On a visit to a brick kiln in Solapur in India, our team found two donkeys in need of urgent veterinary care for bite wounds. After treating injuries to their forelegs and backs, the team gave the donkeys vaccines as well as antibiotics to prevent infection. The donkeys had been quite difficult to catch, so while they were there, the team also took the opportunity to talk to the three children looking after them about donkey behaviour and handling.
Hello, my name is Shelley and I am the Veterinary Department Clerical Officer. I have worked at the Sanctuary for 7 years and still love cuddling the donkeys on my way in every day. Not many places can boast that before you start work!
The hospital is a very busy place and we have a team of 7 vets, 5 vet nurses, 2 equine dental technicians and 2 grooms... this creates a lot of work for us in the office.
This month’s blog comes from Alex, one of the clinical team of vets.
One of the things The Donkey Sanctuary is keen to promote is education about looking after donkeys at all levels from owners, farriers, equine dentists, vet students and vets in practice. So a lot of our time here in the vet department is taken up with organising and doing all this training.
We are Lee and Gemma, two full-time, qualified Equine Dental Technicians based here at the Sanctuary. We visit each of our farms in Devon and Dorset performing routine dental treatments and also hold twice weekly clinics at our hospital facility for more advanced cases requiring veterinary input.
The second most common veterinary medical problem encountered by the donkey is dental disease. Every year, donkeys in the UK are euthanased through neglect to their oral health having first endured the chronic, widespread effects of severe oral disorders.
Sarcoids are a type of skin tumour found in up to 12% of equids. All equids can suffer from sarcoids including donkeys, mules, horses, ponies and even zebra. Sarcoids can be very serious in some cases and when sarcoids are particularly aggressive or do not respond to treatment they can lead to the euthanasia of affected donkeys. This sad fact became very personal to me early in my career at The Donkey Sanctuary when I was involved in one of our first projects to understand these devastating tumours.