Can Donkeys Get Fleas? (Answered)

by Kloee Ngozi
Updated on

Even though it’s not unheard of, donkeys can catch fleas. Healthy donkeys are often resistant to flea predation.

Fleas are also generally host-specific (targeting only certain types of animals). As an illustration, cat fleas do not transmit disease to dogs, and canine fleas do not transmit disease to cats.

While this is rare, fleas will nonetheless try to feed off of an uncommon source. This article will cover the unusual incidence of donkey contracting fleas and offer prevention strategies to assist you to avoid it.

How do donkeys get fleas?

Can Donkeys Get Fleas

Unhealthy donkeys are more likely to get sick or become infected by parasites. If a donkey is unwell, old, or underweight, parasites such as mites, ticks, and fleas will be attracted to it.

In the absence of a host, fleas can go for long periods without feeding.

Moving your donkey into a barn that has been vacant for a long time but once had a huge population of barn cats, for example, may put your donkey in danger of being overrun by fleas that are looking for blood to feed on.

Donkeys can pick up fleas if you ride through an area where there is an infestation of fleas while out on a trail ride. Again, if your donkey is in good health, this is unlikely to be a significant issue.

If your donkey is being swarmed by flies, try bathing him in Dawn dish soap or spraying him with your standard fly repellent.

If your barn or property appears to be infested with fleas, speak with your county agent about the best way to get rid of them.

Related: Here is an article I wrote on putting donkeys with cows

What are the effects of fleas on a donkey?

Fleas affect donkeys, causing them to develop raw skin patches.

A donkey’s itching and discomfort are so extreme that they rub their body against posts, trees, or anything else they can find to bring relief.

This action removes the hair from the donkey coat, revealing the donkey’s injured skin.

How can you get rid of fleas on a donkey?

1. Fill a bucket with 1 gallon of water and 1/4 cup of dish soap. To dissolve the soap, combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk well.

2. Use a large flea comb to comb the donkey’s coat. This will take some time, but it will ensure that the donkey has been thoroughly cleaned.

You can wash the brush in a bucket of soapy water to remove fleas as you find them. In an instant, the fleas will be caught and smothered by the soap.

3. Blow-dry the hair and comb the mane to remove fleas that may be hiding there.

4. Use a spray bottle to combine equal parts of water and white vinegar for a quick cleaning solution.

Do not spray this directly into your donkey’s eyes, nose, mouth, or genital areas. Because of its bitter taste and smell, vinegar is an effective flea repellent. Reapply the spray every two to three days.

5. White vinegar, about 1 tsp. per gallon of water should be added to your donkey’s drinking water trough.

This is usually too small for the donkeys to notice, but it is effective in getting vinegar into the bloodstream of the donkeys and thus repelling fleas.

Can donkeys get fleas from cats?

Cats are a practical and effective way to keep mice at bay in the donkey’s barns, but they also bring fleas with them.

Because they are parasites, they feed off of their hosts, and their favorite hosts are cats, dogs, foxes, and any other four-legged furry creature.

Also check out this article on feeding donkeys with oats

How can you prevent donkeys from getting fleas?

Ensure the health of your donkey by providing a well-rounded diet. Supplement your donkey’s diet with immune system boosters and natural fly repellents.

Don’t forget to apply fly spray and groom your donkey daily. Standard equine fly products that contain common fly repellents will also keep fleas at bay.

Make sure all the other animals on your property are flea-free. Make sure your pets are regularly taking a flea repellent oral supplement that is appropriate for their species.

Prevent flea infestations on your donkey’s neighbors’ animals by using flea sprays, powders, collars, and other preventative measures.

Can donkeys get fleas from dogs?

Yes, they can. Fleas can infest donkeys, so be aware of this possibility.

Their primary host is a four-legged furry animal because they are parasites. Fleas are less likely to infest your donkey if it is properly cleaned and treated.

Do donkeys need fly masks for fleas?

There are fly masks that have ear covers and those that don’t, depending on your preference.

Fly masks protect donkeys from insects and bright sunlight in the spring and summer, and most donkeys appreciate the added protection they provide.

Does garlic help keep fleas off donkeys?

Garlic is an all-natural insect repellent, thanks to its pungent smell. Bug Off Garlic is a powerful and safe way to protect your donkey or dog from fleas, ticks, and other biting insects BEFORE they bite.

In addition, sprays and spot-on chemicals for flea and tick control have dangerous and painful side effects that Bug Off Garlic does not.


There you have it, donkeys can get fleas but to be on the safer side, keep your donkey clean and healthy.

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About the author

Kloee Ngozi

Kloee is a backyard farmer and avid gardener who enjoys tending to her garden and plants. She is so engrossed with her plants that she has pet names for all of them. She likes to relax with a bottle of wine and read a book.


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