A donkey named Tinishi (little one) was left in urgent need of treatment after being injured by a long-horned cow. Luckily, staff were on hand to operate swiftly and enable her recovery.

At the College of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture, Addis Ababa University, a small donkey named Tinishi (little one) had been brought in by her owner after receiving a nasty and potentially fatal injury.

She had been kept stabled at night along with several long-horned cows in order to protect them from being attacked by hyenas, which is a common occurrence in this part of Ethiopia. One of the cow’s horns had caught Tinishi’s abdomen, and a large and painful swelling had developed around the site of the wound. Professor Alimayu, from The Donkey Sanctuary Ethiopia, knew this could be a sign of internal injuries and that urgent action needed to be taken.

Staff and students assessed Tinishi’s condition: she was listless and clearly in pain. Closer examination showed that she indeed had a large abdominal hernia as a result of the trauma caused by cow’s horn. Thankfully blood tests indicated that Tinishi was otherwise a healthy donkey, so the decision was made to operate on her and repair the hernia while she still had a good chance of recovery.

Tinishi being treated at TDS Ethiopia
Long-horned cow, Ethiopia
Tinishi set up with IV drip for recovery
Tinishi is a dainty little donkey - so it is hardly surprising that an injury from a long-horned cow could have proved fatal if staff and students had not intervened quickly.

Tinishi’s surgery for her internal injuries was a success. She was able to get back on her feet, and received intravenous fluids to help her recover from the surgery. She will stay at the facility while she receives all of the after-care she needs to get back to good health. Staff and students expect Tinishi to make a full recovery, and hope to return her to her owner as soon as she is fit and able to work again.

Without the support from Donkey Sanctuary Ethiopia and the College of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture, Tinishi would have seriously suffered from her injury and been unlikely to recover. This suffering would have not only affected Tinishi, though. Tinishi’s owner relies on her for essential tasks, such as fetching water for the family, transporting firewood, taking grains to and from the market and bringing crops in from the fields during harvest. If the owner were to lose Tinishi, their other donkey T'enikara would not only have to take on double the workload, but deal with the stress of losing a best friend - which in itself can induce hyperlipaemia, a potentially fatal condition.

Thankfully, your support enables the The Donkey Sanctuary to support the Debre Zeit facility, which enables working donkeys like Tinishi to receive the vital treatment they need. The site has a dedicated operating room with the facilities to anaesthetise and carry out lifesaving operations for donkeys. It also has a laboratory which can carry out vital analysis on blood, dung and other samples as needed.

The Donkey Sanctuary Ethiopia Debre facility
Professor in TDS Ethiopia laboratory
Operating facility at TDS Ethiopia

Up to 70 veterinary medicine and laboratory technician students are trained at the site every year. Students from five other veterinary colleges also come to train using the clinical facilities. By providing donkey health care services for working donkeys, university students have the ability to learn through hands-on experience. Staff also offer advice and education for donkey owners and professionals, on areas such as handling and behaviour, harnessing, hoof care, diet and donkey husbandry.

Professor Alimayu said: “It is important for us to be established as a quality education provider, and centre of excellence.”

Help donkeys like Tinishi get the care they deserve