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Donkeys are very stoic in nature, and as old age ensues painful conditions become more common, such as arthritis, dental disease, foot problems and compromised breathing.
You may find it helpful to ask your vet’s opinion and start to keep a diary of your donkey’s behaviour.
Donkeys form strong bonds with their companions and it is essential that surviving donkeys are allowed to remain with the body of their friend until they have lost interest.
Ignoring this advice can lead to significant distress and anxiety among any surviving donkeys.
Please allow at least an hour before the body of the donkey is removed.
Closely monitor the bereaved companion(s) for several weeks afterwards as bereavement stress can manifest itself up to three weeks after the death of a friend and result in hyperlipaemia.
Serious illness can affect a donkey of any age and may seriously compromise quality of life, resulting in euthanasia being the best and kindest option.
Assessing quality of life is not easy, especially if you see the donkey every day, which makes it difficult to notice gradual changes in their health and well-being.
Don’t underestimate the grieving process, as the death of a donkey is not an easy event to cope with.