donkey

Drug Resistant Cyathostomins in Donkey Herds; Lessons in Management for All Equids

Citation

Andrew F. Trawford, Faith A. Burden. Drug Resistant Cyathostomins in Donkey Herds; Lessons in Management for All Equids. Presented at International Conference on Equine Infectious Diseases IX. (21 October - 26 October 2012). Kentucky, USA.

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Date presented: 
Sunday 23 October 2011
Abstract

The Donkey Sanctuary has over 2500 donkeys on its farms in the UK. Endoparasite control in these herds has been a major focus for the last 10 years. Monitoring of the herds has identified significant levels of anthelmintic resistance in the cyathostomins parasitising the donkey herds. Lack of efficacy of ivermectin, moxidectin, pyrantel and fenbendazole has been identified on multiple sites and in a number of cases treatment of donkeys harbouring such parasites is becoming increasingly challenging. Changes in management practices and approach to parasite treatment is discussed. Research to establish the extent of drug resistance and clinical significance of parasitism in donkeys is of primary concern; projects have focussed on identification of drug resistance, impacts of pasture management, validation of thresholds of faecal egg counts for treatment and alternatives to anthelmintics. Significant changes in management practices have been based upon results of these studies and new ideas and techniques are being developed. Treatment of all donkeys is carried out on the basis of a strongyle faecal egg count which is carried out on a 4-weekly basis throughout the year. Preliminary data and clinical experience has shown that increasing the FEC treatment threshold for healthy, mature donkeys to ≥ 1000 strongyle epg is sufficient to control clinical disease whilst reducing pasture contamination. Application of new treatment thresholds have reduced the reliance on chemical treatment. The mean number of anthelmintic treatments per year per animal was one in 2011; this is a significant reduction from previous dosing regimes where animals would be treated a minimum of four times per year. Animals are monitored frequently with problematic herds being 100% sampled every four weeks; such monitoring allows individualised treatment programmes and highlights reduced egg reappearance periods early. Reduced ERPs are investigated immediately with suspect animals undergoing a faecal egg count reduction test (FECRT) at the next treatment. Failed FECRTs trigger an alternative approach to treatment and further investigation. It is evident that some individual cases are becoming increasingly difficult to treat effectively; future trials of combinations of anthelmintics are being considered. Effective parasite control has also led to an increased emphasis on pasture management; dung is closely managed and carefully composted. Pasture is also rested in 6 month blocks with mixed species grazing instigated where possible. Good pasture management practices produce significant drops in pasture larval counts and is the primary mechanism used to reduce parasitism. Research and practical experience has emphasised the importance of good pasture management, treatment based upon faecal egg counts and routine assessment of efficacy of treatment. Researching and trialling higher dosing threshold has also led to significant decreases in the reliance of the organisation on anthelmintics with no recorded clinical effects. The lessons learnt from management of these large herds of donkeys may provide salient and important foundations for future equid herds that undoubtedly will experience similar problems in the future.

Online references

Mycobacterium bovis infection in a donkey

Citation

Jill Bryan, Pieter Den Boon, J McQuirk, G Madigan, Ursula Fogarty. Mycobacterium bovis infection in a donkey. Presented at Annual Meeting of the European College of Veterinary Pathologists.

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Date presented: 
Thursday 6 September 2012
Abstract

Introduction: Mycobacterial infections are rare in equines. Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) is an important zoonotic pathogen causing disease in a wide range of animal species. Infection with M. bovis has not been documented previously in the donkey.

Materials and Methods: A 29-year-old donkey gelding presented with depression, pyrexia, tachycardia, tachypnoea and generalised wheezes and crackles on thoracic auscultation. Haematologic examination identified neutrophilic leukocytosis. Response to treatment with antimicrobials and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories was poor and the donkey was euthanased.

