Donkeys are stoic animals. They frequently hide pain and display subtle clinical signs. This must be taken into account when assessing quality of life, an important consideration when deciding on treatment or control of a condition. Unrecognised disease or even recognised conditions, may lead to pain and distress. Unremitting pain, anxiety or chronic discomfort will inevitably impair the donkey’s quality of life.
Euthanasia should be considered where the quality of life of a donkey is compromised.
A thorough post-mortem examination is a valuable tool to identify the cause of death, both because clinical signs are often subtle and because there is a need to share information and evidence regarding the health and welfare of donkeys.