We would like to draw veterinary surgeons attention to a possible source of confusion in The Professional Handbook of the Donkey 4th Edition, published in 2008, which has been widely distributed by The Donkey Sanctuary.
The treatment of hyperadrenocorticism (pituitary pars intermediate dysfunction,(Cushings disease) is mentioned in both Appendix 2 (formulary) and in chapter 13, Care of the Geriatric donkey page 250.
The formulary offers the low and high dose regimes which are 0.002mg/kg and 0.006-0.01mg/kg respectively, however in Chapter 13, the high dose regime at 0.01mg/kg is given before the low dose regime. The statement “it may be possible to reduce to 0.25mg per day” should be disregarded.
In view of the possible side effects associated with the use of pergolide at high doses (anorexia, depression, diarrhoea) we would recommend that any practitioner intending to use pergolide in the donkey commences therapy at the lowest possible dose i.e. 0.002mg/kg and reassess the patient carefully for any untoward side effects as in the Appendix 2 formulary.
In addition to this a typographical error on page 249 gives the dose of dexamethasone for the Dexamethasone suppression test at 0.4µg/kg rather than the correct 40µg/kg.
We apologise for any confusion caused and will be including an erratum in all books distributed.
We would like to remind practitioners of our continued support for donkey related issues in practice.