If you should find your donkey with a wound, follow our simple action plan for treating your injured donkey's wounds.

Donkey first aid kit

A simple first aid kit should be kept by all donkey owners in a clean air-tight container. This should contain:

  • Gauze swabs
  • Cotton wool (for foot poultices/pads only)
  • Animalintex poultice material,
  • Mild antiseptic/cleansing solution (equine)
  • Mild antiseptic cream (equine) 
  • Round-ended scissors
  • Cohesive bandage (vet rap)
  • Latex gloves
  • Thermometer
  • Vet, farrier and equine dental technician contact numbers
  • The date of last tetanus injection (in case someone else is looking after your donkeys).

This enables you to treat wounds quickly and efficiently. Always replace used items as soon as possible.

First steps

If you should find your donkey with a wound, the first step you should take is to prevent further injury. Catch your donkey and keep it as calm and still as possible. If your donkey is frightened, ensure your own safety when handling them.

Always take care when examining wounds, especially those on the limbs.

When to call the vet

You should seek veterinary advice if there is:

  • Excessive bleeding (haemorrhage)
  • Wounds on the lower legs can bleed profusely. Apply a pressure bandage before calling the vet. This can be achieved by bandaging firmly with gauze swabs to stem the flow of blood
  • Penetration or puncture through the entire skin thickness
  • A wound close to a joint
  • A severe wound at knee level or below
  • Wound contamination such as that from dirt or other material
  • Bruises, lumps, swelling and inflammation (in the absence of an obvious wound) may be the result of an underlying problem and vet advice should also be sought
  • If your donkeys not up to date with its Tetanus vaccination, it may require a tetanus antitoxin injection and booster vaccination so you should contact your vet.

Wound action plan

Minor wounds

  • Bathe the wound with cold, clean water – this has the added benefits of cleaning the wound, stemming bleeding and reducing the swelling
  • Cleanse the wound fully using a gauze swab, cotton wool and antiseptic wound solution, diluted according to the instructions on the pack
  • Any hair around the wound may need to be cut back to ensure the wound remains clean
  • Do not use sprays or powders unless specifically instructed by your vet as these may drive any remaining dirt deeper into the wound
  • Seek veterinary advice if you are concerned that the wound may be infected. If the vet has been called and recommends that the wound is bandaged you should monitor it daily for unpleasant discharge or smell.

A badly bandaged leg will cause more harm than good so please seek expert advice.

When the bandage is removed, monitor daily for contamination or insect infestation. Healing wounds may cause irritation to your donkey. If self-trauma occurs (biting, rubbing, itching at the wound site) seek advice from your vet.

Serious wounds

Get veterinary help as soon as possible. Taking care not to get injured and keep the donkey as calm and still as possible, use a clean dry pad to apply direct pressure to the wound. If the donkey's blood seeps through the first layer of padding, do not remove the first pad simply apply a second fresh pad on top of the first.

Want to know more?

Information for donkey owners