Saturday, August 08, 2009

Koda, the smallest horse in Australia

Australia's smallest horse, Koda is smaller than a labrador, weighs just 35kg and can travel on the back seat of a small sedan.

He lives at the Yarrambat Veterinary Hospital, where he mixes with pets great and small. First-time customers think he is a battery-operated soft toy. He's cheeky, cute, sweet and obviously believes himself to be as big as a normal horse.

Koda was always meant to be small, being an American miniature. But he is also a dwarf. Koda was diagnosed soon after birth. "He was no bigger than a cat," said vet Andy Lynch.

His condition is rare but Koda is unique in that he is still alive after 12 months - and thriving despite a barrage of health problems and major surgical procedures. Many more are planned.

Dr Lynch has performed about $10,000 worth of leg surgery on Koda, but the bill is expected to top $30,000. The next step is major dentistry to remove adult teeth that will never fit in his little mouth.

He has recovered well from every operation so far and takes his medicine like a "little man", Dr Lynch said.

There's a photo gallery here.

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