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- Hoof and Leg Issues
I have two questions.
I have two donkeys that occasionally get the runs. Sometimes their poop is fine and sometimes it is runny. All four donkeys are on the same feed bermuda hay and barley straw, with occasional carrot and pumpkin seeds. All donkeys are around 5 years of age and all are Jennys. Perhaps two of them have worms? I am in the process of getting their pooped check via lab.
We started caring for two Jennys age estimated at 15 to 20. They are very overweight having been fed a diet of Alfalfa and treats. I know it bad to drasticly change their diet, but I would like to get them off Alfalfa on on to bermuda hay and barley straw. We do not feed Alfalfa. Would I have to make Alfalfa available to them in limited quantity for awhile? or would I be ok switching them to different feed? Would like to get them on the same feed as my other donkeys but do not want to do anything too drastic that would cause them harm as they are older and very, very overweight. Could I have it where certain feedings they do not have Alfalfa and slowly remove it or would I have to mix in Alfalfa and have alfalfa be less of the mix overtime?
There are a lot of reasons why donkeys may have soft feces. While parasites are not impossible, they are an unlikely cause of wet stool unless they are really severe. If you are going to test for parasites, be sure and test all the donkeys, as if you have a parasite problem different donkeys can shed parasite ova at different rates. Other possible causes would include sand in their colon (your veterinarian can diagnose this by listening to the bowel with a stethoscope), chewing on leaves or bark in the pasture, or their estrus cycles if they are jennets. Some donkeys just get intermittent soft feces or "cow poop", for no apparent reason and are perfectly healthy.
On the overweight donkeys: feed a handful of alfalfa (literally) twice a day for a week, then once a day for another week, and that should be fine. Do make sure that their teeth are in good shape and the continue to eat the straw and Bermuda. Where you get into trouble is if they are really fat and stop eating, which can lead to hyperlipemia. It might be a good idea to do some blood work on them, with a clinical chemistry that includes a test for Triglycerides, which could warn you ahead of time if hyperlipemia is starting.
My 5 year old Jenny all of a sudden over a couple of months got a fatter crest roll. It came on very quickly. The crest is not broken. I now know it was the high protein/sugar local hay and have changed to a more fitting hay for her. And with my Vet's help we have her on a diet. So my question isn't about diet. My questions are: Is there anything we can do to help reduce the neck roll? Will it reduce in time since it has occured so suddenly or will she have a fat crest forever. Is there any kind of exercise or massage therapy that will help reduce the crest back to normal?
I am glad you have your donkey on a diet. It is really hard to keep donkeys trim and healthy given the hays that are available in this country. It will be difficult to get rid of the neck crest once it has formed, as that is a prime place for donkeys to store energy. However, getting an exercise program going will do the most to reduce its size. Hiking, jogging, or teaching your donkey how to pull a cart are all things that will not only help with the fat deposition, but make you and your donkey happier.
I have 2 donkeys. 1 19 yr old miniature and a 3 week old orphaned standard foal (momma died in my care). We live in Cave Creek, north of Phoenix. We have a lot of coyote activity. I've been stalling both donkeys at night to keep them safe but my older jenny is getting very anxious at night, digging and pacing. Of course the foal does not want to be separated and neither does the jenny, she just wants out. I'm wondering if a calming aid of some kind would be appropriate and if so could you recommend a brand? I've asked but the recommendation has been for hormonal mare type which she is not, she just doesn't want to be stalled. I'm also sensitive that I'm feeding a donkey not a horse so I want to be sure what I'm feeding is appropriate. Thank you for your time.
I would stay away from "calming aids" because: 1) they don't work and it is a waste of time and money and 2) if you go to actual sedatives like benzodiazepines, their long term side effects can be a concern. What I would do would be to do one or several of the following: build a larger, coyote proof pen, where they can be outside and look around but still with protection; adopt a larger neutered jack to put in with the older jenny and the foal, as coyotes would be very unlikely to approach such a "herd"; provide some environmental enrichment such as: hay stuffed balls (use grass hay or straw...NOT alfalfa), plastic or rubber toys, climbable hills or obstacles...all to keep them amused. You are quite right to recognize that donkeys are NOT horses. They will get obese in a fraction of what a horse of the same size would require for sustenance. Keep it to grass hays with slow non-structural carbohydrates and dilute that with straw (the same stuff they use for horse bedding) to decrease the caloric density and give them something to chew on. The foal should be getting some additional protein supplement, as he is growing. You will need to separate him from the jennet while he consumes this. Actually this is a good opportunity to do some training and socialization. Also, it is a really good idea to take both of them on walks or some other kind of controlled exercise. It will allow them to eat more, be healthier, and "see the country" which donkeys seem to enjoy.
One of my donkeys has a swollen crest. Is this a problsm?
Donkeys store fat above the nuchal ligament in the crest of their necks. That is the most likely cause of a swollen crest. If this is the case that donkey needs to eat less calories and get more exercise because it is getting obese. Once serious excess fat deposits set in, they are very hard to get rid of. Donkeys do fine on straw (just plain old wheat or barley straw) and a little grass hay , with maybe a mineral supplement. No alfalfa, no pellets, no grain! Also, since donkeys are individuals, just like people, one donkey in a herd will tend to accumulate more fat than another. However, both could benefit from a bit of dieting.
