Most people don’t realise that the UK veterinary department has many interests and responsibilities to donkeys outside of those lovingly cared for in Devon. For example every year we visit the Donkey Assisted Therapy centres around the country to liaise with the local vets who look after these donkeys, and do an annual inspection of the donkeys and tack.
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Sanctuary Vets's blog
Sarcoids are nasty skin tumours which can affect donkeys of any age but tend to occur in younger animals and can frequently recur or be untreatable due to their size and location.
There is currently no prevention or absolute cure, but one of the treatments being advised for sarcoids is surgical removal using a cutting laser. Using this technique is thought to help reduce recurrence by killing any sarcoid cells that might remain in the tissue surrounding the lesion.
As we get older our bodies get older with us. Wear and tear of the joints presents as arthritis, senile cataracts result in diminishing vision and we become generally slower and weaker. However donkeys, like horses and rabbits incidentally, have continually erupting teeth throughout their life. The implication of this is that if they are fortunate enough to live into old age, they may well have outlived their teeth!
2014 was a busy year in the Veterinary Department. As well as all the routine visits to our farms our vets were working hard at the hospital too. There is a lot of care and treatment that can be given to donkeys in situ on the farms but for more involved procedures we often have to admit them to the hospital. This may be just a short stay to take advantage of the equipment we have within the hospital or may be a longer stay if they need more in-depth care for conditions that may be difficult to treat on the farms. And of course we have our purpose-built donkey-size theatre for operations.