Looking to slim down for 2015? It may not be just you who could do with losing a few pounds.
Many donkeys in the UK are overweight and this can cause serious health problems.
Overweight donkeys can suffer from laminitis, hyperlipaemia, metabolic syndrome and Cushings Disease as a result. Some of these conditions can be fatal.
It’s really important that donkey owners make the effort to manage their donkeys’ weight, said Donkey Welfare Adviser Tamlin Watson, who helped slim down two extremely overweight donkeys relinquished to the Sanctuary from a loving home in Wales this summer.
Smartie and Galaxy were two of the largest donkeys Tamlin had ever seen, weighing 222 kg and 214 kg respectively, in July. But since then thanks to a weight management plan they have lost 23kg and 37kg and their body condition has improved dramatically.
Tamlin said: “I was aghast when I saw them. They were so fat. It’s sad because their owners think they are doing their best for them by spoiling them but it can cause lots of health problems. They said they only gave them cuddles but I think they gave them a bit more than that.”
She adds: “It’s really important that we know exactly what they’ve been having and how they’ve been fed so that we can manage them correctly when they come into the Sanctuary because any sudden change to their diet can be catastrophic.”
Speaking of the slimmed down Galaxy and Smartie she said: “It’s brilliant. I’m delighted. It just goes to show that weight loss is possible if properly managed and I’m really pleased that Galaxy and Smartie have a far healthier future ahead of them. Their owners obviously loved and adored them. It’s just about making that love and attention a little less calorific!”
If you need advice on how to manage your donkeys’ weight or other health matters contact our welfare team: http://www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/welfare