United Kingdom

Clinical Evaluation and Preventative Care in Donkeys

Citation

Elena Barrio, Karen Rickards, Alexandra K. Thiemann. 3 October 2019. Clinical Evaluation and Preventative Care in Donkeys. The Veterinary clinics of North America. Equine Practice. 35:3. 545-560.

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Publication details
Publication date: 
3 October 2019
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
3
Page numbers: 
545-560
DOI number: 
10.1016/j.cveq.2019.08.013
Abstract

Clinical evaluation and preventative care in donkeys should follow similar guidelines as for horses. There are species-specific differences due to the desert-adapted physiology of the donkey. Donkeys are mainly used as pack animals, companions and for production of meat or milk - they may be kept well into old age. Diseases often present late or may go unrecognized leading to poor welfare and quality of life. Basic knowledge of nutrition, blood values, pharmacology and common disease recognition will help veterinarians improve the health and welfare of donkeys.

Published online ahead of print.

Online references

Hoof Disorders and Farriery in the Donkey

Citation

Alexandra K. Thiemann, Luke. A. Poore. 3 October 2019. Hoof Disorders and Farriery in the Donkey. The Veterinary clinics of North America. Equine Practice. 35:3. 643-658.

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Publication details
Publication date: 
3 October 2019
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
3
Page numbers: 
643-658
DOI number: 
10.1016/j.cveq.2019.08.012
Abstract

This article provides a review of hoof anatomy and care in donkeys and mules. Hoof disease is a major cause of poor welfare and mortality globally. Problems associated with hoof disease are discussed in the context of behavior, diet, treatment, and prevention. The most common conditions encountered are discussed, including laminitis, the overgrown unbalanced hoof, white line disease, flexural deformities, and other significant issues. Differences between donkey and horse hoof anatomy are described.

Published online ahead of print.

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Respiratory Disorders of the Donkey

Citation

Karen Rickards, Alexandra K. Thiemann. 3 October 2019. Respiratory Disorders of the Donkey. The Veterinary clinics of North America. Equine Practice.. 35:3. 561-573.

Authors
Publication details
Publication date: 
3 October 2019
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
3
Page numbers: 
561-573
DOI number: 
10.1016/j.cveq.2019.08.009
Abstract

Donkeys suffer from the same respiratory diseases as horses; however, owing to their nonathletic nature many conditions can present in a more advanced state before becoming clinically apparent. Anatomically, their respiratory tract is similar to the horse, with certain species-specific differences that are important to be aware of. Often donkeys do not receive the same level of routine care as horses, so many are not vaccinated against respiratory pathogens such as influenza or herpesviruses. Donkeys can act as a reservoir for certain infectious and parasitic respiratory diseases and the interpretation of diagnostic tests needs to be carried out with caution.

Published online ahead of print.

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Gastrointestinal Disorders of Donkeys and Mules

Citation

Alexandra K. Thiemann, Rebekah Sullivan. 3 October 2019. Gastrointestinal Disorders of Donkeys and Mules. The Veterinary clinics of North America. Equine Practice.. 35:3. 419-432.

Authors
Publication details
Publication date: 
3 October 2019
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
3
Page numbers: 
419-432
DOI number: 
10.1016/j.cveq.2019.08.001
Abstract

A review of common gastrointestinal disorders of donkeys and mules is presented. Clinically relevant aspects of donkey behavior, anatomy, and physiology are highlighted. Diagnosis, management, and treatment of conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract from stomach to rectum, including liver and pancreas, are discussed.

Published online ahead of print.

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Donkey Nutrition and Malnutrition

Citation

Faith A. Burden, Nicola Bell. 3 October 2019. Donkey Nutrition and Malnutrition. The Veterinary clinics of North America. Equine Practice.. 35:3. 469-479.

