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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.

Authors
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.

Online references

Feeding working donkeys in Mexico: Success in simplicity

Citation

Faith A. Burden, Andrew F. Trawford. December 2010. Feeding working donkeys in Mexico: Success in simplicity. Presented at 5th European Workshop on Equine Nutrition. (19 September - 22 September 2010). Cirencester, UK. 128.336.

Authors
Presentation details
Date presented: 
Monday 20 September 2010
Proceedings
Volume: 
128
Number of pages: 
336
ISBN (13-digit): 
978-90-8686-155-2
Publication date: 
31 December 2010

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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