Summer might have finally arrived but it hasn’t come cheap for The Donkey Sanctuary in Devon. They’ve just paid out £1000 for sun lotion to protect their 3,500 donkeys.
Spokeswoman for the sanctuary, Dawn Svendsen said: “The white donkeys, in particular, suffer from sunburn. We had trouble finding a sun block which left a residue so that we can see when it needs to be put on again. The one we bought is Maws Sun Protection Cream which does leave a residue and is quite economical. It’s factor 35 and waterproof.”
A veterinary nurse goes out two-three times a day to see if the donkeys need more cream. So far the sanctuary has used 100 tubes on its farms in Devon and Dorset. If a donkey is believed to be particularly prone to sunburn it is kept in a stable or fitted with hoods.
Veterinary surgeon, Karen Coumbe, says: “Horses and donkeys can get sunburn around the unpigmented areas around the nose and sometimes the eyes. It can be very uncomfortable and sore if left untreated and they will be reluctant to eat.
“I would advise owners to get the highest factor cream which is sold for children to go swimming in. That way it is likely to stay on even if the pony grazes.
“Sunburn tendsto be more of a problem in very hot countries and occasionally squamous cell carcinoma can develop around the unpigmented area around the eyes.
“I don’t find it’s been much of a problem among my clients but then I train them well to take precautions.”