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Respiratory disease in the donkey

Citation

Alexandra K. Thiemann. September 2012. Respiratory disease in the donkey. Equine Veterinary Education. 24:9. 469-478.

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Publication details
Publication date: 
1 September 2012
Volume: 
24
Issue: 
9
Page numbers: 
469-478
DOI number: 
10.1111/j.2042-3292.2011.00292.x
Abstract

The donkey suffers from a similar range of respiratory diseases as the horse; however, there are a number of subtle variations, knowledge of which can influence the success of treatment. As an animal adapted to a semi-arid terrain, there are variations in physiology, anatomy and disease susceptibility. The nonathletic nature of the donkey means that delayed presentation is common with many diseases and, while there may be enhanced resistance to some transboundary and parasitic diseases, there may be equal or increased severity of illness to some endemic diseases, e.g. equine influenza. Donkeys frequently live to geriatric ages and the clinician should be aware of the increased risk of conditions such as tracheal collapse, fibrosing pneumonia and neoplasia in this age group. As with any condition that causes stress and inappetance, respiratory disease in the donkey may be complicated by hyperlipaemia and good nursing care is an essential component of treatment.

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Hyperlipemia in a Population of Aged Donkeys: Description, Prevalence and Potential Risk Factors

Citation

Faith A. Burden, Nicole du Toit, Elizabeth Hazell-Smith, Andrew F. Trawford. August 2011. Hyperlipemia in a Population of Aged Donkeys: Description, Prevalence and Potential Risk Factors. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

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Publication details
Publication date: 
1 August 2011
DOI number: 
10.1111/j.1939-1676.2011.00798.x
Abstract

Background: Hyperlipemia is a common disorder of the donkey, with mortality rates of up to 80% reported. Such a poor prognosis makes prevention of this disorder or amelioration in the early stages crucial.

Objectives: The objective of this study was to describe and determine the prevalence of hyperlipemia in a population of donkeys and to determine risk factors for development of the disease.

Animals: A total of 449 cases were investigated from a population of 3829 donkeys; donkeys were resident at The Donkey Sanctuary, a charity providing refuge for unwanted donkeys in the UK. Animals were selected on the basis of presence of clinical disease.

Methods: A retrospective case–control study design was used, and all donkeys presenting with hyperlipemia over a 4-year period were included. Each case was matched with 2 controls that had not suffered from hyperlipemia in the previous month. Multivariable analysis was carried out to determine risk factors.

Results: A total of 449 clinical cases of hyperlipemia were reported with an associated mortality rate of 48.5%. Concurrent disease was present in 72% of donkeys and was the greatest risk factor (OR = 76.98); others included cardboard bedding (OR = 3.86), movement (OR = 3.94), weight loss (OR = 6.4), dental disease (OR = 1.73), and concentrate feeding (OR = 1.87).

Conclusions: This study shows that this population of donkeys in the UK often develops hyperlipemia, particularly in response to stress or primary illness, and provides useful insights in to health and management risk factors that may be addressed to decrease the risk of hyperlipemia both in the study population and in other similar donkey populations.

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Practical feeding and condition scoring for donkeys

Citation

Faith A. Burden. October 2011. Practical feeding and condition scoring for donkeys. Equine Veterinary Education.

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Publication details
Publication date: 
1 October 2011
DOI number: 
10.1111/j.2042-3292.2011.00314.x
Abstract

Donkeys have evolved to thrive on highly fibrous, poor quality foodstuffs and have evolved as browsers as well as grazers. As such, they have different nutrient requirements with significantly lower energy and protein needs when compared with horses. Dietary management of donkeys is essential when kept in a temperate climate as they are prone to obesity and related disorders. A diet based on fibrous forages and limited grazing is usually sufficient for the majority of donkeys and mules. Specialist feeding is discussed in this article.

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Common dental disorders in the donkey

Citation

Nicole du Toit, Padraic M. Dixon. May 2011. Common dental disorders in the donkey. Equine Veterinary Education.

Authors
Publication details
Publication date: 
1 May 2011
DOI number: 
10.1111/j.2042-3292.2011.00236.x
Abstract

Normal dental anatomy and the range of dental disorders found in donkeys are largely similar to those described in horses. Recent studies have shown dental disease to have a high prevalence in donkeys. Some dental disorders, such as diastemata, displaced teeth and wave mouth can have serious clinical consequences by causing oral pain and weight loss and even predispose to colic. Many of these signs can be prevented by regular dental treatment that can slow down or even prevent the progression of these disorders.

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Comparison of the microhardness of enamel, primary and regular secondary dentine of the incisors of donkeys and horses

Citation

Nicole du Toit, B. Bezensek, Padraic M. Dixon. June 2008. Comparison of the microhardness of enamel, primary and regular secondary dentine of the incisors of donkeys and horses. Veterinary Record. 162:9. 272-275.

Authors
Publication details
Publication date: 
1 June 2008
Journal: 
Veterinary Record
Volume: 
162
Issue: 
9
Page numbers: 
272-275
DOI number: 
10.1136/vr.162.9.272
Abstract

The microhardness of the enamel, primary dentine and regular secondary dentine of seven donkey and six horse incisors was determined with a Knoop indenter at the subocclusal and mid-tooth level. The mean microhardnesses of the donkey incisor enamel, primary dentine and secondary dentine were 264·6 63·00 and 53·6 Knoop Hardness Number, respectively. There was no significant difference between the microhardness of the enamel and primary dentine on the incisors of the donkeys and horses, but the microhardness of the regular secondary dentine of the donkeys' incisors at the mid-tooth level was slightly but significantly less than that of the horses. There was also a difference in the microhardness of the secondary dentine between the subocclusal and mid-tooth levels in both donkey and horse incisors.

