I was out with Shelagh, my Regional Welfare Officer, on routine foster visits earlier in the year. I remember it well as it was the day the car's air conditioning waited until the hottest spell of the year to pack up?
I am very lucky in that I have some wonderful foster homes and our first visit was to a lovely lady in Wymondham who has just one donkey. Lucy lost her companion last year but at around 30 years of age and with two goats for company, she seems very content with life. Many older donkeys don't mind being on their own but the same does not apply to younger ones who often get behavioural problems as a result of not being able to play and interact with a friend their own age.
On to our second foster visit and two utterly stunning donkeys, a perfect weight with glossy coats and all down to 15 year old Maisie, who absolutely adores Walsh and Goodtime (pictured above).
Our third visit that day was to two donkeys who have sadly had problems over the last six months. Both have had feet problems with seedy toe, or white line disease, a fungal condition which eats away at the white line. If not treated and cut out by the farrier, this spreads upwards causing considerable problems.
Herbert had a bad abscess as a result of dirt getting into the cavity and both ended up having extensive treatment which resulted in them being confined to a small concreted yard for several months while healthy hoof grew back down. Donkeys in this country are very prone to seedy toe due, we believe, to living in wet conditions which is why hardstanding and good management is essential. Great care and attention by the foster owner has resulted in 8 healthy hooves.
Finally to drop off some liver fluke treatment to a private owner with two utterly gorgeous miniature donkeys. Donkeys can carry liver fluke without anybody being aware and it may only come to light as a result of a dung test which we recommend doing. It is prevalent in donkeys that live on wet marshy ground and a considerable number of the many Irish donkeys in this country carry liver fluke.
Then home - with no aircon revival! On arrival in Long Melford I discovered my car keys had disappeared somewhere en route. Not the best end to a day as had to get a taxi home to pick up spare set and then back to get car.
Finally home and out to poo pick after my own 8 lovable donkeys who had spent the day happily sunning themselves and pooing for England!