|Posted by PrimRose on November 15, 2017 at 7:25 AM|
As with all animals in human care, regular upkeep is required to keep good health and, as donkeys can live to the age of 50 years , this a big commitment. One of the first signs of neglect is not getting the hooves trimmed. Like our fingernails the hooves continue to grow and can cause walking difficulties and lameness. The trimming should be done by a farrier who knows donkey hooves as the trimming is not the same as for a horse. Trimming needs to be done every 10-12 weeks.
As donkeys have very efficient digestive systems they should not be overfed as they can be prone to becoming overweight. Hay is all they need and the option to graze although even the grass in Ontario can be too rich for donkeys so consult a vet if in doubt. From eating food that is too rich donkeys can founder which is when the legs and hooves grow incorrectly. If a donkey’s gait seems slow, uneven or stilted this could be a sign of foundering.
Donkey’s teeth need to be examined regularly by a vet as they grow continuously and can get cavities. If a donkey favours one side of the mouth when eating it could indicate problems. Donkeys also need regular vaccinations so vet care should be consistent.
This is Polly, when she first arrived at our sanctuary. Her hooves were in extremely terrible shape. She had her hooves trimmed and with lots of love and care felt better.