Ask The Donkey Doctor

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Questions answered by our Donkey Doctors

Jump to a category and click on a question to get answers to some commonly asked questions.


  • Do donkeys need grain?
    No, healthy donkeys should be fed a good quality grass hay. Supplemental grain is rarely needed. At PVDR, we only supplement those in poor body condition and nursing moms.
  • What is the best feed for a healthy donkey?
    Peaceful Valley provides a good quality coastal bermuda grass hay for all of our general population. We feed 1-1/2% of their body weight daily and allow for competition and waste (about 10 pound for a standard.


  • What vaccine should I give my donkey?
    It is always best to check with an equine veterinarian for any specific needs in your area.

    At PVDR, we use the following:
    Vetera Gold XP + VEE is a combination vaccine for use in healthy horses 4 months of age and older as an aid in the prevention of disease caused by: Equine Influenza Virus (type A2), Equine Encephalomyelitis (Eastern, Western and Venezuelan), Equine Rhinopneumonitis (EHV-1 and EHV-4), Tetanus and West Nile Virus. Vetera Gold XP + VEE aids in the reduction of severity of clinical disease caused by West Nile Virus. It protects against the Ohio/03 (Clade 1), Richmond/07 (Clade 2) and Kentucky/95 Equine Influenza Virus strains. Available in 1 dose/1 ml syringe or 10 dose/10 ml vial.


Hoof and Leg Issues

  • How often do donkeys need to be trimmed?
    Hoof growth is impacted by many variables. Donkeys on hard rocky ground may never need trimming, wild burros hooves are typically perfect. Nutrition and time of year can also influence growth, hooves grow less in colder months as the donkey's metabolism switches gears and uses more energy to keep warm.


  • How often should my donkey have his teeth checked?
    Here is PVDR Policy:

    108.4 Teeth_rev_Jul_5_2016
    A donkey's teeth can acquire sharp edges from years of grinding their food. These edges can cut the inside of the mouth making it difficult for a donkey to chew properly. A warning sign is wet clumps of undigested hay laying in the feeding area. A procedure known as "floating" grinds the sharp edges down and creates a more even bite. The procedure is usually done under a light sedation and the donkey must be immobilized.

    All donkeys teeth will be checked annually by our in-house medical staff, this can be done in conjunction with annual vaccines. Any donkey over the age of 10 should be checked annually for teeth problems by a certified professional. Aside from sharp edges, another major problem is lost teeth. Old Age, poor food quality and fighting are the most common causes of tooth loss. Without the upper and lower tooth working together, a donkey cannot chew food properly. Weight loss is a sign of chronic tooth problems.

    All senior donkeys 20+ should have their teeth checked every six months by a certified professional. They should also be assessed for additional feed requirements. Sweet feed is a good choice as it is easy to chew. All dental work must be recorded on Lightspoke.






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