donkey

An investigation of the equine infectious disease threat represented by the presence of donkeys at mixed equestrian events in Ireland

Citation

Sarah Finney, Joseph A. Collins, Vivienne Duggan. July 2015. An investigation of the equine infectious disease threat represented by the presence of donkeys at mixed equestrian events in Ireland. Irish Veterinary Journal. 68:11.

Authors
Publication details
Publication date: 
1 July 2015
Volume: 
68
Issue: 
11
DOI number: 
10.1186/s13620-015-0041-6
Abstract

The number of abandoned or otherwise neglected donkeys has significantly increased in Ireland in the recent past. The real or perceived capacity of the donkey to act as a reservoir of equine infectious disease, and thus pose an increased risk of disease transmission to horses and ponies, may be a factor in this increased abandonment and neglect. The authors here report on a field study exploring the infectious disease transmission threat the donkey poses to the general equine industry in Ireland through an examination of biosecurity standards and the views of horse and donkey exhibitors at nine mixed equestrian events in 2014. Quantitative information was gathered via the organising committee (if any) and through an examination of facilities and procedures. Qualitative information was gathered using a semi-structured questionnaire to ascertain the view of exhibitors regarding the keeping of donkeys and any infectious disease transmission risks posed.

Results
At eight of nine events visited there were no entrance controls, no veterinary examinations, no enforcement of legislation regarding equine identification and equine premises registration and no isolation facilities on site for equids. Contact between donkeys and other equids was largely uncontrolled. Exhibitors had travelled from abroad to one event. Exhibitors generally opined that they did not perceive the donkey to represent any additional infectious disease transmission threat above that posed by other equids; there was however a general sense that donkeys were less well regarded for other reasons including nuisance and uselessness.

Conclusions
When biosecurity controls are not in place (or enforced) to actually check passports, verify identification and equine premises registration, mixed equestrian events may unwittingly act as the mechanism of spread of endemic and potentially more seriously exotic equine infectious disease. Donkeys were not generally considered by equine exhibitors at mixed events in Ireland to represent a heightened reservoir of disease or to pose an increased risk of transmission of contagious disease suggesting that other factors should be considered more important when studying the incidence of abandonment and neglect.

Online references

Nutritional management of Hyperlipaemiam

Citation

Andy Durham, Alexandra K. Thiemann. 26 May 2015. Nutritional management of Hyperlipaemiam. Equine Veterinary Education.

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Publication details
Publication date: 
26 May 2015
DOI number: 
10.1111/eve.12366
Abstract

Hyperlipaemia is a disease resulting from excessive mobilisation of triglyceride stores such that plasma clearance processes become overwhelmed. Consequently increased plasma triglyceride concentrations (>5.6 mmol/l), visibly cloudy plasma and a sick, anorexic or hypophagic subject follow. Epidemiological studies have identified many predisposing and triggering factors and the attentive carer or veterinary surgeon should be alert to such risk factors so that the disease can be prevented, or at least identified and treated at an early stage. Hyperlipaemic subjects are invariably in a negative energy balance, and nutritional management therefore plays a central role in both the prevention and resolution of the disease.

Online references

Donkeys are different

Citation

Faith A. Burden, Alexandra K. Thiemann. 20 March 2015. Donkeys are different. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science.

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Publication date: 
20 March 2015
Abstract

As a unique species of equine the donkey has certain specific variations from the horse. This review highlights the origins of the donkey and how this impacts upon its behaviour, physiology and propensity to disease. The donkey is less of a flight animal and has been used by humans for pack and draught work, in areas where their ability to survive poorer diets, and transboundary disease while masking overt signs of pain and distress has made them indispensable to human livelihoods.

When living as a companion animal however the donkey easily accumulates adipose tissue, this may create a metabolically compromised individual prone to diseases of excess such as laminitis and hyperlipaemia. They show anatomical variations from the horse especially in the hoof, upper airway, and their conformation. Variations in physiology lead to differences in the metabolism and distribution of many drugs. With over 44 million donkeys worldwide it is important that veterinarians have the ability to understand and treat this equid effectively.

Online references

Essential oils in the management of the donkey louse, Bovicola ocellatus

Citation

Lauren Ellse, Bryony Sands, Faith A. Burden, Richard Wall. March 2015. Essential oils in the management of the donkey louse, Bovicola ocellatus. Equine Veterinary Journal.

