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Animal Spotlight: Hank the Miniature Donkey

Hank is an 8-month old miniature donkey whose owners noticed that his legs “looked funny”. As you can see from the photo, his hind limbs have a tendency to turn inward, causing his toes to turn outward. This position is called “cow-hocked” and is an abnormal alignment of the joints of the hind limb that can lead to various problems down the road. This altered position places uneven pressure throughout the various joints of the hind limb. It causes the stifles (knees) to turn outward, the hocks to turn inward and the tarsals to turn outward. Over time, this uneven pressure can cause arthritic changes in any of the above mention joints.

During Dr. Stephanie’s exam, she found that the hocks were very stiff and that the tarsal joints lacked their full range of motion. She also noticed that his hooves were beginning to wear abnormally due to the uneven pressures and altered gait pattern. She assessed the donkey’s full spine and all four limbs and located a few segments of altered motion (chiropractic subluxation) in the neck, the lower back, hocks and tarsals.

The treatment plan for hank will be, adjustments to the spine and hind end every 2 weeks for approximately 10-12 weeks. Dr. Stephanie has also recommended frequent hoof trims with the farrier to insure even wearing down of Hank’s hooves.

If you have noticed any alignment abnormalities in your animal, give us a call and we will be happy to do an assessment.

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