Management of Thermal Injuries in Donkeys: A Case Report
Burn injuries are uncommon in large animals and there are no reports of these injuries in donkeys. Burns cause local and systemic effects. Extensive thermal injuries can be challenging to manage and the extent of the burn surface affected will directly impact the severity of the illness and the prognosis. Burns are classified according to the depth of injury into four categories, from first-degree burns, and the least affect to fourth-degree burns, which are the more severely affected patients. This case report describes the medical management of four donkeys that sustained various degrees of external burn injuries during the wildland-urban interface fire in Valparaiso, Chile. The donkeys were treated topically for several weeks and closely monitor for inadequate nutritional intake. Water based topical medications are preferred in burn cases because they can be easily applied and removed without interfering with wound healing. Of note, the caloric demands of these cases can be achieved by increasing the amount of grain, adding fat (i.e., vegetable oil), and free-choice alfalfa hay. All donkeys recovered and were retired to an animal shelter.