On October 11, 2016, our friends at Gentle Giants alerted us to some donkeys at the New Holland, PA auction that really needed help. We picked up 3 jennies and stopped at our vet on the way home. The young one, who we named Xena, had a terrible leg injury, likely from being caught in some wire. Instead of taking care of the injury, someone’s solution was to send her to the sale. Of course, by the body condition on these girls, it was clear to see nobody was taking care of them. The mama (who we named Stella) was in the best shape, but still thin and likely pregnant, and the two young ones were skin and bones.
Our vet was able to clean the disgusting wound and get her bandaged up. She appeared to have ruptured her extensor tendon, so even though she could walk, the foot often dangled loosely or buckled under completely. The bandage helped not only to keep her wound clean, but also gave her leg some stability while it healed.
We named the darker, unrelated donkey Angie. She had a bit of an upper respiratory infection and desperately needed groceries. They all seemed very close, and although we didn’t know anything about the darker one, she clearly looked to the mama for security.
These girls were the first residents in our new quarantine barn, built in 2017 with much-appreciated assistance from an ASPCA grant.
After seeing no improvement to Xena’s leg injury, we had her leg x-rayed shortly after her arrival. Much to our surprise and horror, this wire was discovered in poor Xena’s leg. The x-ray shows it very clearly.
Xena’s surgery took place November 2, 2016, at the Marion duPont Scott Veterinary Medical Center in Leesburg, VA. Dr. Brown performed the surgery to take the wire out of her leg. There were a lot of very delicate structures to work around where this wire was embedded.
Xena came home from the hospital minus the awful piece of wire. The bone began remodeling, and the vet left everything else alone in an effort to let it heal the best. He believed it would basically calcify in time and fill in, creating a bone callus. Surprisingly, her tendons and ligaments, while damaged, were still intact and able to heal. Xena had youth and the incredible strength of being a donkey on her side!
Today, all three donkeys are fully recovered from their neglect and Xena’s prior injury. Stella gave birth to a beautiful boy, Duncan, in Summer 2017. Angie and Xena have blossomed into kind and loving jennies, an integral part of their herd.
These 3 donkeys are another example of how we change lives here. Thank you to everyone who followed their story, and to everyone who supports our rescue.