Stephen Fulton is a farrier based in Maryland. He's looking for advice on a case in which he and a vet are working with a wild donkey, in which the vet wants to raise the heels on the hind end of a wild donkey.

This will involve knocking the donkey down with sedation and then applying something to raise the heels, not using nails or shoes (veterinarian's parameters). Any bright ideas?

— Stephen Fulton

I have worked on donkeys and minnies for some time now.My experience is not to apply any thing to the donkey's foot. Instead just start lowering the toe as much as you can each time you trim for awhile. Donkeys are tuff little guys and can do well with foot issues.
—Dave Peterson

Send me some pics. I work on a lot of donkeys. Most have never been touched. Send your e-mail, and I will send you a few pics.
—Troy Greenfield

I have reshaped many donkeys with neglected feet. I have has much success with trimming the heals right down short. This will allow the pressure on the hoof to be returned to the heal area. The second part is to shorten the toe to allow easier break over. I am always amazed how a doney's foot can return to normal in a relatively short time.
—Greg Lucas

I have a problem with seedy toe and splitting off of the outer layer of the hoof. Are my donkeys needing some minerals? They have mineral block available. The sedy toe has been really bad this year. I am in New Zealand.
—Jackie Holland

I trim quite a few donkeys. I have had several with seedy toe/white line disease. Depending on how bad it is, I resect the infected area and lower the heels. As Dave said, donkeys are very tough. I did a resection on one this year from quarter to quarter. I left him barefoot. He was never lame and grew a new foot in twelve weeks. Good luck.
—Nathaniel Crumley

If the veterinarian is going through the effort to lay the donkey down to work on it, then I would assume they have taken radiographs to help determine correct phalanx angle.  If not, I would suggest that (this can be done by sedating the donkey or even laying down).  If your not comfortable with the veterinarian is recommending, then refer the case to someone else.  If you are not sure what to do and are willing to do the work, then defer to the veterinarians and others experiences.  As far as raising the heels, you will have to ask if this is a one time thing or repeatable device.  One time you can reach for an adhesive like Superfast by Vettec.  Repeatable, then you may have to do same or use a wedge shoe, either nailed or glued on.  My personal preference with donkeys is Superfast and/or Ibex cuffs.
—Dr. Esco

With regard to your question about raising the heels on a donkey with out the use of shoes or nails; If the vet wants them raised for whatever reason, the easiest way would be some type of acrylic or polyurithane such as Equilox or Vettec Superfast. Both are quick and easy. The superfast is the easiest but is brittle and can sometimes crack off.
The equilox has superior bonding power and keeps some flexibility. Ounce they have set and cured, (a matter of minutes) both can be cut and rasped to shape much the same as natural hoof horn. Your local farrier supply will likely have one or both of these on hand as well as instructions for their application. Good luck.
—Heather O'Brien

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