Donkeys ingesting plastic in Tanzania
Our partner group in Tanzania have sent us through some pictures of two donkeys who presented for medical assistance. One of the donkeys is named Marry (female, 4yrs) and the second donkey is named Dogo (male, 4yrs). Both donkeys were brought to us with major concerns similar in both cases: the donkey was unable to have a bowel movement for two consecutive days with progressive loss of appetite. Their stomachs were distended due to retention of feces and fermented gases in their caecum. Management of the two cases were similar and they included the use of laxative agents like Epsom salt, anti-inflammatories plus large volumes of water through a nasal gastric tube for three consecutive days. The results were positive: both of the patients managed to pass the impacted plastic materials that were the cause of such kind of colic. Currently both patients are doing OK and their appetites have been restored since they can now eat and drink by themselves.
This is a common problem for many of the donkeys in Bukombe because with the drought conditions and depletion of pastures, donkeys tend to graze in land fills where they end up ingesting plastic materials resulting in these blockages of their gastrointestinal tract.
Construction of the donkey sanctuary is underway in Bukombe and once it is completed, it will make the world of difference to the animals in this area.