A donkey suffering with a foot abcess here in the UK is relatively easy to treat under veterinary supervision. But in Delhi, India, where there are few veterinary services and many owners who can't afford to pay veterinary costs, a foot abcess can be more life-threatening to a donkey.
This condition is usually the result of a wound, such as a foreign object, that penetrates the donkey's foot. The abscess can develop in the foot when the wound is infected and pus builds up - it is most painful for the donkey and can make them very lame. If left untreated, the condition would have a serious detrimental effect to the donkey's health.
22-year old Arjun relies on his donkey to carry sand and stone at a building site, which in turn enables him to earn a living and put food on the table for his family. Recently, he travelled for two hours with his wife to get to our main clinic in Delhi as he was not able to wait until our next visit to his village. His donkey was lame and he wasn't sure why.
Our vet at the clinic diagnosed that Arjun's donkey had a foot abcess and was able to put a poultice on the donkey's foot, to help draw out the infection. A vaccination was also given to help protect the donkey from the dehabilitating disease of tetanus. The vet gave Arjun and his wife further supplies so that they could put a fresh poultice on each day until their donkey was better and a free hoof pick to clean out the donkey's feet daily - to help prevent foot abcesses in the future.