Authors
Publication details
Publication date: 
3 October 2019
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
3
Page numbers: 
469-479
DOI number: 
10.1016/j.cveq.2019.08.004
Abstract

The domestic donkey is a unique equid species with specific nutritional requirements. This article examines the importance of feeding strategies that mimic the donkey's natural environment using poor nutritional quality fibers and access to browsing materials. The relationship between nutrition and health is examined and practical approaches to the healthy and sick donkey are discussed.

Published online ahead of print.

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Laminitis in donkeys: a pilot study investigating radiographic versus post-mortem measurements

Citation

Abigail Sefton. 2 September 2019. Laminitis in donkeys: a pilot study investigating radiographic versus post-mortem measurements. Equine Veterinary Journal. 51:S53. 10.

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Publication details
Publication date: 
2 September 2019
Volume: 
51
Issue: 
S53
Page numbers: 
10
DOI number: 
10.1111/evj.10_13152
Abstract

Background:

Laminitis is a painful disease of equines. Radiographic and post-mortem evaluations of feet are often an important part of welfare investigations, and professional opinions by veterinarians are necessary in resulting legal cases. Any difference in measurements between the two modalities can cause uncertainty, potentially affecting
the legal decision.

Objectives:

To quantify the difference between radiographic and postmortem pre-mortem vs. post-mortem effects.

Study design: Case series.

Methods: Seven donkeys with laminitis confirmed via standard workup, euthanased for reasons unrelated to the study, were selected. Weight-bearing and non-weight-bearing lateral radiographs were taken of both front feet within 24 h pre-mortem. Feet were removed and sagitally sectioned between 48 and 72 h post-mortem. Lateral radiographs were taken of the feet immediately following sectioning. Founder distance and rotation were evaluated at each time point and compared using paired t-tests (P < 0.05).

Results:

Compared with pre-mortem weight-bearing radiographs, nonweight-bearing feet had a decreased founder distance and decreased rotation. Compared with pre-mortem non-weight- bearing radiographs, post-mortem feet had increased rotation and no change in founder distance. There were no significant differences between post-mortem direct measurements and post- mortem radiographs. Compared with standard weight-bearing radiographs, post-mortem measurements had a decreased founder distance and increased rotation.

Main limitations: Small sample size. Further samples are needed to confirm these initial conclusions.

Conclusions:

Measurements of post-mortem feet have a decreased founder distance and an increased rotation compared with standard radiographic images. Changes in founder distance are seen due to changes in weight-bearing. Changes in rotation are seen post-mortem, and can be explained by autolysis of the laminae and/or rigor mortis
causing tendon contracture. Most studies have focused on indications and severity of laminitis in living animals using radiographs: postmortem measurements should therefore be interpreted with caution.

Competing interests:

None declared.

Ethical animal research:

Approved by The Donkey Sanctuary.

Donkeys were owned by The Donkey Sanctuary and were used with consent.

Sources of funding:

The Donkey Sanctuary.

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Reproduction and neonatology: breeding, foaling and foal disorders

Citation

Karen Pickering. 14 September 2019. Reproduction and neonatology: breeding, foaling and foal disorders. Presented at British Equine Veterinary Association Congress 2019. (12 September - 14 September 2019). Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Authors
Presentation details
Date presented: 
Saturday 14 September 2019
Abstract

The female donkey is often known as a mare or jenny, the male as a donkey stallion or jack.

Reproductive behaviours
Sexual behaviour is often more exaggerated in the donkey and stallion-like behaviour may persist in the male donkey after castration. It is recommended that, unless being used for breeding, all male donkeys are castrated between 6 and 18 months of age.

Females will start cycling regularly between 10 and 22 months old with a wide variation in oestrus duration of 2–10 days. Seasonality of ovarian activity is variable and likely to be influenced by photoperiod, nutrition and temperature. Older females will tend to show longer interovulatory intervals. Signs of oestrus observed in females include mounting (females will mount each other with the oestrous female on the bottom), mouth clapping, winking (eversion of the clitoris), raising the tail, urinating, posturing (abducted hindlegs, arched tail) and backing up towards the jack. During dioestrus, females will show a lack of interest in the male and will move away or kick if male interest is persistent.

