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Nutrition and dental care of donkeys

Citation

Faith A. Burden, Nicole du Toit, Alexandra K. Thiemann. August 2013. Nutrition and dental care of donkeys. In Practice. 35. 405-410.

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Publication details
Publication date: 
1 August 2013
Journal: 
In Practice
Volume: 
35
Page numbers: 
405-410
DOI number: 
doi:10.1136/inp.f4367
Abstract

The domestic donkey is descended from wild asses and has evolved to live in some of the most inhospitable places on earth. Little research has been carried out to address the specific needs of the donkey, which has traditionally been viewed as a small horse. The donkey is different from the horse in many ways; of particular note is its ability to thrive on highly fibrous feeds. This article discusses the nutritional requirements of donkeys and how dental disease may play a role in determining their nutritional requirements.

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Statistical assessment of risk for the clinical management of equine sarcoids in a population of Equus asinus

Citation

Stuart W. Reid, George Gettingby. Statistical assessment of risk for the clinical management of equine sarcoids in a population of Equus asinus. Preventive Veterinary Medicine. 26:2. 87-95.

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Volume: 
26
Issue: 
2
Page numbers: 
87-95
DOI number: 
10.1016/0167-5877(95)00521-8
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Use of sterile maggots to treat panniculitis in an aged donkey

Citation

Nick J. Bell, S. Thomas. Use of sterile maggots to treat panniculitis in an aged donkey. The Veterinary Record. 149. 768-770.

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Volume: 
149
Page numbers: 
768-770
DOI number: 
10.1136/vr.149.25.768
Abstract

An aged female donkey developed a severe, localised, suppurative panniculitis secondary to a skin wound. Bacterial culture of swabs taken from the wound gave a profuse growth of multi-drug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a profuse growth of Escherichia coli and a moderate growth of beta-haemolytic Streptococcus species. The lesion did not respond to conventional medical and surgical treatment and continued to progress. Six applications of sterile larvae (maggots) of the common greenbottle, Lucilia sericata, were used to debride the wound successfully.

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Anthelmintic control of lungworm in donkeys

Citation

Hilary Clayton, Andrew F. Trawford. Anthelmintic control of lungworm in donkeys. Equine Veterinary Journal. 13:3. 192-194.

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Volume: 
13
Issue: 
3
Page numbers: 
192-194
DOI number: 
10.1111/j.2042-3306.1981.tb03483.x
Abstract

A field study was designed to investigate the re-establishment of patent lungworm infections in donkeys following an anthelmintic treatment regime which was effective against Dictyocaulus arnfieldi. In April 1979 faecal samples from 259 donkeys were examined and each animal classified as a negative, low positive or high positive excretor of lungworm larvae. During the summer the control group of 126 donkeys showed an increase in the number of excretors from 80 per cent in April to 91 per cent in October. At the same time there was a rise in the faecal larval output of individual animals so that by October 59 per cent were classified as high positive compared with only 20 per cent in April. The treated group of 133 donkeys received 3.5 g mebendazole daily for 5 days during April and as a result the number of excretors fell from 66 per cent pretreatment to 23 per cent one month after treatment. Despite exposure to infected pastures throughout the summer this figure was maintained at a comparatively low level and by October patent infections had been re-established in only 15 per cent of the donkeys that were negative after treatment.

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Assessment of donkey temperament and the influence of the home environment

Citation

Jane French. Assessment of donkey temperament and the influence of the home environment. Applied Animal Behaviour. 36. 249-257.

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Publication details
Volume: 
36
Page numbers: 
249-257
DOI number: 
10.1016/0168-1591(93)90014-G
Abstract

The temperament of individual donkeys being sent to foster homes from the Donkey Sanctuary was evaluated with a calibrated-line rating method using eight pairs of contrary adjectives to describe traits, e.g. calm-nervous. The donkeys' attitude to other animals and people was also recorded. A factor analysis of normalized scores for the trait adjective pairs produced two factors: 'obduracy' and 'vivacity'. Once in their foster homes, the donkeys appeared more overtly outgoing. One explanation of this change in temperament is that pairs of donkeys in foster homes experience less social intimidation
than those living in groups. The donkeys' attitude towards other donkeys and people was unaffected by their change in surroundings, but their behaviour towards other animals could change.
Temperament assessment can assist in matching potential pets with homes, e.g. donkeys that were perceived as liking humans had a higher 'vivacity' score and donkeys that were reported to like dogs, had a lower 'obduracy' score.

