Keeping hope alive for young Rupert

Critically ill Rupert now has a chance of survival thanks to The Donkey Sanctuary.
Critically ill Rupert now has a chance of survival thanks to The Donkey Sanctuary.

Rupert, too ill to stand or even feed himself, is getting round-the-clock care in Britain to give him every possible chance of survival.

The critically ill one-year-old donkey was found by the RSPCA in Morecambe, Lancashire, on Tuesday. He was underweight with long hooves, his breathing was rapid and he  despondent. Rupert was so weak he was unable to stand or eat.

He was immediately signed over to international animal welfare charity The Donkey Sanctuary to receive the specialist care he desperately needed.

The first 24 hours were critical as vets acting under the advice of experts from The Donkey Sanctuary fought to give Rupert a chance of survival.

Lung scans revealed that Rupert was suffering from a severe respiratory infection, and he was fed through a stomach tube as he was unable to eat by himself.

The sanctuary’s welfare veterinarian Anna Harrison said: “Rupert’s chances of survival were looking very bleak when he came into the care of The Donkey Sanctuary.

“He was incredibly thin and weak and his respiratory rate was worryingly high.

“Whilst he is not out of the woods yet, the specialist care he continues to receive has given Rupert some hope.

“This morning I was encouraged to hear that he had managed to stand and was attempting to eat by himself. Only time will tell whether he continues to respond well to treatment and manages to pull through, but I am so pleased that we were able to step in and give him a chance.

“Rupert was too ill to be transported to The Donkey Sanctuary’s veterinary hospital in Devon and so we are very grateful to the team of vets at Westmorland Veterinary Practice in Kirkby Lonsdale for the wonderful round-the-clock care they have given and continue to provide.

“In situations like this, where animals are in a critical condition and it is too dangerous to move them, we are grateful for the donations from our supporters which enable us to call upon the services of experts nearby.”

Rupert is one of almost 200 donkeys who have come into the care of The Donkey Sanctuary so far this year, all of whom now have a sanctuary for life. The charity is funded entirely by donations.


Reporting: Emma Gill

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