Longears Medical Center
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Charlie was a wonderful, sweet donkey who was abandoned by his mother and found by wonderful people out on a walk. He was laying in a puddle after a downpour and they knew they needed to take him in or watch him die. Donna and Mike spent 6 days trying to care for him before they realized that they needed help and called us. From the moment I held him in my arms, he was my baby. This began a journey that led us to understanding how little is understood medically about donkeys.
Charlie's Haven Longears Medical Clinic will serve our residents with a fully equipped and fully staffed veterinary hospital.
Charlie Project Mission Goals
Charlie was a beautiful, lively little donkey who was born with what ultimately turned out to be a fatal birth defect called a 'shunt'. It was the experience of walking through his many medical procedures as well as other negative incidents we have experienced medically with our donkey residents that prompted us to launch the Charlie Project. Our goals are high! But, we are only in the beginning stages. We hope to fill all the gaps missing medically that are specific to donkeys. We know this is a huge task, but we take our lesson from the donkeys, we are patient.
We need a database where all cases relative to donkeys are shared with other veterinarians. We need to decipher all the collected values to find normal range values for donkeys. To do this we must first identify what is missing from our collective knowledge worldwide. Much knowledge is being gained on a daily basis in veterinary clinics around the world. Yet, they are not connected. It is our hope that we can inspire owners to provide their veterinarians with a clearance letter that will allow them to release records on individual donkeys they have treated. These cases will be uploaded to a cloud server and sorted into categories. We hope that the veterinarians who are treating a sick or injured donkey will be willing to share their knowledge about each specific case they have treated, with another veterinarian. Positive outcomes as well as negative outcomes are all learning experiences that should be shared by all for the betterment of veterinary practice in general and specifically for the medically underserved donkey. They deserve more attention that is what the Charlie Project is all about.
All veterinarians want their patients to heal and find comfort. And, I know many have encountered the frustration of needing donkey values to continue their treatment. Donkeys are not horses yet this is what veterinarians are faced with when they treat a sick or injured donkey. They must compare the donkey’s test results against the values set up for horses. It is a formula that often fails the donkeys who may have survived had the proper values been recognized from the outset of treatment.
Once we are better informed about what knowledge is lacking and most needed by veterinarians we can then proceed to fund research specifically targeting the missing information. We do not intend to do animal research; however, we do hope to be able to gather information as it arises about each subject by asking veterinarians in our pool of participating clinics to share and compare notes if they have a similar case. Should cases arise, we may ask if the already drawn blood work or other samples gained during treatment can be shared with researchers. There has been some great work on the differences of tranquilizers between long ears and horses, but not much work on the effects of antibiotics. I know this is an area my veterinarian is interested in looking into. My hope is that the inspiration of Charlie will motivate owners to ask their veterinarian to exchange knowledge on our server. He was only with us 111 days, but he sure showed us what donkeys are all about in those short days. They deserve to be recognized by the veterinary medical field. Charlie’s ordeal and others we have loved and lost made this need very clear to us. Our beloved Charlie drove it home for us. Thank you, Charlie.