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An Italian Job

In October I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to head over to Italy and visit our Italian centre, Il Rifugio degli Asinelli and other holding bases. These trips are generally conducted twice a year and give the UK veterinary team chance to catch up with our Italian counterparts and get to see the range of medical conditions that the Italian donkeys present with. The trips are an excellent opportunity for the vets from the two countries to share knowledge and experiences for the benefit of the animals.

Donkeys at Il Rifugio degli Asinelli

Eye eye, what’s gone on here then?

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.

Fred post op

A different dental day

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.

Open Wide Cesar!

Joe and Daffy return to fame

Colyford Goose Fayre invited Joe and Daffy back this year to take part in the medieval procession and a stall in the fayre. They proudly assumed their positions at the start of the procession last Saturday wearing the robes that were made for them last year.

Sue Letheren and Jen Littley prepared them until they were sparkly white and commented that they lead even better this year seeming to know what was expected of them. They showed how confident they could be as noisy crowds flocked around them. Daffy only had a minor wobble at a particularly scary drain cover!

Joe and Daffy in processession at Colyford Goose Fayre

Calling all Junior Vets

Here in the Vet Department there is always something interesting going on but we thought you might like to hear about how we are trying to encourage the next generation of vets by sharing some of our day to day experiences with them. For the past 3 years we have been running something called Junior Vet Day. This is usually held during school holidays or half terms and is for children aged 11-15. The day runs from 9.30-3.30pm and is jam packed with as many veterinary related activities as we can muster!

Anatomy lesson

Summertime Blues for Stallions

As vets we always try and do the absolute best for our donkey patients - but sometimes it's hard not to feel sorry for them and frustrated at the problems we have to deal with which are so often caused by human thoughtlessness.

The next couple of months are especially tough on some of our new arrival stallions - while we are hoping to enjoy summer holidays and relaxing with friends, the new donkey stallions have a more challenging time ahead.

Field castrations

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