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Lending A Hand To Donkey’s Feet

Donkey’s Feet

Q: Does anyone have any experience shoeing small donkeys and the trouble they seem to have with deformities (Such as ripples and bending sideways)? How long should they be?

I have one that a customer of mine just got. I’ve trimmed him once and am ready to trim him again, but I feel a little blind going into it. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

—Miles Courchesne,

A: I trim a few miniature donkeys. From the way you describe the donkey’s hoof, it sounds like it has foundered. 

Get a professional to show you how to trim a foundered donkey or at least tell you if it appears to be foundered.

— DD,

A: If the donkey is on soft ground, that may be part of the problem was well as possible founder. Donkeys are desert animals and do better on hard ground. The hoof tends to twist and grow in weird ways if they’re left on soft ground without much hoof care.

My mother picked up a donkey from Texas that had been neglected and the entire inside hoof wall had grown underneath the hoof — across to the outside of the hoof due to neglect. We trimmed the hoof and put the donkey in a rocky New Mexico pasture and 2 years later you’d never know the hoof and leg had been twisted so badly.

The hoof can be quite short, much like a horse hoof. Check out a Web site that has several good…

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