-clock care since being found with severe burns running from her eyes to the tip of her nose

Cinders underwent the "world's first" skin graft surgery following more than $15,000 in donations given to her adopted owners. 

A dressing made from the skin of a tilapia fish was used to treat Cinder’s burns and regenerate fresh skin tissue during a three-hour operation on May 1.

Jamie Peyton, who flew in from the University of California in Davis, had developed the process of using fish-skin grafts to treat animals burnt in wildfires

Vet David Rendle said fish skin was used because it is a good source of collagen and retains moisture well.

"Animals that have been treated with fish skin dressings before seem to be far more comfortable after these dressings have been applied,” Rendle told SWNS.

"We want to change Cinders' dressings as infrequently as possible to spare her the pain of doing so and these dressings are likely to last longer than anything else."

Of the operation Rendle said, "Extraordinary injuries called for extraordinary treatments."

Rendle said he is confident that Cinder will not be left with any long-term ill effects.

"She has a long road ahead but she seems untroubled by her ordeal," he said.