Results: On gross postmortem examination the lungs were diffusely consolidated with an irregular nodular appearance of the surface and multiple coalescing, firm, pale masses diffusely distributed throughout the parenchyma. Multiple, variably sized, firm, pale nodular masses were also identified within the mediastinum, epicardium, omentum, kidneys, liver, spleen and diaphragm. Histopathological examination of lung showed prominent interstitial fibrosis and diffuse granulomatous inflammation in which acidfast bacilli were occasionally identified. The additional nodular masses represented foci of chronic granulomatous inflammation. Culture of lung yielded a heavy growth of mycobacteria confirmed to be M. bovis by molecular techniques (GenoType MTBC).

Conclusion: Although rare in equines, disease caused by M. bovis should be considered as a possible differential diagnosis in donkeys presenting with signs of respiratory disease and respiratory or generalised granulomatous inflammation.

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A novel approach to pain recognition in donkeys

Citation

Gabriela Olmos, Faith A. Burden. A novel approach to pain recognition in donkeys. Presented at 14th World Congress on Pain, Sattelite Symposia: Pain and Pain Management in Non-Human Species. (27 August - 31 August 2012). Milan, Italy.

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Date presented: 
Sunday 26 August 2012
Abstract

Pain due lesions and clinical conditions is one of the main welfare concerns of the more than 42 millions donkeys that presently exist in the world. Yet, the knowledge to gauge pain in donkeys is lacking, misunderstood and/or not validated (Ashley, 2005).

Pain (yes/no/uncertain) and its severity (VAS; no pain=0 to worst pain=100mm) was assessed in 403 donkeys’ ante-mortem (ATM) and post-mortem (PTM). Also behaviours/signs (BS) and pain related lesions (PRL) were assessed ATM and PTM, respectively. Using principal component analysis the more than 53 BS and 238 PRL observed were narrowed to 58 biologically meaningful component or groups (14 BS and 44 PRL components, respectively). Components were used as risk factors in multiple regression analysis to identify which BS and/or PRL are commonly used in clinician’s (veterinary/pathologist) decision making process to determine whether a donkey ‘is’ (i.e. ATM) or ‘was’ (i.e. PTM) in pain and its severity (mild to severe). Furthermore, multiple correlations were made to understand which BS relate significantly with specific PRL and how.

A cross tabulation between pain ATM and PTM, where pain related lesions are used as a quasi-gold standard of pain assessment; identify that 2 in 10 donkeys are wrongly assumed as in NO-PAIN. Moreover, only 43% of the donkey observations are used by clinicians to make their opinion on donkey pain and its severity (i.e. 7 BS and 18 PRL components were significantly associated with pain as stated by clinicians). Yet, multiple correlations showed 20 plausible biologically meaningful relationships between BS and PRL; some currently not used by clinicians.

This methodology, previously successfully used in humans (Gregory, 2010) is novel to donkey veterinary medicine and warrants further research to consolidate findings. Nonetheless, the achieved correlation list of behaviours vs. pathologies is a significant work with valid applications in donkey pain identification and prognosis.

Ashley FH, Waterman-Pearson AE, Whay HR (2005) Behavioural assessment of pain in horses and donkeys: application to clinical practice and future studies, Equine Vet J, 37(6), 565 - 575.

Gregory NG (2010) Relationships between pathology and pain severities: a review. Animal Welfare 19, 437-448.

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Mainstreaming equine health and welfare - experiences of The Donkey Health and Welfare Project (DHWP) Amhara, Ethiopia

Citation
Authors
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Date presented: 
Monday 30 October 2006
Abstract