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Control of the chewing louse Bovicola (Werneckiella) ocellatus in donkeys, using essential oils

Citation

Lauren Ellse, Faith A. Burden, Richard Wall. March 2013. Control of the chewing louse Bovicola (Werneckiella) ocellatus in donkeys, using essential oils. Medical and Veterinary Entomology.

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Publication details
Publication date: 
1 March 2013
DOI number: 
doi: 10.1111/mve.12004
Abstract

Infestations by lice can be a significant clinical and welfare issue in the management of large animals. The limited range of commercial pediculicides available and the development of resistance have led to the need to explore alternative louse management approaches. The results of in vitro and in vivo trials undertaken to control populations of the donkey chewing louse, Bovicola ocellatus (Piaget) (Phthiraptera: Trichodectidae) using the essential oils of tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) and lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) are reported here. Results of contact and vapour bioassays showed that 5% (v/v) tea tree and lavender oils resulted in > 80% louse mortality after 2 h of exposure. On farms, separate groups of 10 donkeys sprayed with 5% (v/v) tea tree and lavender oil as part of their usual grooming regime showed significant reductions in louse numbers compared with a control group (0.2% polysorbate 80 in water). These findings indicate that tea tree and lavender essential oils can provide clinically useful levels of control of B. ocellatus when used as part of a grooming routine and suggest that with further development could form the basis of an easy to apply and valuable component of a louse management programme for donkeys

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Associations between host characteristics and the response to equine influenza vaccination in donkeys

Citation

Emma Peal, Patricia Harris, Janet M Daly. Associations between host characteristics and the response to equine influenza vaccination in donkeys. Presented at BSAS Annual Meeting 2013. (16 April - 17 April 2013). Nottingham, UK.

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Presentation details
Date presented: 
Wednesday 17 April 2013
Event name: 
BSAS Annual Meeting 2013
Abstract

Introduction

Many equids are vaccinated against equine influenza annually as it causes a highly contagious respiratory infection. In horses, both age and adiposity contribute to increased levels of inflammatory markers, which could affect the response to vaccination. In humans, a chronic inflammatory state associated with obesity can impair response to vaccination or infection (Sheridan et al., 2012). The objective of this study was to determine which factors would influence the response to the equine influenza vaccination.

Material and methods

Surplus to diagnostic requirement serum samples were obtained from 55 donkeys that had recently received a booster dose of a commercially-available inactivated virus equine influenza vaccine. Antibody levels against a component strain of the vaccine (influenza A/equine/Newmarket/2/93 [H3N8]) were measured using the single radial haemolysis assay. An equine-specific ELISA (R&D Systems) was used to measure serum tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF). High molecular weight (HMW) adiponectin was measured using a human ELISA kit (Millipore) previously shown to be relevant for the horse (Woolridge et al., 2012). Non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) levels were measured using a kit from Randox with some modifications to the manufacturer’s instructions. Additional data including age, weight, body condition score (BCS), and total cholesterol and triglyceride serum levels were kindly provided by the Donkey Sanctuary. Univariate analysis was conducted using Pearson correlation for normally distributed variables and Spearman’s rank correlation for variables that were not normally distributed. To evaluate the effect of gender, comparisons were made using a t-test for normally-distributed variables or a Mann-Whitney test for variables not normally distributed. Significant differences were determined at the level of p<0.05.

Results

In this study, the factor with the greatest influence on the response to vaccination was gender, with females having significantly higher antibody levels than males (Table 1). In addition, the mean age of the female donkeys was significantly greater than that of the male donkeys. There was no correlation between BCS or weight and antibody levels, but NEFA levels were negatively correlated with antibody levels (p=0.044). Associations between NEFA and age, weight and days since vaccination also reached statistical significance. Triglyceride levels were also positively correlated with days since vaccination although antibody levels were not. Positive correlations were seen between serum adiponectin and age, and triglyceride and cholesterol levels.

