Hambos and Nakis are two unwanted, and slightly troublesome, donkeys that came to us earlier in the year.Their owner was having problems with both the stallions escaping near a very busy main road and obviously concerned both the safety of the donkeys and vehicle drivers.
Donkeys can be great escape artists at the best of times, but when stallions detect a mare in season, even several kilometres away, they can be very determined to get to her. This may have been one of the reasons the boys were continually escaping. As they’d got in the habit of getting out, there was a serious concern that, even if they were castrated, the habit would be very difficult to break..
The owner asked if we could take them and although both a little underweight when they arrived at the New Arrivals unit, they settled in well. Once they had received a full medical and had been cleared by our vet, the next thing to do was to castrate them. On the occasions we have to do this, we always avoid operating during the summer months due to the heat and number of flies and other insects that are around. As flies can easily cause new wounds to become infected, it’s not worth the risk but fortunately, the donkeys arrived at the right time as it was a suitable temperature and no flies were around.
Hambos’ operation went very smoothly but our vet discovered a problem with Nakis – the vet could only find one complete testicle! It doesn’t happen very often in equines when the second testicle either hasn’t descended or is not fully formed, but can cause problems with their behaviour. They can still behave like stallions and sometimes be quite aggressive with mares and other castrated males. Often referred to as a ‘rig’ a specific blood test was required to confirm if Nakis was still producing any testosterone and, sure enough, he was.
The dear boy then later had to have another operation to find the offending tissue, which although difficult locate, was eventually found by our vet. Nakis made a full successful recovery and after a while was able to go with Hambos to live with new friends.
Hambos is a lovely smoky grey colour and is a very confident donkey, whereas Nakis, who is brown, is a little more cautious and wary of things. Both donkeys have become very friendly and good to handle and, with our very high secure fencing, haven’t found a way to escape (yet?)!