Because most donkeys live well beyond 30 years of age (Crane 1997), it has been proposed that their teeth may be harder than the teeth of horses, wear more slowly, and thus remain functional for longer (Misk and Seilem 1999). There have been studies of dental microhardness in human beings (Craig and Peyton 1958, Collys and others 1992), sheep (Suckling 1979), cattle (Attin and others 1997) and horses (Muylle and others 1999b). In horses, there are differences between breeds in the rate of dental wear caused by attrition (Muylle and others 1997, 1998) and in the microhardness of enamel and secondary dentine (Muylle and others 1999b), which could account for these differences. It is proposed that there may be a similar difference between the microhardness of the teeth of donkeys and horses that may contribute to the less rapid attrition of donkey teeth.

The aim of this study was to compare the microhardness of the enamel and primary and secondary dentine of the incisor teeth of donkeys and horses, to determine whether there was a significant difference between them.

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Clinical dental examinations of 357 donkeys in the UK. Part 2: Epidemiological studies on the potential relationships between different dental disorders, and between dental disease and systemic disorders

Citation
Authors
Publication details
Publication date: 
1 April 2009
Volume: 
41
Issue: 
4
Page numbers: 
395-400
Abstract

Reasons for performing study

Dental disease has been shown to be a risk factor for weight loss and colic in horses. No extensive clinical studies in donkeys have investigated the potential relationship between different dental disorders, or between dental disease and systemic disorders.

Objectives

To determine possible associations between dental disease and body condition score, weight loss, the need for supplemental feeding and prevalence of colic in donkeys of all ages, and to gain a better understanding of the pathogenesis of dental disease by the determination of associations between different dental disorders.

Methods

A prospective cross-sectional analysis of clinical dental examinations of 357 donkeys in The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth was performed. Other epidemiological factors such as estimated age group, body condition score, weight loss, medical history and supplemental feeding were also recorded, and multiple regression analyses were performed to determine possible associations.

Results

Donkeys from older age groups were more likely to have dental disease, poor body condition score and suffered previous colic episodes. The presence of dental disease was also significantly associated with weight loss, colic, low body condition score and the need for supplemental feeding. The presence of diastemata, periodontal disease, wave mouth, smooth mouth and step mouth are frequently associated with the presence of other dental disorders.

Conclusions

In addition to oral-related pain, dental disease can cause significant systemic disorders and so has increased welfare implications in donkeys. Some dental disorders promote the development of other types of dental abnormalities and thus increase the severity of dental disease in individual animals. POTENTIAL SIGNIFICANCE: Effective treatment of dental disorders slows down the progression of dental disease and decreases the risk of developing some medical disorders such as colic and weight loss that are associated with dental disease.

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Clinical dental examinations of 357 donkeys in the UK: Part 1: Prevalence of dental disorders

Citation

Nicole du Toit, Faith A. Burden, Padraic M. Dixon. April 2009. Clinical dental examinations of 357 donkeys in the UK: Part 1: Prevalence of dental disorders. Equine Veterinary Journal. 41:4. 390-394.

Authors
Publication details
Publication date: 
1 April 2009
Volume: 
41
Issue: 
4
Page numbers: 
390-394
DOI number: 
10.2746/042516409X368912
Abstract

Reasons for performing the study

Dental disorders have a high prevalence in older donkeys and horses, but the nature and pathogenesis of many of these disorders have yet to be established.

Objectives

The identification and determination of the prevalence of important dental disorders in different age groups in a large single population of donkeys, to establish a better understanding of the nature and pathogenesis of these disorders.

Methods

A prospective cross-sectional study was performed on the donkey population at The Donkey Sanctuary with detailed oral examinations of 357 donkeys within 7 different age groups (age range 2-53 years) recorded.

Results

The prevalence of dental disease in all donkeys was 73%, increasing in prevalence from 28% in the youngest to 98% in the oldest age group. There was an increase in prevalence of commonly recognised dental disorders with increasing age, such as: diastemata (3.8% in youngest to 86% in oldest group); missing teeth (0-56%); overgrown teeth (15-86%); worn teeth (8-84%); displaced teeth (0-38%); and periodontal disease (0-28%).

Conclusions

There was a significant increase in the prevalence of dental disorders with increasing age with the largest significant increase for most dental disorders occurring in the 15-20 year age group. POTENTIAL SIGNIFICANCE: Most dental disorders significantly increase in prevalence in the 15-20 year age group and, therefore, prophylactic geriatric dental treatment in donkeys should be commenced from age 15 years.

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Idiopathic typhlocolitis in 40 aged donkeys

Citation

Nicole du Toit, Faith A. Burden, Mulugeta Getachew, Andrew F. Trawford. February 2010. Idiopathic typhlocolitis in 40 aged donkeys. Equine Veterinary Education. 22:2. 53-57.

Authors
Publication details
Publication date: 
1 February 2010
Volume: 
22
Issue: 
2
Page numbers: 
53-57
DOI number: 
10.2746/095777309X480894
Abstract

Typhlocolitis was diagnosed in 40 aged donkeys at routine post mortem examinations subjected to euthanasia for colic-related clinical signs at The Donkey Sanctuary. Gross pathological changes included oedema, ulceration and haemorrhage involving the caecum and ventral colon. Histopathology indicated endoparasite and bacterial associated inflammation in 20 and 11 cases, respectively. Bacterial culture in 18 cases did not yield a definite aetiological agent. Other management and stress related factors were looked at to identify obvious risk factors. This report describes the clinical, biochemical and haematological parameters and pathological changes observed in 40 donkeys diagnosed with typhlocolitis.

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