Table 1. Influence of gender on variables measured
Variable Mean SD (Range) p-value
Males (n=28) Females (n=27)
Age (years) 19.2 11.8 25.0 6.4 .028
Antibody (area of lysis - mm2) 178.9 39.3 208.9 42.3 .009

Conclusions

Negative correlations were expected between antibody levels and both age and BCS, but were not seen. This may have been confounded by the narrow distribution of BCS in the study population (the majority had a BCS score of 2.5–3.5 on a scale of 1–5) and the overwhelming influence of gender with female donkeys having a higher antibody response despite a greater mean age. It has been demonstrated in human subjects that influenza vaccination can cause alterations to the lipid profile (Tsai et al., 2005). The correlation between NEFA and serum antibody levels warrants further investigation as does the finding that gender has a significant impact on response to equine influenza vaccination in donkeys.

Acknowledgments The authors gratefully acknowledge the Donkey Sanctuary for providing surplus to diagnostic requirement serum samples and data, Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition for funding the study and Dr Marnie Brennan for assistance with the statistical analysis.

References
SHERIDAN, P. A., PAICH, H. A., HANDY, J., KARLSSON, E. A., HUDGENS, M. G., SAMMON, A. B., HOLLAND, L. A., WEIR, S., NOAH, T. L. & BECK, M. A. 2012. Obesity is associated with impaired immune response to influenza vaccination in humans. Int J Obes, 36, 1072-1077.
TSAI, M. Y., HANSON, N. Q., STRAKA, R. J., HOKE, T. R., ORDOVAS, J. M., PEACOCK, J. M., ARENDS, V. L. & ARNETT, D. K. 2005. Effect of influenza vaccine on markers of inflammation and lipid profile. The Journal of laboratory and clinical medicine, 145, 323-327.
WOOLDRIDGE, A. A., EDWARDS, H. G., PLAISANCE, E. P., APPLEGATE, R., TAYLOR, D. R., TAINTOR, J., ZHONG, Q. & JUDD, R. L. 2012. Evaluation of high-molecular weight adiponectin in horses. Am J Vet Res, 73, 1230-40.

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Characterisation of Asinine Pulmonary Fibrosis and similarities to an emerging human interstitial lung disease

Citation

Amy Miele, Nicole du Toit, Harriet Brooks, Sionagh H. Smith, W Wallace, C Dhaliwal, J Murchison, T Schwarz, N Hirani, C Haslett, K Dhaliwal, Bruce McGorum. Characterisation of Asinine Pulmonary Fibrosis and similarities to an emerging human interstitial lung disease. Presented at BSAS Annual Meeting 2013. (16 April - 17 April 2013). Nottingham, UK.

Authors
Presentation details
Date presented: 
Tuesday 16 April 2013
Event name: 
BSAS Annual Meeting 2013
Abstract

Introduction

Pleuroparenchymal Fibroelastosis (PPFE) is an emerging, idiopathic and likely under diagnosed condition that does not fall within any of the current classifications of human interstitial lung diseases (Frankel et al, 2004). Key features include an upper zone predominance of pleural fibrosis with associated intra-alveolar fibrosis and elastosis of alveolar walls (Frankel et al, 2004; Reddy et al., 2012). The objective of our study was to examine ex vivo lung tissue from a small cohort of aged donkeys with a high prevalence (35%) of fibrosing interstitial lung disease termed Asinine Pulmonary Fibrosis (APF;Morrow et al, 2010). APF is a potentially debilitating and untreatable syndrome of donkeys that is poorly understood and rarely documented. We hypothesise that some cases of APF share several key gross and histopathological features of PPFE and propose that both can be linked to recurrent respiratory infection.