Puberty in the male donkey occurs between 16 and 20 months, with sexual maturity at around 3 years of age; however, males may show mounting behaviours from young foals. Male sexual behaviour differs from horses in that jacks are often slow to achieve erection (10–40 min) [1] and may mount a jenny several times before becoming fully erect. Several periods of sexual interaction are usual, separated by periods where the jack will withdraw away from the jenny. Donkey stallions are territorial and can become very aggressive, especially in the presence of competing males and females in season.

Reproductive anatomy
Donkey reproductive organs are proportionally larger than horse reproductive organs and ligation of the testicular artery is mandatory when castrating donkey stallions [2]. Even slim donkeys can have large amounts of scrotal fat so care should be taken post castration that fat does not prolapse from the surgical site. Castration via the inguinal approach is recommended for large or mature male donkeys over 4 years of age. Donkeys castrated after 18 months of age are more likely to retain stallion-like behaviours.

Testing for anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) has welfare and practical advantages over the hCG stimulation test for diagnosing cryptorchid donkeys. It only requires a single blood sample and following castration, AMH concentrations are undetectable within approximately 2 days, making AMH a useful test if there is any doubt over the success of a recent castration [3].

The jenny’s reproductive organ anatomy is generally similar to that of the horse mare although due to size, rectal examination of miniature donkeys may be challenging. AI techniques are similar to those described in the horse although the anatomy of the cervix, coning towards the caudal end [4], may make manipulation of the cervix for uterine flushing or other techniques requiring access to the uterine cavity during
dioestrus difficult.

Pregnancy
Owner education is essential as many donkey owners are often inexperienced, unprepared or unaware that their donkey is in foal. Gestation is longer and has greater variability than horses and ponies; ranging from 11 to 14.5 months. The incidence of twin foaling at full gestation is reportedly higher than in horses and ponies.

Pregnancy diagnosis can include transrectal ultrasound; optimal time for early diagnosis is 14 days post ovulation, transrectal palpation from day 40 [2] and oestrone sulfate
testing from day 120.

Pregnant females should be vaccinated following recommended equine guidelines, and prior to foaling, parasite prevention should be put into place including appropriate pasture management during and after pregnancy. Body condition should be regularly assessed and feed adjusted appropriately. Pregnancy and lactation are risk factors for
hyperlipaemia.

Electrolyte levels in the mammary secretions can be used to predict foaling. A sodium:potassium ratio of <1 is indicative of foaling occurring in the next 24–48 h [2]. Calcium levels are less reliable but can also be used.

Jennies have a higher tendency to exhibit foal heat than horses and ponies, with higher pregnancy rates [2].

Foal management
The incidence of failure of passive transfer ranges from 3 to 40% [5]. Risk factors are similar to those found in the horse and the IgG level considered normal in horse foals is used. There is a problem with recognition of prematurity or dysmaturity when compared with horses. In horses, the covering date is usually known and the gestation period
is more defined. In donkeys, especially in miniatures, the variation in gestation length can make it very hard to define a premature donkey foal [4]. Despite their thick fluffy coat (appearance of warmth and hardiness compared to the horse foal), donkey foals are not very hardy and require warmth and suitable shelter [5].

References
1. Purdy, S. (2019) Small herd behaviour in domestic donkeys. Equine Vet. Educ. 31, 199-202.
2. The Donkey Sanctuary (2018) The Reproductive System. In: The Clinical Companion of the Donkey, 1st edn., Matador, Leicestershire, pp 73-86.
3. Matthews, N., Taylor, T., Blanchard South, V.E.N. and Durham, A.E. (2017) Use of Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) for the diagnosis of cryptorchidism in donkeys. ECEIM Congress 2016 Abstracts. J. Vet. Intern. Med. 31, 604-618.
4. Matthews, N., Taylor, T. and Blanchard, T. (2003) An overview of reproduction in donkeys. International Animal Health News: A publication of Christian Veterinary Mission 18.
5. Aronoff, N. (2010) The donkey neonate. In: Veterinary Care of Donkeys, Eds: N.S. Matthews and T.S. Taylor, International Veterinary information Service, Ithaca NY (www.ivis.org). Last updated 29-Mar 2010.

