Owning donkeys can be the most rewarding experience. However, there can be bumps in the road when their health is compromised.
Meet Billy and Benny. They are a lovely pair of foster donkeys that live at the wonderful home of Richard and Angela in the South of England. At the end of February Billy was found early on a Sunday morning in his stable in a state of distress. The vet was called immediately and colic, an abdominal pain, was diagnosed. Sadly after an hour or so Billy was not responding to medication, so he was transported as an emergency patient along with his friend Benny to a local Equine Hospital.
Further investigation revealed he had a twist in his gut, which is perhaps the most serious form of colic and required surgery which lasted 2-3 hours and removed almost four metres of gut that had essentially died. Four days later Billy required another operation to encourage his guts to start working properly again. He is a young, fit, healthy seven-year-old donkey so it was felt that his prognosis was positive for a full recovery. All this time his constant companion Benny was by his side, segregated by a half stable door to protect the drip that was feeding Billy fluids.
Finally in May all the treatment from vets had finished and Billy with Benny had been turned out onto grass for increasingly longer periods of time. Now I am pleased to say that both are almost back to normal and their lifestyle is what it was before. Benny has returned to his old self, although it has to be said he is more wary of vets nowadays! He is also gradually regaining the weight that he has lost through two surgeries, being hospitalised and kept off of the grass until all was well.
His guardians, Richard and Angela have had a few sleepless nights over the course of Billy’s illness, but visited him and Benny regularly in hospital to help give the donkeys some continuity in a great period of change. They have been amazing guardians and have done everything and more that was asked of them by the medical teams and vets that have visited. This I am sure has greatly contributed to Billy’s recovery.
As his surgeon Russell and one of his attending vets Holly both remarked – “he is a lucky donkey to be alive”. Billy the Brave indeed!