A young donkey, who could only stand on tiptoes due to an unusual condition, has made great progress thanks to life-changing veterinary treatment at The Donkey Sanctuary.

Two-year-old Casey was born with ‘ballerina syndrome’, a condition that meant he could not put his feet flat on the ground.

The condition causes contracted ligaments and left the tendons in Casey’s legs to tighten so much that, he had to walk on tiptoes. The syndrome also left him unbalanced and prone to falling.

Casey started receiving treatment when he was just two months old, which involved stretching each of his front legs three times a day.

These exercises slowly helped to lengthen the tendons. At the same time, a farrier fitted extensions onto Casey’s front hooves to help bring his heel down on the ground.

Grooms would also walk Casey up and down a slope every day to exercise the tendons and encourage his body to adapt to a more natural position.

Although the results were not immediate, staff began to see gradual progression and by January 2019, Casey’s legs had markedly improved.

However, despite the intensive treatment, his symptoms began creeping back at the start of last year.

“We could see Casey starting to come back onto his tiptoes again,” said Maria Hughes, one of Casey’s grooms. “When he walked, it was obvious.

“After a vet and farrier reassessed him, they recommended we fit him with special remedial shoes (pictured) to help him walk properly again.

“As with all physiotherapy cases, there are ups and down and Casey’s situation was no different. But the team’s dedication and hard work finally paid off and we are delighted to see this young donkey can now trot around comfortably and play with his friends.”