The geriatric donkey: quality of life, pain management, chronic diseases, quality of life

Citation

Rebekah Sullivan. 14 September 2019. The geriatric donkey: quality of life, pain management, chronic diseases, quality of life. Presented at British Equine Veterinary Association Congress 2019. (12 September - 14 September 2019). Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Authors
Presentation details
Date presented: 
Saturday 14 September 2019
Abstract

Any donkey of 20 years of age or older is considered to be geriatric. While companion animals will form the mainstay of geriatric donkey patients, it is not uncommon to experience aged working donkeys overseas and the following comments may be equally applicable.

Conditions of geriatric donkeys are frequently overlooked not receive regular, thorough inspection. Veterinarians may be called upon in an emergency situation, or, ideally, annual veterinary checks may be in place as part of routine vaccination protocols. It is important that any associated paraprofessionals are also aware of care of the geriatric donkey, as farriers and dental technicians can play a vital role in alerting owners to any potential health problems.

Stoic in nature, the donkey’s inherent behavioural response is to avoid displaying pain, thus the true extent of a pathological condition may be easily missed; it is vital that a thorough clinical examination of the whole donkey takes place at every veterinary visit. Beneath the thick coat may lie an underweight or obese animal, or advanced skin disease. Respiratory and musculoskeletal conditions of the non-athletic donkey may not be apparent at rest until an advanced stage has been reached. Research from The Donkey Sanctuary has identified a high proportion of advanced dental disease and poor to no routine dental care in relinquished geriatric donkeys (unpublished data). Heavy endo- and ectoparasite burdens have been seen in geriatric donkeys at The Donkey Sanctuary.

Chronic laminitis is highly prevalent but frequently overlooked by owners. Classic weight shifting is less reported in donkeys, with subtle changes in gait the more frequent indicator; depressed demeanour, muscle wastage over the shoulders and a reluctance to walk, alongside external hoof changes, should all trigger a check for laminitis. Hoof radiography is strongly advised to aid diagnosis and assist with remedial farriery.

Testing for pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) is advised in cases of chronic laminitis, particularly where changes in demeanour, muscle wastage, recurrent infections and high faecal worm egg counts are seen. The classic hirsutism and hyperhidrosis seen in horses is not commonly identified in the donkey. Presently, measurement of basal adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) is advised as a diagnostic test. Use of the thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) stimulation test may be advisable in equivocal cases, although donkey-specific reference ranges have not been validated. If PPID is diagnosed, therapeutic management with pergolide mesylate at standard equine doses is valid, although owners should be cautioned as to the potential for inappetence and secondary hyperlipaemia.

Osteoarthritis of the axial and appendicular skeleton is very common. Owners may notice little more than a reduction in ambulation of the donkey and deterioration in temperament on handling. An onset of reluctance to raise the limb for foot care may indicate pain of the limb joints. Farriers should be advised to keep the limb as low as possible during foot trimming sessions. A donkey that rarely lies down or rolls or has sores over the carpi or hocks is also a cause for concern. Management of the arthritic patient should involve careful weight control, access to flat pastures where possible, routine farriery, consideration of appropriate bedding material, and adequate analgesia. Appropriate analgesics include phenylbutazone 2.2 mg/kg bwt orally twice a day or carprofen 0.7–1.3 mg/kg bwt orally once a day. Firocoxib has been used, but to this author’s knowledge there are no published data relating to its use in donkeys. Paracetamol 20 mg/kg bwt orally twice a day has been used as short-term adjunctive analgesia in acute-on-chronic presentations of both osteoarthritis and laminitis. While gastric ulceration has been seen at postmortem examination, there have been no studies linking its occurrence with long-term NSAID administration in donkeys.

