Tuesday, May 19, 2020

HoofSearch Publishes Online Donkey Hoof Research Guides Published with Free Access for All

HoofSearch, the index of equine foot research, has released an updated resource guide to peer-reviewed articles and theses on donkey hoof science and lameness studies. The index is free and accessible online to anyone interested in monitoring advances in donkey hoof health or improving the soundness-related welfare of working donkeys.

Equine health professionals, welfare charities, rescue sanctuary caregivers, educators, and students now have a permanent, universally-accessible roadmap of donkey-specific lameness research. The index can be viewed on any WIFI-enabled computer or browser-equipped mobile device. Each listing in the index is live-linked to a matching original journal article or academic thesis.

The 2020 index donkey hoof research
The dissemination of these studies should be helpful to the world’s 44 million working and pet donkeys (1).

“Charities are funding research and hosting conferences to promote the sharing of new information on donkey soundness and health in the developing world,” HoofSearch publisher Fran Jurga said. “But this information is also needed by university animal hospital staff and private practice veterinarians, technicians, nurses, and farriers everywhere.

“Many professionals see donkeys only occasionally, but when they do, the problem is often in the feet or lower limbs, or recovery from other medical problems is complicated by hoof neglect or lameness,” she continued. “We need more ‘donkey podiatrists’, as well as more resources for preventing donkey hoof problems.

The 2020 research update documents an increase in new articles about donkey hooves, and includes articles from the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands on facial pain expression in donkeys and a pathology report from Texas A&M University on a case of “immersion foot syndrome” in a donkey subjected to prolonged flood-water exposure during Hurricane Harvey. Long-term followup of a Brazilian donkey life after forelimb amputation is also included.

"When you see the new research listed in one place, and compare it with previous years or decades, it is encouraging to see the hoof problems of these essential and endearing equids receiving the attention and funding they deserve,” Jurga said. “This bibliography project is one little donkey tribute that no pandemic can stop!”

A donkey foot affected by hoof wall fungus; Michael Wildenstein image.

The HoofSearch donkey bibliography and the 2020 update can be viewed and downloaded at these links:
There is no charge to access these documents. However, some links within the documents will lead to abstracts that require subscriptions of association/library access to view the complete article. The abstract/summary is always free for everyone to view. Half the articles can be downloaded in their entirety and stored as PDFs.

Donkeys are unusual patients in veterinary hospitals; many owners hesitate to invest in diagnostics and imaging of lameness issues or testing of insulin levels for equine metabolic syndrome and chronic laminitis. (Donkey Sanctuary image)

Highlights and analysis of donkey hoof studies:
  • Researchers and authors from around the world contributed 31 new peer-reviewed studies related to donkey lameness or hoof science in 2019-2020.
  • The highest number of new studies documented lameness therapeutics and diagnostics, especially donkey-specific distal-limb imaging, followed by hoof diseases and laminitis, in particular. Historically, more studies have focused on anatomy and morphology of the donkey foot and distal limb than on clinical aspects of donkey lameness.
  • Comparison by decade showed a threefold increase in online, peer-reviewed articles about donkey hooves and lameness in the decade 2011-2020, compared to 2001-2010.
  • The Journal of Equine Veterinary Science (Elsevier) published the largest number of articles listed in the bibliography, followed by the Equine Veterinary Journal (Wiley).

(1) Toribio, R.E., 2019. Dear Donkey and Mule: You Deserve More Appreciation and Better Medicine. Veterinary Clinics: Equine Practice, 35(3), pp.xiii-xiv.

(2) International Donkey Week and World Donkey Day are popular annual charity-run events to both celebrate donkeys and promote awareness of donkey welfare.

If you find the donkey hoof bibliography helpful, please let us know how you are using it. Suggestions for next year's update and how to improve the list or its organization are welcome. 

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About HoofSearch:

HoofSearch, published monthly since 2017 by Hoofcare Publishing, is an interactive monthly index of new peer-reviewed articles, conference proceedings, theses, and patents.

The project’s goal is to expand awareness of research, to make it more accessible, and to bridge the gap between the academic authors who produce new findings and the private-practice equine health professionals who seek--and need--clinically-relevant research articles.

Subscribers may browse HoofSearch monthly reports passively for quick awareness of new research, or actively click article title links and proceed to read full abstracts or download complete articles.

HoofSearch also publishes a quarterly index of peer-reviewed studies related to equine-assisted activities and therapies.

Links for more about HoofSearch:
Or, contact Hoofcare Publishing: hoofsearch@gmail.com.

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