preventative care

Demography, preventative healthcare and reason for relinquishment of donkeys to an equine charity in the UK (2013‐2015)

Citation

Elena Barrio, Ignacio De Blas Giral, Alexandra K. Thiemann, F. J. Vazquez Bringas. 15 June 2020. Demography, preventative healthcare and reason for relinquishment of donkeys to an equine charity in the UK (2013‐2015). Equine Veterinary Education.

Authors
Publication details
Publication date: 
15 June 2020
DOI number: 
10.1111/evj.13310
Abstract

Background
In the UK, there are thousands of donkeys being cared for by charities; however, little is known about the reasons for relinquishment or their previous health status, with even less information available in published literature. Such information could help to identify factors contributing to poor equine welfare and guide the development of appropriate educational resources.

Objectives
To describe the characteristics of the relinquished donkeys and to better understand the current preventative healthcare status of donkeys relinquished into The Donkey Sanctuary.

Study design
Cross‐sectional observational survey.

Methods
A total of 596 donkeys were admitted during a 30‐month period. Each had a health check at arrival; and previous management information was provided by the owner. Data were retrieved from The Donkey Sanctuary database, inputted into a specific Microsoft Access 2016 database then exported for analysis in IBM SPSS 19.0 for Windows®. Mules and ponies were excluded from the study.

Results
Many donkeys arrived without a valid passport (32.3%) or microchip (49.7%). Only 23.2% were fully protected against influenza and tetanus and 21.0% of the donkeys had no previous anthelmintic treatment history. Geriatric donkeys often suffered from moderate to severe dental disease in need of advanced treatment, and 43.9% had received no dental treatment within the last year. Overall 26.3% of donkeys were classed as overweight and 8.6% were obese. The median time since the last hoof trim was 10 weeks.

Main limitation
The health status of the studied donkeys may have been affected by the reasons for relinquishment, and associations require further investigation.

Conclusions
This study highlights the need for improving preventative healthcare in donkeys to ensure better welfare within the population.

Online references

Clinical evaluation and preventative care in donkeys

Citation

Elena Barrio, Karen Rickards, Alexandra K. Thiemann. 3 October 2019. Clinical evaluation and preventative care in donkeys. The Veterinary clinics of North America. Equine Practice. 35:3. 545-560.

Authors
Publication details
Publication date: 
3 October 2019
Volume: 
35
Issue: 
3
Page numbers: 
545-560
DOI number: 
10.1016/j.cveq.2019.08.013
Abstract

Clinical evaluation and preventative care in donkeys should follow similar guidelines as for horses. There are species-specific differences due to the desert-adapted physiology of the donkey. Donkeys are mainly used as pack animals, companions and for production of meat or milk - they may be kept well into old age. Diseases often present late or may go unrecognized leading to poor welfare and quality of life. Basic knowledge of nutrition, blood values, pharmacology and common disease recognition will help veterinarians improve the health and welfare of donkeys.

Published online ahead of print.

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