Ah spring! The trees are budding, the lilacs are getting ready to bloom, all the spring bulbs have popped up (except for the ones the puppy dug up last fall!) Spring is a time of new growth and beginnings. It is also the time to get the donkeys vaccinated!
The first farm vet we used was fantastic! She and her husband, both vets, taught us so much about equine husbandry. Unfortunately for the donkeys and I, they moved. The second vet we used, referred to us by the vet that moved, was awful! While he SAID he did a lot of donkeys, he didn’t have a speculum that fit their mouths to “float” their teeth. It was a carnival of care for my animals that weren’t really worth his time. His attitude came across loud and clear!
This year, we called CSU Equine Field Service to make an appointment with a vet recommended by our farrier. What an amazing experience!
First of all, they brought the equipment needed to “float” teeth. Donkeys, as well as all equine, have teeth that continue to grow. The points of the teeth if left untreated can grow into the cheek causing the animal pain and difficulty when trying to eat. Floating teeth is the way the sharp points are filed down for the comfort of the animal. It is also a good time to do a thorough mouth exam. Teeth and feet… so important for any equine!
The donkeys also get vaccinations for a wide variety of diseases including rabies. These are given after the donkeys are sedated, which is needed to do their for their teeth, to lessen their discomfort. This vet treated both of my donkeys as valuable animals which they certainly are to me. In fact, she called Jack “special” after seeing his intelligence and connection he has with me. I believe the trust Jack has with me allows him to accept strangers with my encouragement.
Jack was very brave meeting the vet and the group of vet students who came out for this appointment. I attribute his gentle, curious nature to this vet who took her time getting to know Jack. She afforded Jack the benefit of being cautious; you could feel her “energy” drop while she allowed Jack to approach her at his own pace. Because of her gentle patience, there were no theatrics from Jack which he can and will readily display to newcomers who don’t acknowledge him on his terms.
Both donkeys woke from their sedation none the worse and are back to their normal selves. Preventative care is now done for this year. And, I am thrilled we have now established a relationship with this vet should any problems/illnesses occur later on. I am so grateful for this new relationship and Jack’s new friend!