Anatomical and morphometric study of gastrointestinal tract of donkey (Equus africanus asinus)
Introduction: We dissected and described the macroscopic anatomy of the gastrointestinal tract of the donkey. Materials and Methods: Eleven domestic donkeys of both sexes from Tunisia were used for this study. Results: Although statistically insignificant, length values of the gastrointestinal tract pertaining to the females were generally higher than those pertaining to the males. The ostium cardiacum was very narrow and its diameter was 4.42 ± 0.57 mm in the males and 6 ± 1.22 mm in females. In the first part of the duodenum, we found papilla duodeni major and papilla duodeni minor. Both papillae were located very near to each other with a distance less than 1 cm and very near to the ostium pyloricum. The cecum was divided in parts of basis, corpus and apex. Three flexures divided the ascending colon into four parts: right ventral, left ventral, left dorsal and right dorsal. The cecum, left ventral colon and right dorsal colon had more evident sacculations (Haustra ceci and coli) (Figure 5). Teniae numbers were constant in all animals as 4, 4, 4, 1, 3 and 2 for cecum, right ventral colon, left ventral colon, left dorsal colon, right dorsal colon and descending colon, respectively. Conclusion: Although the gross anatomy of the intestines of the donkey was similar to the domestic horse in general, we detected some differences between these equine species.