Materials and Methods

Whole asinine lungs were collected from 30 aged donkeys at routine necropsy examination at two UK donkey sanctuaries between June 2009 and September 2012. 19 ‘APF affected’ donkeys had evidence of pulmonary fibrosis on gross examination while 11 ‘control’ animals had grossly normal lungs. Lungs were manually inflated prior to clamping of the trachea and gross images were photographed with a digital camera. 16 whole inflated ex vivo lungs (11 APF, 5 controls) were then imaged with high resolution computed tomography (HRCT). Tissue samples were collected from each lung into 10% buffered formalin according to a standard protocol before undergoing routine processing to paraffin blocks. Sections were routinely stained with haematoxylin and eosin (H&E), elastic van Gieson (EVG) and Masson’s trichrome (MT). HRCT images and histology sections were reviewed independently and blindly by a radiologist and pathologist respectively from both medical and veterinary fields. Sections and HRCT images were categorised as ‘definite’, ‘consistent with’ or ‘inconsistent with’ with regard to PPFE using criteria described by Reddy et al (2012). Cases were categorised as ‘definite’ on either CT or histology if there was pleural thickening with associated subpleural fibrosis either concentrated in upper or dorsal lung lobes (with respect to CT evaluation) or demonstrating intra-alveolar fibrosis with alveolar septal elastosis (with respect to histological evaluation of EVG sections). CT images were categorised as ‘consistent with’ if there was dorsal lobe pleural thickening and associated subpleural fibrosis but the distribution of fibrosis was not concentrated in the dorsal lung lobes or there was evidence of coexistent lung disease elsewhere. Histology sections were categorised as ‘consistent with’ if intra-alveolar fibrosis was present but either not associated with pleural fibrosis, not predominantly subpleural or not in a dorsal lobe biopsy. ‘Inconsistent with’ was assigned to cases that lacked the aforementioned features either on CT or histology.

Results

Ages of ‘APF affected’ (median 31 years, range 14-53) and ‘control’ (median 28 years, range 4-36) donkeys at the time of death were not significantly different (Mann Whitney, p>0.05). The donkeys comprised 11 geldings and 19 entire jennies. 10/19 APF affected cases were euthanased on humane grounds due to respiratory disease, while 9 were euthanased on humane grounds for other reasons and pulmonary fibrosis was an incidental post mortem finding.
10/19 APF affected cases were categorised as either ‘definite’ or ‘consistent with’ PPFE on histological evaluation, while 9 showed histological evidence of pleuroparenchymal fibrosis but this did not have an intra-alveolar distribution. 8/11 APF affected cases were categorised as either ‘definite’ or ‘consistent with’ PPFE on evaluation of HRCT images. Two of the remaining 3 cases showed pleural and subpleural fibrosis concentrated in the ventral lung lobes while one demonstrated diffuse ground glass opacity with minimal pleural fibrosis. Histological evaluation of these three cases also resulted in an ‘inconsistent with’ classification. All control cases were classified as ‘inconsistent with’ on both HRCT and histology.

Conclusions

APF is a common yet rarely diagnosed and apparently untreatable syndrome of aged donkeys. This study is the first to combine HRCT and histological data to characterise and document pathological features of APF. We conclude that the majority of cases of APF share key pathological features with human PPFE. Further study of APF may yield valuable information to help elucidate the aetiopathogenesis of this emerging human disease.

Acknowledgements The authors gratefully acknowledge funding from the MRC.

References
Frankel, S.K., Cool, C.D., Lynch, D.A., & Brown, K.K., 2004, CHEST Journal 126(6): 2007.
Morrow, L., Smith, K., Piercy, R., et al., 2010, Journal of Comparative Pathology.
Reddy, T.L., Tominaga, M., Hansell, D.M., et al., 2012, European Respiratory Journal 40(2): 377.

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Donkey hoof disorders and their treatment

Citation

Alexandra K. Thiemann, Karen Rickards. March 2013. Donkey hoof disorders and their treatment. In Practice. 35. 135-140.

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Publication details
Publication date: 
1 March 2013
Journal: 
In Practice
Volume: 
35
Page numbers: 
135-140
DOI number: 
doi:10.1136/inp.f1074
Abstract

Disorders of the hoof have important health and welfare implications in donkeys. Clinical conditions that affect the donkey hoof include laminitis, which is one of the most common causes of lameness in donkeys in the UK, as well as white line disease/abscess, and chronic conditions such as overlong hooves. This article reviews the normal anatomy and function of the donkey’s foot, before discussing in more detail the diseases that can arise and their treatment.

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