Happy World Donkey Day! In honor of our long-eared friends, we’d like to share a little donkey trivia. Thanks to Dr. Gemma, our large animal internal medicine specialist (and yes, even the smallest donkeys still qualify as “large animals”), for helping round up these facts.
- Donkeys have a muscle layer covering their jugular veins for extra protection from predators’ bites.
- Donkeys are much stronger than horses of the same size—just ask those previously mentioned predators or anyone whose job involves vaccinating donkeys!
- Donkeys have much more efficient gastrointestinal tracts than horses and utilize up to 95% of what they eat. That’s great for surviving on browse (shrubs, brambles, and sticks) found in donkeys’ native desert homes but not ideal for grazing on irrigated Central Oregon pastures. Is your donkey a little too round? Ask us about the medical risks associated with donkey obesity and for suggestions about improving your donkey’s diet.
- On bloodwork, donkey liver values typically are a lot higher than horses when normal.
- A donkey’s bray can be heard from as far away as 60 miles in the desert.
- Their large ears are full of blood vessels designed to dissipate heat and help keep donkeys cool.
Like their horse cousins, donkeys also need regular veterinary care and hoof maintenance. Contact the clinic to schedule your donkey’s wellness check.