Category Archives: farrier

Caring for a donkey’s feet

The majority of the donkeys we welcome to El Paraiso del Burro have problems with their hooves, many of which are severe, as they have never been seen by a farrier before.  Donkeys naturally live in dry, stony conditions and are not used to the damp atmosphere and green pastures of Asturias.  Their feet absorb more water than a horse’s hoof and they are prone to Laminitis and to wounds and infections of the foot.  It is therefore important to check the hooves of the donkeys on a regular basis in order to be able to act quickly to stop infection from spreading and to keep the hoof as clean as possible.   

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The donkeys at El Paraiso del Burro are seen by a farrier four times a year and, in between, we check and clean the hooves of all the donkeys.  Frieda has some severe problems due to poor care in her past.  Here we can see Frieda’s foot being cleaned by Simone to remove dirt and stones; the foot is then washed with sterile water, a “frog” antiseptic is used to prevent the spread of any infection and Simone then covers her foot with a pad to help support her legs and to keep her feet clean during the day.  At night, when Frieda returns to the clean, dry stable, her pads are removed so that the air can circulate around the foot. 

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Frieda is a good donkey.  She is used to standing quite still whilst her feet are cleaned.  At first she is not too keen to walk on her “pads” but very quickly she adapts and seems to walk better as the foot is less sore.

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