A new professional textbook focused solely on the specific needs of the donkey has been published.
The Clinical Companion of the Donkey, published by The Donkey Sanctuary, concentrates on the differences in the equine species that are unique to the donkey.
The Clinical Companion of the Donkey is the revised version of The Professional Handbook of the Donkey, which has been the definitive text for clinicians and professionals working around the world in donkey medicine or surgery for more than 20 years.
It will be published in five languages including Chinese and Spanish, and in order to ensure as many donkeys and mules benefit from the knowledge contained in the book The Donkey Sanctuary will provide free electronic copies through its website and will provide books to relevant universities and colleges globally.
The new edition includes a chapter on donkey behaviour, as this is fundamental to understanding this unique animal and the presentation of clinical signs and requirements for handling, nursing and treatment. The new book also boasts coloured technical illustrations from the extensive library at The Donkey Sanctuary.
The Clinical Companion of the Donkey contributors are all employed by or associated with The Donkey Sanctuary. The content of the textbook is evidence-based or the shared experience of past and present employees, representing a vast pool of expertise and knowledge in donkey health and welfare.
Ben Hart, behaviourist at The Donkey Sanctuary says: “Donkeys aren’t small horses with big ears. Their behaviour is very different, so understanding the fundamental difference between donkey and horse behaviour, covered in this book, is crucial in the early recognition of problems and correct treatment of donkeys and mules.
“Donkeys’ stoic nature, reduced flight mechanism and tendencies to show less fear signals are vital to understand for anyone who wants to stay safe and make informed diagnoses when treating donkeys,” Hart said.
“Dissemination of donkey specific knowledge both at undergraduate and professional levels is vital to improve the welfare of donkeys globally,” said Karen Rickards, head of veterinary services at The Donkey Sanctuary.
“The Clinical Companion of the Donkey will be an invaluable tool for anyone providing healthcare to donkeys as it is the only donkey-specific text-book that focuses on all aspects of donkey health and welfare.
“The main take-home message is that donkeys are unique and deserve high standards of health care so learning more about their specific requirements for veterinary care and passing that knowledge on to all those who work with and care for donkeys will improve their welfare and help to raise their profile as important contributors to the economy of many communities around the world,” Rickards said.
Dr Faith Burden, director – research and operational support at The Donkey Sanctuary, said the new textbook showcased the results of many years of research and professional experience with new information relating to blood reference ranges, hyperlipaemia, nutrition and clinical care of the donkey and mule.
“The text aims to help professionals globally to support donkey and mule owners to prevent disease as well as to support clinicians in diagnosing and treating sick donkeys and mules.”
The Clinical Companion of the Donkey will be officially launched on Saturday, April 21, at the World Equine Veterinary Association Congress in Beijing, China.