Comprehensive report of the caseload of donkeys and mules presented to a veterinary medical teaching hospital over a ten-year period

Lais R.R. Costa, Monica R Aleman, Eric Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Comprehensive reports of the caseload of donkeys and mules in veterinary hospitals in the United States are lacking. We compiled the information of the caseload of donkeys and mules at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California, Davis for a ten-year period, from 2008 to 2017. The overall equid caseload was 94,147, of which 996 (1.06%) were donkeys and mules. Most of the neonates seen were mules. Most miniature donkeys were between 2 and 10 years of age, and standard donkeys and mules were 10 to 20 years old. The body condition scores were predominantly high, especially in donkeys. Most miniature and standard donkeys resided in sanctuary and rescue farms and their use was not stated. Most mules were used for riding, packing or driving. Medical complaints represented 62% of the total visits and wellness visits represented 38% of total visits. The donkeys and mules in the case population described here received a good standard of veterinary care with regular vaccinations, deworming, routine dental care, and treatment of ailments. Our study is the first report of the life expectancy, use, body condition, preventative health and veterinary medical care of a population of donkeys and mules in the western United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number413
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019



  • Ass
  • Asses
  • Equidae
  • Equids
  • Equus asinus
  • Mule
  • Welfare

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)

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