Many members of staff at The Donkey Sanctuary work very hard to make life better for donkeys but don’t get the recognition they deserve because theirs is a ‘behind the scenes’ job! So, we’d like to let you know that we have some pretty brilliant lab technicians and a dedicated veterinary pathologist.
Believe it or not spring is around the corner! After a particularly wet winter we are all looking forward to the grass starting to grow and daylight hours getting longer. Spring is a wonderful time of year and our donkeys and mules enjoy it as much as we do. However, there are hidden dangers in spring and the dreaded words obesity and laminitis often rear their ugly heads at this time of year. It is time to start adjusting feeding regimes, dusting off the electric fencing, condition scoring your donkeys and paying attention to your land.
We have noticed that the older the donkey gets, the less they tolerate changes in weather. It’s not just the extremes of temperature that they become unable to cope with but also simply the change. We are lucky to live in a relatively temperate country but we do often get sudden changes from warm and wet to cold and frosty.
As many of our wonderful supporters know the Veterinary Department is moving to a new purpose-built hospital in the future, and this is an expensive project. Lots of you have been incredibly generous and supported the new hospital with donations and cards.
Georgie is a donkey that has figured prominently in some of our appeal literature, so I thought you might like an update about his progress. It has been so touching to read the messages of support and love for him from a multitude of well- wishers worldwide.
The Veterinary Department would like to introduce you to 31 year old Fred. Fred was a patient at the hospital a few weeks ago due to a sore eye which we started treating at Brookfield Farm in August. Fred has a long history of eye problems which had left him with scarring on the front of his left eye. This became painful in August, and despite initial improvement he developed an ulcer. Poor Fred became increasingly grumpy which is distressing for the farm staff and us as vets.
This week we had a visit from a specialist vet, Chris Pearce of the Equine Dental Clinic. Chris had come to see two of our donkeys needing further advanced treatment for very different reasons.
Cesar is a 6 year old gelding who has recently come in to us and on first examination by Gemma, our equine dental technician, was noticed to have an extra tooth.
This tooth was lying inside the usual line of teeth and although not causing him pain at the moment, food was getting stuck in the gap between the teeth and had caused periodontal (gum) disease.
The Donkey Sanctuary has been working with non-profit organisation the Meru Animal Welfare Organisation (MAWO) in Tanzania since 2010, helping them increase awareness of donkey welfare through harness training, welfare education and local radio programmes to achieve their vision of respect and freedom from suffering for all animals.
This month MAWO held its first Donkey Week in Maasai Land, an area inhabited by the semi-nomadic Maasai tribe. Founder and President of MAWO Johnson Lyimo told us more.