Authors
Publication details
Publication date: 
10 March 2015
DOI number: 
DOI: 10.1111/evj.12431
Abstract

REASONS FOR PERFORMING THE STUDY:
Chewing lice are widespread and clinically compromising parasites of livestock and equines. Their management is complicated by growing levels of resistance to commonly applied insecticides. Hence, the development of novel approaches to their control is of major clinical interest.
OBJECTIVES:
To assess the effects of incorporating the essential oils of tea tree and lavender into a grooming programme for populations of donkeys with natural infestations of Bovicola ocellatus in the UK and Ireland when louse populations were at their winter seasonal peak.
STUDY DESIGN:
In vivo field trial.
METHODS:
Suspensions of 5% (v/v) tea tree or lavender oil or an excipient only control, were groomed into the coats of winter-housed donkeys (n = 198) on 2 occasions, 2 weeks apart. Louse counts were conducted before each application and 2 weeks later.
RESULTS:
After 2 applications, the groups groomed with lavender or tea tree oil suspensions had a significant reduction in louse intensity, with a mean decline in louse abundance of 78% (95% CI 76-80%). Louse numbers in the groups groomed with excipient only either did not change or increased significantly. Donkey hair length had no effect on the decline in louse numbers.
CONCLUSIONS:
These results demonstrate that the inclusion of essential oil suspensions during grooming can be used to manage louse populations successfully. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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Clinical approach to the dull donkey

Citation

Alexandra K. Thiemann. 1 February 2013. Clinical approach to the dull donkey. In Practice. 35. 470-476.

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Publication details
Publication date: 
1 February 2013
Journal: 
In Practice
Volume: 
35
Page numbers: 
470-476
DOI number: 
10.1136/inp.f5262
Abstract

The ‘dull donkey’ is a general descriptive term used by owners and clinicians to identify a donkey presenting with varying degrees of depression, dullness and inappetence. These cases can be frustrating to diagnose and manage successfully. This article provides an overview of the most common causes of dullness in donkeys in the UK and suggests appropriate first-line diagnostic and treatment options. It should be appreciated that, in many cases, dull donkeys may be very sick and may require high levels of intervention to recover. Such cases should be seen as priority patients.

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Trypanosomosis in working equids in West Africa: characterising neurological disease

Citation

Demelza Kingston, Jan Rodgers, S. Sharpe, P. Capewell, Willie Weir, B. Bradley, David Sutton. 7 April 2014. Trypanosomosis in working equids in West Africa: characterising neurological disease. Presented at British Society for Parasitology Spring Meeting. (7 April 2014).

Authors
Presentation details
Date presented: 
Monday 7 April 2014
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Monitoring the development of cyathostomins in donkeys

Citation

Christopher J. Corbett, Sandy Love, Giles T. Innocent, Jacqui. B. Matthews, Faith A. Burden, Matthew Denwood. 26 March 2014. Monitoring the development of cyathostomins in donkeys. Presented at Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine Conference. (26 March - 28 March 2014). Dublin, Ireland.

Authors
Presentation details
Date presented: 
Wednesday 26 March 2014
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Quantifying the effects of individual animal characteristics and climatological factors on faecal worm egg count shedding in donkeys

Citation

Christopher J. Corbett, Sandy Love, Giles T. Innocent, Iain McKendrick, Jacqui. B. Matthews, Faith A. Burden, Matthew Denwood. 7 April 2014. Quantifying the effects of individual animal characteristics and climatological factors on faecal worm egg count shedding in donkeys. Presented at British Society for Parasitology Spring Meeting. (7 April 2014).

Authors
Presentation details
Date presented: 
Monday 7 April 2014
Abstract

Cyathostomins, the predominant parasitic nematodes of equids, have developed varying degrees of resistance to all three classes of anthelmintic licensed for use in horses. It is essential that the effectiveness of alternative methods of control for these pathogens are quantified, including incorporating climatic data and the commonly advocated practice of removal of faeces from pasture. Here, we obtained monthly faecal worm egg counts (FWEC, n=4,460 individual counts) from 803 donkeys based at The Donkey Sanctuary (Devon, UK). The dataset also included age, sex, field, FWEC history and previous anthelmintic administrations in each individual, as well as the pasture hygiene management method applied in the field where the donkey was grazed. FWEC were analysed alongside local climatic data using a generalised linear mixed model to assess associations between these variables and each observed monthly FWEC. The preferred model was identified using a model selection algorithm based on penalised likelihoods, and associated a 2.1% decrease in FWEC per day with air frost two calendar months ago (p<0.001) and a 38% lower FWEC in groups with twice weekly manual faecal removal compared to those with no faecal removal (p=0.004). Other weather effects, both alone and as interaction terms with the average FWEC of the field were included in the model, alongside individual FWEC history with anthelmintic administration as interaction terms and date as a single term. Our study identifies factors that may be useful as part of on-going predictive modelling based methods of improving targeted selective therapy.

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