The Amhara region has the largest donkey population in Ethiopia. However, their welfare can be poor, due to environmental, disease and management problems. This is aggravated by cultural prejudices towards donkeys, their low economic value and the poverty of farmers. In 2003 the Donkey Sanctuary (Sidmouth, UK) investigated the perceived disease constraints to welfare. The investigation made many recommendations; including developing the capacity of the existing government veterinary service and helping make this service more available to donkey owners. In 2005, three government clinics were selected to take part in a pilot scheme. One veterinary surgeon and one animal health assistant from each clinic undertook to promote good medical treatment of donkeys in the area as well as participation in an extension programme aimed at improving donkey welfare. Basic drugs were supplied to the clinics free of charge and donkey owners were asked to pay only a nominal fee toward the cost of treatment. Many challenges were faced in developing this initiative including: finding personnel with the right knowledge, skills and most importantly attitude, negotiating with government bureaucracy and ensuring the availability and supply of drugs. Constant support and monitoring proved essential. The trial was reviewed after six months. This paper examines the lessons learned from this pilot study, the successes and failures, and reports on future developments.

Proceedings
Publisher: 
The Donkey Sanctuary
Publication date: 
30 October 2006

Achievements of The Donkey Health and Welfare Project of The Donkey Sanctuary in Ethiopia (1994-2005)

Citation

E. Bojia, Feseha Gebreab, Alemayehu Fanta, G. Ayele, Mersha Tesfaye, B. Amare, N. Dereje, C. Chala, A. Abebe, Andrew F. Trawford, Joe Anzuino, Mulugeta Getachew. October 2010. Achievements of The Donkey Health and Welfare Project of The Donkey Sanctuary in Ethiopia (1994-2005). Presented at 5th International Colloquium on Working Equines. (30 October - 2 November 2006). Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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Presentation details
Date presented: 
Monday 30 October 2006
Abstract

In Ethiopia the Donkey Sanctuary started its health and welfare activities in 1994. This was the time when the International Donkey Protection Trust and Addis Ababa University concluded an agreement and signed a memorandum of understanding. Since that time and up to 2003, activities were centred in the districts of Bereh, Boset, Ada and Akaki and Addis Ababa Grain Market located at a radius of 100-150 kms from Debre Zeit, the centre with a stationery clinic. The facilities of the latter include an open-air clinic, surgical theatre, laboratory, store for drugs, boxes for mules and donkeys, offices and a training room. As of 2004, three districts namely: Dugda Bora, Lume and Sebata have been added as sites of operation. Resistance at the very beginning by donkey owners to bring their animals for treatment was a problem but over the years the service has obtained wide acceptance, the trend exhibiting exponential growth: Ada (R2=0.87), Akaki (R2=0.88), Bereh (R2=0.70), Boset (R2=0.70), and for mules (R2=0.84). The clinic has so far provided treatments to 289,999 donkeys and 14,665 mules, and 217,609 owners have benefited. In 2003 two satellite projects have been set up in the northern part of Ethiopia: Amhara and Tigray and have so far treated more than 72,000 donkeys and mules and more than 29,000 owners have benefited. The centre at Debre Zeit was also designed to cater for local and international training, to date it has provided training to 217 veterinary professionals (28 foreign vets, 41 local vets, 17 foreign and 101 local animal health assistants, 30 local animal health technicians) in donkey medicine, surgery, farriery and general welfare. Since 2002, 297 clinical year students enrolled for the DVM degree in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Addis Ababa University have been trained in donkey medicine and surgery. Three to four clinical year students accompany mobile teams in field operations on a weekly rotation basis. Recently, the project has embarked on an education and extension programme in conjunction with its treatment activities and so far 51,513 owners have benefited. In the recently launched school education programme 1014 students in 7 primary schools are attending sessions in the basics of animal welfare. Baseline data development for the understanding of the health and welfare problems of donkeys in Ethiopia is being pursued by the project staff and through the supervision of DVM thesis involving final year students.

