How rescue donkeys Alan and Fruitdrop forged an unshakeable friendship.
You may have already read about Alan the donkey, and perhaps you’ve read the tale of the neglected foal, Fruitdrop. Well, that wasn’t the end of their stories.
Castration in both stallions was relatively straightforward, though with donkeys it is always a little more complicated as they have a greater blood supply to their testicles than horses so are more prone to post-operative bleeds. For this reason donkey castrations should be performed under general anaesthesia where a secure suture can be placed around the blood vessel.
Once completed the boys still had to remain in social isolation for another six weeks until their testosterone levels had dropped sufficiently for their stallion behaviour to begin to diminish. Bear in mind that the later an equine is castrated, the greater the chance that its stallion behaviour will become too ingrained to change entirely.
Luckily Alan and Fruitdrop were reasonably young and their stallion behaviour disappeared quite quickly; the nipping, biting and kicking was replaced by quieter, more playful and much easier to handle behaviour.
The day came for us to consider whether these boys might actually be safe enough to introduce to each other.
First introductions went well, although Fruitdrop had a few well aimed nips at Alan’s nose but no offence was taken. Gradually they started grazing fields alongside each other, where the fence separated them.
Our holding base carer noticed that both donkeys were always grazing nearby each other, or as close as they could be with a fence in between. So, tentatively, they were introduced to each other. With a whoop and a holler they were racing around the field, heels kicking in joyful abandon.
They’ve never looked back. Now they are inseparable; if they're not playing, they're grazing or trying to think of some mischief to unleash on their unsuspecting human friends. They are now almost completely trained and ready to go into our Rehoming Scheme.
Lots of donkeys are looking for their loving forever home. Not all have histories quite as horrid as these boys, but they are no less deserving of a second chance.
For more information on donkey castration, take a look at our Knowledge and Advice, section, or if you are a veterinary surgeon please visit the clinical care section of our website for more information.
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