Being a holding base for Sanctuary donkeys is always rewarding but when a donkey is unwell, it can be quite a commitment.
Holding bases are used when donkeys cannot immediately travel to Devon for whatever reason or if they may be suitable for re-homing within an area. The Sanctuary has a number around the United Kingdom.
Take the delightful Betty and Pompey (mother and son) who came to me in October. Sadly some six weeks later Betty developed a bad bout of laminitis, an extremely painful condition which can be caused by a number of factors.
The vet came out immediately and box rest was prescribed with painkillers and footpads for support on a deep shavings bed. Betty is making good progress but the ongoing management of a laminitic equine means that she will now not be suitable to join our rehoming scheme.
Box rest is quite a lot of care and work. So when my own donkey Violet, now in her early 30s, was lame one morning I felt she could have picked a better time! Violet is a very special lady who spent the first 17 years of her life in Bulgaria pulling heavy loads, all of which has taken its toll on her general health.
However, she is the sweetest most amenable little donkey and has a special friend in Jack who clearly adores her. It would seem that her pain was his pain as he also went lame on one of his front feet which I felt was taking bonding a bridge too far!
Both had abscesses - Violet’s due to the fact that her feet are now rather poor and after a visit by the vet to allow drainage of any pus, poultices were applied which have to be changed regularly.
Fortunately all donkeys are on the mend and I shan’t mention my own back pain from all the bending and stooping!
From Suffolk’s own Animal Hospital we would like to wish all humans and donkeys a happy and healthy New Year.