Proceedings
Publisher: 
The Donkey Sanctuary
Publication date: 
30 October 2010

The extension and education methods implemented for sustaining the health and welfare of working donkeys in India

Citation
Authors
Presentation details
Date presented: 
Monday 30 October 2006
Abstract

In India the majority of donkeys are used as pack animals to carry sand, gravel, debris and bricks especially in brick kilns and also goods up the hill in pilgrimage places. Like many of the developing countries the donkeys working in India suffer tremendous abuse, injury and pain. Harness wounds and lameness are common due to improper harness, overloading and lack of knowledge about care and management among the owners. This paper discusses the extension methods that were used and found to be effective with an aim to improve the condition of the donkeys, help them become wound free and prevent suffering. The donkey owners were given practical lessons on how to fit a harness properly, donuts (circular protectors), padding materials and how to make good U-shaped back protectors. A video film was made for this purpose and shown to the owners. Distributing soft cotton hobbles made from fabric waste prevented the hobble wounds. Re-homing abandoned donkeys to good owners and rewarding the owners for best-kept donkeys has encouraged the owners to keep their donkeys in good condition, wound free and fit. Distribution of hoof picks (modified screw drivers) encouraged owners to pick out donkeys' feet regularly to prevent lameness due to puncture wounds and hoof abscesses caused by thorns and sharp objects. Enthusiastic owners were picked and given training in basic donkey care. Efforts were taken to promote correct treatments and also encourage the use of readily available natural herbal products. A cartoon film, study materials in the form of pictures and cartoons were used to evoke interest among the donkey owner's children in basic donkey care. Public awareness included distributing storybooks, leaflets, organising camps at local agricultural and equine fairs and publishing articles in newspapers. A marked improvement in the donkeys' status, health, condition and owners care for their donkey has become a reality due to the implementation of extension and education activities.

Proceedings
Publisher: 
The Donkey Sanctuary
Publication date: 
30 October 2010

Effect of modern drugs on the environment and the role of alternative medicine

Citation

Ganesh Murugan. October 2006. Effect of modern drugs on the environment and the role of alternative medicine. Presented at 5th International Colloquium on Working Equines. (30 October - 2 November 2006). Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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Presentation details
Date presented: 
Monday 30 October 2006
Abstract

Effect of the modern drugs used extensively for treatment of humans and animals could be detrimental on the environment. The reported near extinction of several vulture species in India and "careless and casual" use of Diclofenac sodium on livestock being attributed as the cause, shows the extent and depth of this issue. Effects of drugs like Ivermectin and organophosphates in the environment need to be understood. Traditional plants have the potential to be used as alternatives, but a lot of constraints, including a lack of hard evidence to support the use of many of them, which can raise ethical concerns in using them. Environmental impact has to be considered to especially of rarer plants. This paper aims to stress the importance of pursuing alternative medicines like herbs/plant products and constraints in using them on animals are discussed. Potential natural products that could be used in place of modern medicines wherever possible especially in mobile veterinary units are discussed.

Proceedings
Publisher: 
The Donkey Sanctuary
Publication date: 
30 October 2006

The effect of pasture restriction on dry matter intake by foraging donkeys in the UK

Citation

Stephanie J. Wood, David Smith, Catherine J. Muir, J. Oliver, Derek Cuddeford. October 2006. The effect of pasture restriction on dry matter intake by foraging donkeys in the UK. Presented at 5th International Colloquium on Working Equines. (30 October - 2 November 2006). Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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Presentation details
Date presented: 
Monday 30 October 2006
Abstract