Weight loss is a common presentation of the geriatric donkey. Diagnostic work-up should follow the same principles as for other equines. Liver disease appears to be relatively prevalent in the geriatric weight loss case, with liver fibrosis not infrequently seen at post-mortem examination. A thorough dental examination is paramount in weight loss
cases; significant and painful dental disease is often identified.

Conversely, obese geriatric companion donkeys are also frequently seen and pose a particular hyperlipaemia risk. The diet of the geriatric donkey should be adjusted to account for desired weight, seasonality, underlying health concerns and dental disease. Short-chop forage products may replace straw for donkeys with poor dental function. Poor dental function and failure to provide access to warm drinking water in colder months have been significantly associated with an increased incidence of impaction colic in geriatric donkeys [1]. Balancer products should be fed to reduce vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Ocular lesions are often identified during routine clinical examinations of the geriatric donkey. Advanced cases of uveitis, non-ulcerative keratitis and glaucoma may be present despite little indication of pain, while cataract formation is seen regularly. Ocular conditions should be treated and monitored as for other equines, with particular emphasis to owners on the subtle clinical signs of pain in the donkey.

Interstitial pulmonary fibrosis appears relatively prevalent amongst geriatric donkeys presenting with respiratory disease. Disease is rarely recognised until advanced, and/or secondary bacterial pneumonia has increased the severity of clinical signs. The disease is invariably fatal, although over wideranging time periods. Ultrasonographic imaging and thoracic radiography can aid the diagnosis where the clinical signs raise suspicion of disease. Equine herpesvirus-5 has been isolated from bronchoalveolar lavage samples taken from donkeys with confirmed pulmonary fibrosis, and asinine herpes viruses have been detected in donkeys with interstitial pneumonia; however, the precise role of herpesviruses in donkey pulmonary fibrosis has not been definitively established [2,3].

Tracheal collapse has been identified in a high number of geriatric donkeys at post-mortem examination, such that age-related degeneration of the tracheal rings is thought to be common. Clinical signs are rarely seen unless advanced stenosis is present; the presence of concurrent respiratory disease may severely exacerbate clinical signs [4].

Quality of life assessments can play a vital role in monitoring geriatric donkeys with chronic conditions. Informal discussions will likely form a mainstay of regular consultations, while more formal recording sheets can assist owners to identify any decline in their donkey’s condition or highlight issues in the case of working donkeys. Template recording sheets can be found at https://www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/sites/uk/
files/2018-10/record-of-assessment-for-quality-of-life.pdf

Discussing and defining ‘end-of-life’ points is a critical part of this process. Awareness of pain scoring systems, including facial pain recognition scales, can provide useful information relating to the efficacy of analgesia and true severity of any chronic disease processes. Euthanasia of the donkey follows the same basic principles as for other equines. In the UK, Somulose® is the most commonly employed agent. It is essential to have a calm and experienced handler to assist with euthanasia. Due to the small size of the average donkey found in the UK, i.v. agents are frequently given off the needle, but use of an i.v. catheter is down to personal preference. Certain anatomical differences,
namely, thicker skin and a prominent cutaneous colli muscle, can make jugular venepuncture more difficult than in horses. It is vital that any companion is allowed access to the deceased donkey until they lose interest in the body; this can take from minutes to hours. Owners should be advised to monitor closely the companion, as bereavement stress has been known to elicit hyperlipaemia.

