GLOUCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS (USA) | May 20, 2020--HoofSearch, the index of equine foot research, has published an index of peer-reviewed articles and theses on donkey hoof science and lameness studies. The index is freely accessible to anyone interested in advances in donkey hoof health or improving the soundness-related welfare of working and companion donkeys.
Equine health professionals, welfare charities, rescue sanctuary caregivers, educators, and students now have a permanent, universally-accessible roadmap of donkey-specific lameness research. The index can be viewed on any WIFI-enabled computer or browser-equipped mobile device. Each listing in the index is live-linked to a matching original journal article or academic thesis.
The dissemination of these studies should be helpful to the world’s 44 million working and pet donkeys (1).
“Charities are funding research and hosting conferences to promote the sharing of new information on donkey soundness and health in the developing world,” HoofSearch publisher Fran Jurga said. “But this information is also needed by university animal hospital staff and private practice veterinarians, technicians, nurses, and farriers everywhere.
“Many professionals see donkeys only occasionally, but when they do, the problem is often in the feet or lower limbs, or recovery from other medical problems is complicated by hoof neglect or lameness,” she continued. “We need more ‘donkey podiatrists’, as well as more resources for preventing donkey hoof problems.”
The 2020 research update documents an increase in new articles about donkey hooves, and includes articles from the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands on facial pain expression in donkeys and a pathology report from Texas A&M University on a case of “immersion foot syndrome” in a donkey subjected to prolonged flood-water exposure during Hurricane Harvey. Long-term followup of a Brazilian donkey life after forelimb amputation is also included.
"When you see the new research listed in one place, and compare it with previous years or decades, it is encouraging to see the hoof problems of these essential and endearing equids receiving the attention and funding they deserve,” Jurga said. “This bibliography project is one little donkey tribute that no pandemic can stop!”
The HoofSearch donkey bibliographies can be viewed and downloaded at these links:
Highlights and analysis of the publication of donkey hoof studies:
● Research from around the world contributed 31 new peer-reviewed studies related to donkey lameness or hoof science in 2019-2020.
● The highest number of new studies documented lameness therapeutics and diagnostics, especially donkey-specific distal-limb imaging, followed by hoof diseases and laminitis, in particular. Historically, more studies have focused on anatomy and morphology of the donkey foot and distal limb than on clinical aspects of donkey lameness.
● Comparison by decade showed a threefold increase in online, peer-reviewed articles about donkey hooves and lameness in the decade 2011-2020, compared to 2001-2010.
● The Journal of Equine Veterinary Science (Elsevier) published the largest number of articles listed in the bibliography, followed by the Equine Veterinary Journal (Wiley).