Rupert the donkey is bouncing back from neglect that left him in critical condition and struggling to breathe.
Rupert was too ill to stand or even feed himself when taken into care in Britain late in June.
Following three weeks of intensive veterinary treatment, little Rupert was well enough to travel from Westmorland Veterinary Practice in Kirkby Lonsdale, to The Donkey Sanctuary’s premises near Buxton, Derbyshire, last week.
One-year-old Rupert was critically ill when he was signed over to The Donkey Sanctuary at the end of June. Given his condition, travelling to one of its sanctuaries posed too much of a risk to his health.
Donkey Sanctuary spokeswoman Emma Gill says although Rupert is still poorly, he continues to make progress and regain health and strength.
“He seems to have taken the journey to Derbyshire in his stride, and I’m told he is already making himself at home.”
Rupert is still suffering from respiratory problems which will continue to be monitored and treated, Gill said.
“But thankfully these are nothing compared to the harrowing video footage of him struggling to breathe when he was first rescued.
“He is turning into quite a handsome young donkey.
“His overgrown hooves have been trimmed since he arrived at our Derbyshire centre and the shaved patches on his coat where lung scans were carried out are starting to grow back.
“For a donkey that has had such a lot to deal with in his young life, it really warms my heart to see Rupert pull through against the odds,” she said.
Rupert required around-the-clock care after being found by the RSPCA in Morecambe, Lancashire.
He was underweight with long hooves, his breathing was rapid and he was despondent. Rupert was so weak he was unable to stand or eat.
He was immediately signed over to 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.
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.”
The sanctuary said it was grateful to Westmorland Veterinary Practice for the care they provided him.