Further information can be found in The Clinical Companion of the Donkey [5].
References
1. Cox, R., Proudman, C.J., Trawford, A.F. and Burden, F. (2007) Epidemiology of
impaction colic in donkeys in the UK. BMC Vet. Res. 3, 1-11.
2. Kleiboeker, S.B, Schommer, S.K, Johnson, P.J., Ehlers, B, Turnquist, S.E.,
Boucher, M. and Kreeger, J.M. (2002) Association of two newly recognized
herpesviruses with interstitial pneumonia in donkeys (Equus asinus). J. Vet.
Diagn. Invest. 14, 273-280.
3. Thiemann, A.K. (2012) Respiratory disease in the donkey. Equine Vet. J. 24,
469-478.
4. Powell, R.J., Du Toit, N., Burden, F.A. and Dixon, P.M. (2010) Morphological study
of tracheal shape in donkeys with and without tracheal obstruction. Equine Vet.
J. 42, 136-141.
5. Evans, L. and Crane, M. (2018) Euthanasia and the post-mortem examination.
In: Clinical Companion of the Donkey 1st edn, Troubador Publishing Ltd,
Leicestershire. p 196.

Care of the juvenile donkey

Citation

Alexandra K. Thiemann. 14 September 2019. Care of the juvenile donkey. Presented at British Equine Veterinary Association Congress 2019.

Authors
Presentation details
Date presented: 
Saturday 14 September 2019
Abstract

Nutrition
A donkey foal should be weaned gradually from 6 months of age and able to graze and eat supplementary straw feed. Barley straw is the forage of choice for healthy donkeys with good dentition, as it is low in calorie content while high in fibre, which aids slow digestion and reduces the risk of gastric ulceration. Straw can also be supplemented with hay in cold weather or if extra energy is required. If excess calories are provided to young donkeys, there is a risk of development of orthopaedic conditions including flexor tendon contractures leading to club foot. To balance the high-fibre diet, a low-calorie vitamin/mineral balancer ration is needed until the foal is at least 2 years old or up to 3 years in the larger breeds of donkey. Top Spec provide a donkey specific forage balancer that is appropriate for young donkeys.

Donkeys have lower nutritional requirements compared with horses. Aim to feed 1.3–1.7% of bodyweight in dry matter, the amount dependent on the weather and the individual animal. The donkey’s body condition score should be measured at least four times a year, while weigh tapes and donkey weight normograms help to monitor for slow, steady weight gain. Weaning the foal can be a stressful time for the jenny, so she needs similar careful management and monitoring. Further advice can be found at https://www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/what-we-do/knowledge-and-advice/fo...
https://www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/what-we-do/for-professionals

Castration
Castration is a valuable tool to reduce the population of unwanted donkeys and encourage responsible ownership. The optimum time to castrate a donkey is between 6 and 18 months, although some reports suggest that a jack may be sexually mature by 12 months. Donkeys castrated after 18 months are more likely to retain stallion-like behaviours, and to have complications from surgery due to extensive fat deposits in the scrotum, larger testicles and associated blood vessels. Ensure a thorough preoperative check; many donkeys will have had no veterinary contact until castration. Check for heart murmurs and subclinical lung disease. Discuss vaccination and worming
programmes: at a minimum ensure tetanus protection. For most young donkeys, a field castration is adequate. Use a weigh tape or weight estimator to calculate weight. Take a qualified assistant vet or nurse to administer the anaesthetic and top-up doses, as the procedure takes longer than a standing castration. Owners are not suitable assistants. For field anaesthesia, remember to take equipment to protect the donkey’s face and eyes: towels, eye drops, padded head collar, etc.

