Donkeys requiring hospitalisation can be managed in a similar way to small ponies, although differences in temperament, behaviour and conformation must be taken into consideration.
Donkeys form strong bonds with companions and should be help together. Stress should be kept to a minimum, as hyperlipaemia is a common complication of any management change or illness. Nurses and grooms should be sensitive to subtle behavioural changes, which are often early indicatorsof illness. Donkeys are stoical by nature and often do not exhibit dramatic symptoms. Any donkey described as dull, head held low, generally disinterested and with reduced appetite, should be investigated.
In this chapter, nursing care aspects will be described.