Hoof care is extremely important to the comfort and well being of your donkey.
Overgrown hooves impair the ease of movement and will have physical and psychological repercussions.
Every donkey can have individual hoof care needs or varying needs in different hooves.
Always use a qualified farrier – damage caused by amateur foot care can be catastrophic.
A hoof pick should be used every day to remove stones and other debris.
Look for swelling, discolouration, heat, moisture or odour.
Possible ailments are thrush, abscesses, puncture wounds and laminitis.
Laminitis deserves a special mention as it is a very serious condition which should be prevented rather than cured as it can often lead to the animal being euthanised.
Laminitis can cause extreme pain and is caused by swelling in the laminate which holds the hoof and bones of the hoof together.
Neglect of hooves affected can result in deformity, pain and immobility.
Laminitis is most commonly caused by obesity or unsupervised grazing, particularly in spring, early summer when grass is very rich.
It can also be caused by a hormone imbalance or trauma to the foot.
Happy hooves make for happy donkeys