Spice underwent her first admission medical on February 13, where our veterinary experts diagnosed three urgent issues.
The first health concern involved her weight. When we found Spice she was starving, so it was of no surprise to hear our vets confirm that she was officially underweight for her size. Weighing just 122kgs, Spice needed to be put on a nutritional diet to help improve her body weight and condition. She was prescribed with an extra daily feed of high fibre nuts, fibre mash and TopSpec Feed Balancer for breakfast to supplement her haylage and straw diet.
An inspection of her mouth also revealed that she needed urgent dentistry to remove sharp teeth which had caused very sore and painful ulcers.
Our Equine Dental Technicians, Lee and Gemma, carefully rasped down the sharp points and within weeks of Spice undergoing this dentistry treatment her relief was immediately apparent. She is currently receiving six-monthly dental checks until we are satisfied with the condition of her teeth and then she will only need to have annual check-ups.
The third issue was her long, overgrown hooves. These needed trimming by a farrier to make walking more comfortable for her. She also had what is known as a ‘Seedy Toe’ (a disease of the hoof wall) that needed to be treated. Her discomfort was even more noticeable now she was walking on hard ground as opposed to the sodden muddy field of her former home.
All donkeys need their hooves trimmed by a farrier every six to eight weeks and this hadn’t been the case for poor Spice.
Luckily, The Donkey Sanctuary’s farriers are well accustomed to the needs of donkeys' feet as there are over 6,000 donkeys currently in our care… and every six to eight weeks, they all need to have a trim!
The devotion and expertise of The Donkey Sanctuary staff and volunteers ensure that donkeys, like Spice, are always in good hands - particularly when they’ve been rescued from poor conditions and require veterinary care and extra handling to aid their recovery.
What happens next
With these three health issues diagnosed, Spice continues to undergo treatment and is monitored regularly by our team of experts to ensure success.