The Donkey Sanctuary vets prefer to use a standard closed technique for castration of donkeys. The donkey is placed under general anaesthesia, and local anaesthesia is used in the testicle (5–10 mL depending on size). The upper hindlimb is held or roped out of the way. The area may need to be clipped as the scrotum is frequently covered with hair. In the young donkey there should be minimal swelling post-operatively; we use analgesia at donkey doses, for 3–5 days, and depocillin intramuscularly usually for 3 days. Encourage exercise daily; it is useful to cold hose the inguinal area to reduce swelling, avoiding saturating the wound with water. Monitor appetite, faecal output, and demeanour for a week post-surgery. Complications include haemorrhage and infection. If blood is dripping faster than 1 drop/second and not slowing, consider external pressure or re-anaesthetise to locate the source. Infection manifests as a slow-healing wound, discharge, and a painful thickening of the remaining cord tissue. Surgical investigation is often required. In cryptorchid donkeys the anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) test is proven to detect retained testicular tissue. If this test is not available, a human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) stimulation test is required as the oestrone sulfate test is unreliable in donkeys.

Sedation and anaesthesia
Many young donkeys are not well handled, and we must provide good sedation in a welfare-friendly manner. Aim to keep bonded companions together to reduce stress, and
consider oral or i.m. sedation if required before attempting i.v. access.

Young colts can have thick coats and a well-developed ventral neck muscle – clip the vein, elevate the head and aim for the jugular above or below the mid third of the neck. A catheter is needed to top up anaesthesia for castrations. Donkey skin is relatively thick so use a scalpel to nick the skin before inserting the catheter; using a bleb of local anaesthetic makes this easier. Typical equine doses of alpha-2 agonists work for donkeys, but be prepared to increase the dose if the donkey is stressed and do not induce anaesthesia until the head has dropped below the withers. Ketamine at a dose of 2.2–3 mg/kg is typically used together with diazepam at 0.1 mg/kg for induction. Multimodal analgesia is provided with the use of an NSAID, an opioid (typically butorphanol) and local analgesia. Donkeys metabolise ketamine faster than horses so be prepared to top up at timed 10-minute intervals with one-third of the induction dose.

If a triple drip is used for anaesthesia, use a recipe appropriate for donkeys, for example: 300 mL saline, 225 mL 10% guaphenesin, 225 mg xylazine and 900 mg ketamine. Avoid doses of guaphenesin above 150 mg/kg (1.5 mL/kg of 10% solution), as this can cause respiratory and cardiovascular depression. Decreased depth of anaesthesia is often preceded by increased rate and depth of respiration before movement occurs; monitor carefully.

Recovery from anaesthesia is usually good in donkeys, unless multiple ketamine top ups have been used. Be prepared to re-sedate with an alpha-2 agonist. A typical 180 kg donkey requires a size 16 mm endotracheal tube, but have a range of sizes between 14 and 18 mm available. Donkeys can be difficult to intubate due to the
narrow epiglottis and caudally angled larynx.

Exploring methodologies for capturing multispecies engagement in equid assisted activities: The perspective of autistic children and donkeys

Citation

Michelle Whitham Jones. 1 July 2019. Exploring methodologies for capturing multispecies engagement in equid assisted activities: The perspective of autistic children and donkeys. Journal of Animal Law & Interdisciplinary Animal Welfare Studies. 3.

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Publication details
Publication date: 
1 July 2019
Volume: 
3
Abstract

Using equids for their assumed therapeutic impact on humans is a growing area of ​​knowledge in human health sciences. The impact of Equid Assisted Activities (EAA) is often measured by psychometric test score changes for the human. Thus, evidence for the practice tends to be assessed through an anthropocentric lens. The research described in this article consisted of exploring a mixture of quantitative and qualitative methodologies for measuring EAA through the perspective of autistic children and their donkey partners. The Quality of Engagement Tool (QET) is introduced as an instrument to measure ongoing engagement between participants during sessions. Narrative Analysis and Narrative Ethology captured tangential and sequential stories of interactions that revealed the individuality of each child or donkey participant's experience. The findings identified that one participant was able to affect their partner's engagement behavior irrespective of species, and that both donkeys and children modified their behaviors when interacting with a member of the opposite species. The results suggest that, in principle, EAA has the potential to bring about behavioural changes to the other species. Therefore, in order to ensure validity, both the human and equid's ongoing responses must be measured equally in future research.
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