How do I protect my donkey from diseases?
Donkeys share many diseases with other equine. Generally, a combination shot of Eastern/Western Encephalomyelitis and Tetanus is required on foals (no earlier than 4 months of age) with a follow-up booster in three to four weeks and annually thereafter as long as you never let your vaccinations run out. If you do let them run out you will need to start all over again with the first vaccination and the follow up booster 3 to 4 weeks later so be sure to mark on your calendars when your donkey's shot are due. Another combination vaccination of Rhino/Influenza should be given around 8 or 9 months of age with a follow-up booster in 3 to 4 weeks and then annually thereafter. Giving this vaccination too early may inhibit your donkey's ability to develop immunity against the Flu especially if the mom's were given a booster 30 days prior to foaling. If you show your donkeys and they are exposed to outside equines you can give them the Rhino/Influenza vaccination as often as five times per year for extra protection as this vaccination's immunity last only approx. 3 months. They must be given vaccines at least three weeks before traveling to give their immune systems time to develop titers against the diseases. If you do not show or have a 'closed' herd (no donkeys come and go on your property) you can even forgo this vaccination. Some breeders will also inoculate for Rabies, West Nile and Strangles. Always work with your veterinarian to see what the vet recommends is needed in your area to keep your donkeys safe. For example: Potomac Horse Fever is prevelent in the Northern states. Your brood jennets should have a booster of all vaccinations one month before foaling to give their foals immunities until that foal is old enough for their own vaccinations. Pregnant jennets also need to be vaccinated at 6, 8 and 10 months duration for Rhino with a product called Pneumabort K.
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