Donkeys Need Dentals, Too!

Penny Jul13

Penny was picked up about a year ago with almost 100 other donkeys from a non-profit rescue that had become a hoarding situation. The animals were not being given vet care or hoof care or being fed properly.  The rescue community in Arizona got together to transport and take care of these animals, and Forever Home Donkey Rescue was asked to help with transportation.  They noticed this little girl was hunchbacked and, since they are willing to take in the unadoptable, asked if they could take her.  They didn’t realize at the time how much she disliked people!

She is branded as a BLM donkey, about 17 years old, but there is no history on her.  She is very distrustful of humans and from her behavior, they think she might have been used as a roping donkey.  Generally when donkeys are used for roping practice the rear feet are roped.  Her front legs are scarred, and she will also use them to protect herself, by rearing and striking out, so they assume her front legs were roped.

Penny has  been a slow eater. She is fed her by herself so she doesn’t have to compete for food.  Recently she almost stopped eating at all, wasn’t interested in her beet pulp mush or hay that is sent through a leaf shredder for the old guys at Forever Home Donkey Rescue or ones that have trouble eating.

With friends Feb14

So Tish and John made an appointment with Dr. Debra to see what was going on in her mouth. They are very glad they did! Dr. Debra found that she didn’t have a good side of her mouth to chew on so that is why she stopped eating! One side of her mouth had her last lower cheek tooth boring a hole in the back of her mouth, the other side had a loose upper cheek tooth that was hanging below the other cheek teeth on that side so every time she chewed it would catch and be painful.

Penny - Not Eating20140806_123649

The loose tooth had too much root loss so it had to be extracted. The overlong cheek teeth were filed down and will need to be kept in check as the last upper cheek tooth on that side is almost completely expired. So there is no opposing tooth to grind against to keep that from happening again. Regular dental maintenance will be needed to keep the lower tooth in check.


Penny is eating much better, although she is holding a grudge right now when she has to be worked with.  They doubt she will ever be loveable or friendly, getting her out of pain could change that. The goal is for her to enjoy the rest of her life!


Do you have a donkey in need of a dental? Just contact us today to schedule an appointment!