About this Research Topic
Human relationships and interactions with equines have varied in the course of history in line with human needs. Donkeys (Equus asinus) were domesticated in northeast Africa 6,000-7,000 years ago and were descended from wild asses that evolved to live in inhospitable environments. Donkeys, as well as mules and horses, have traditionally been part of global agricultural systems providing an essential transport, pack and draught resource as working animals. Today, donkeys and mules still play a key role as working animals in developing countries. In the last decades, the donkey and the mule achieved a relevant position in the human society thanks to their employment in animal-assisted therapy and for donkey also milk production to be used in children with intolerance to cow milk.
Consequently, the interest in the welfare and diseases of this species is constantly increasing. Studies have been performed on theriogenology and milk production, however we need to know more about donkey foal and their peripartum period, as well as behavior, physiology and pathology of the adult animals.
The aim of this Research Topic is to report findings on behavior, physiology and pathology in mule and donkey foals as well as adults. We envision to compare these findings with what we already know in the horse and equine medicine.
Keywords: donkey, mule, internal medicine, surgery, reproduction, behavior
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