In general, many diseases of the respiratory system in donkeys can be investigated and managed in a similar way to horses and ponies. Knowledge of donkey specific problems and anatomy can aid in the approach to diagnosis and treatment.
Respiratory disease is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the donkey. As the donkey does not often perform at speed and has an insensitive cough reflex it may be easy to miss early disease. It is often the case that preventative health measures, such as administering anthelmintics and vaccinations, are not applied as rigorously as in horses and ponies. Examination of such cases needs to be detailed and thorough, and treatment plans created with appreciation of donkey specific differences.