Measuring daily food intake of foraging animals is essential if accurate feeding rations are to be implemented. The alkane technique, which has recently been validated in equines, now provides the opportunity to measure intake at pasture. The aims of this study were to determine the effects of herbage mass and grazing time allowance on dry matter intakes in mature donkeys in the UK. The effect of grazing time allowance on diet composition was also measured. Two study periods took place; period 1 when pasture was sparse (herbage mass 133.1±10 g dry matter/m2) and period 2 when pasture was more abundant (herbage mass 284.5±17.2 g dry matter/m2). Eighteen mature donkeys, male and female, were selected for the study and split into three grazing groups. Groups 1 and 2 were restricted to 8 and 12 hours grazing time per day, respectively. Group 3 was allowed 23 hours grazing time daily. Access to a yarded area and shelter was available to all donkeys during grazing periods. Barley straw was fed ad libitum to all donkeys and was available at all times. Each donkey was administered with 150 mg per day of an n-alkane marker Dotriacontane (C32) in the form of a labelled wheat biscuit fed three times daily for the 12 days of each study period. During period 1 grazing time allowance had no significant effect on daily DMI although the donkeys with 23 hours access did consume more than donkeys with only 12 and 8 hours grazing access (2.61, 2.54 and 2.26 kg, respectively). The proportion of grass and straw comprising daily intake was affected by grazing time allowance (P<0.05). Grass comprised 18% of daily intake for the 8 and 12-hour groups and 11% in the diet of the 23-hour group, although this difference was not significant. During period 2 daily DMI remained unaffected by grazing time allowance. The proportions of grass and straw within the diet were significantly affected (P<0.001), grass comprised 25 and 29% of daily intake for the 8 and 12-hour groups but made up 41% of daily intake of the 23-hour group. These results show that grazing time allowance has little effect on overall DMI but when given the opportunity donkeys increase their grass intake.

Proceedings
Publisher: 
The Brooke
Publication date: 
30 October 2006

Seasonal variation of digestible energy requirements of mature donkeys in the UK

Citation

Stephanie J. Wood, David Smith, Catherine J. Muir, Derek Cuddeford. October 2006. Seasonal variation of digestible energy requirements of mature donkeys in the UK. Presented at 5th International Colloquium on Working Equines. (30 October - 2 November 2006). Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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Presentation details
Date presented: 
Monday 30 October 2006
Abstract

At present there are no published feeding guidelines specific to donkeys. Current recommendations are to feed 0.75 of horse energy needs on a body weight basis. However, it has been shown that donkeys have a greater digestive efficiency than horses and ponies and thus, feeding them as though they were small horses results in excess energy intake and, as a consequence they become obese. The formation of feeding guidelines begins with the estimation of the energy requirement for maintenance, as this is the value upon which nutrient requirements are related to. The aim of the study was to determine the maintenance digestible energy requirements of mature donkeys during each UK season. Twenty mature donkeys (10 male, 10 female) were selected for use in the study. The donkeys were fed a diet of hay and barley straw in quantities that were adjusted to maintain body weight. An equilibration period of minimum 16 days was followed by a five day total faecal collection; this was carried out for each season. Food and faecal samples were analysed for dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM), digestible energy (DE), crude protein (CP), neutral-detergent fibre (NDF) and acid-detergent fibre (ADF); nutrient and energy intakes were calculated. There was a significant seasonal effect on all intakes except NDF and ADF. DM and DE intakes showed significant increases in winter compared to summer, rising by 42 and 35%, respectively. Digestible crude protein (DCP) intakes increased during winter and spring but were significantly lower in autumn compared to all other seasons. A strong seasonal effect was exerted on all in vivo digestibilities although there was no effect of sex. OM, NDF and ADF intakes were affected by sex with male animals having higher intakes compared to female animals. Comparison of these results with NRC (1989) horse requirements showed a considerably reduced requirement by donkeys for energy and protein and thus it was concluded that feeding tables specific to horses are not suitable for calculating donkey requirements.

Proceedings
Publisher: 
The Donkey Sanctuary
Publication date: 
30 October 2006

Behaviour of urban working donkeys and welfare issues: Experiences from India

Citation

Ganesh Murugan. October 2006. Behaviour of urban working donkeys and welfare issues: Experiences from India. Presented at 5th International Colloquium on Working Equines. (30 October - 2 November 2006). Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Authors
Presentation details
Date presented: 
Monday 30 October 2006
Proceedings
Publisher: 
The Donkey Sanctuary
Publication date: 
30 October 2006
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