Most conditions of the gastrointestinal system present as in horses and ponies.
The prevalence of colic varies according to the donkey population and can be a cause of significant mortality.
There is a high risk of hyperlipaemia and gastric ulceration secondary to periods of inappetence or starvation.
By recognising the importance of subtle behavioural clues and a thorough diagnostic evaluation, donkeys with colic may be treated effectively. Treatment of secondary hyperlipaemia and gastric ulceration will ensure that the donkey has an improved chance of making a full recovery. Key preventative health measures will reduce the incidence of colic.
Surgical treatment of colic is not covered in this chapter, because the approach is the same as for the horse and pony.