We bought a pair of 6 year old Jenny's, the past owner adopted them from the BLM here in Utah 3 years ago and didn't have time for them. They have been pastured all summer and before that were being fed pure alfalfa and in the winter a 50/50 mix of alfalfa and grass. After much research I've learned that alfalfa is not good for them. So we plan to wean them off of it. Our current plan is to feed 50% wheat straw(we don't have barley straw available nearby) and 25% alfalfa(to slowly wean them, in the next two weeks we wouldn't be feeding alfalfa) and 25% Timothy grass. So 50% wheat straw, 25% alfalfa(for now) and 25% timothy grass. Eventually landing at 75% wheat straw and 25% timothy grass. My question is, what kind of mineral or salt block would be best for them? Also is block or granular better for them? I can tell just by looking at them that they have been neglected of minerals and salt. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Mineral deficiencies are actually quite rare in any herbivores fed a decent quality roughage, except in some specific parts of the country where some trace elements have been leached from the soil by geography or irrigation. However, many owners (including us) do supplement, just in case. California Trace is a good, balanced mineral supplement that could be useful in practically all environments. We also use Himalayan salt licks. I used to thing they were kind of a "Yuppie Fad", but I have to admit that the donkeys really like them and they are pretty good at seeking out what they need. There is a lot of controversy on "loose" vs. "block". However, there is no research that proves one is better than the other and, given that deficiencies are pretty minor, it is very unlikely that it makes a difference. I would make sure the if these donkeys don't look good you also have several fecal analyses done for parasites, which are more likely to cause poor condition than mineral deficiencies. The problem with alfalfa hay is that it has way too many digestible calories for the donkey's hyper efficient digestive system. It would be like a human with a very efficient metabolism eating 10 hamburgers a day and not doing a great deal of physical labor. I hope your donkeys are not already obese. You can cut back on the alfalfa pretty rapidly as long as they are also getting a little grass hay. Two week transition is more than enough. We feed wheat straw and small amounts of grass hay, and our donkeys generally look great (except for a couple of food obsessed mini's who also require more exercise to not be too fat).
We have 2 mini donkeys, each kept with their own flock of grass fed sheep. Is it ok that they are just eating off of pasture or do they need to be supplemented with hay? Also, noticed tonight that our Jenny has what looks like shorter hair in the little space above her eye and a spot in her mane is shortened from all the rest. What could that be from?
The biggest problem with donkeys on any kind of pasture is that they tend to get fat. Their ancestors evolved to thrive in places like the Horn of Africa, and wild ones are overpopulating Death Valley (a truly extreme environment). So I would not worry about feed deficiency and you should look out to make sure that the minis are not getting obese. Having a trace element salt lick might be a good idea. Of course, this all depends on the amount and type of pasture plants (grass vs clover) and what part of the country.
My donkeys are on remission because of Insulin resistance but they hate it, I have tried to mix it with a small number of timothy pellets soaked and they still hate it.is it ok to put in a small amount of sugar-free syrup to see if they will eat it?
The small amount of sugar in syrup or apple sauce is not going to harm the effects of Remission, which is a microbial culture with trace elements and amino acids. If your veterinarian has found this product useful for laminitis that's fine, but it is difficult to see how it will have any effect on insulin resistance. Those Sacromyces bacteria, that survive the gastric acid and make it to the colon, will digest any sugars in the syrup or apple sauce. This is a difficult and complex problem that you are dealing with, but Remission appears safe as would small amounts of sugars that would improve the acceptability.
Our neighborhood Donkey has a collapsed crest. I understand that too much green grass could have caused this. Giving the Donkey a small apple and large carrot on a daily basis... might have caused this condition also?
Donkeys have evolved to store any tiny amount of energy that they possibly can. They build up fat in their abdomen (where you can't see it), in their scrotum (in the case of jacks), and on the crest of their necks (which is what causes the collapsed crest). Basically, this donkey, either now or at some time in the past, has been eating too many calories and has built up adipose tissue (fat) around the nucheal ligament (in the crest of the neck). These calories could have come from grass (green or dry), hay, grain, or excessive treats. You have to remember that donkeys THRIVE in Death Valley, one of the sparsest and most extreme environments on the planet. A carrot and an apple by themselves would not be enough to cause the problem, but a generally high level of energy intake would.
I have an obese donkey. Her stable mates are all normal in size. We have decided to confine her in an airy stall with hay during the day and let her out with her pasture mates at night, limiting her ability to graze all day. I worry though as she appears distraught that she is not with her friends. Are we doing the right thing for her. It's only been 2 days and I wonder if we have done the right thing.
If your donkey is already obese getting her to a normal weight is going to be difficult, just as is the case with humans. Besides diet restrictions, you need to look at exercise as part of your plan. This could be done by going on walks, running with your donkey, or teaching her to drive or pull logs. The trouble with giving any exposure to pasture is that this donkey can graze enough to gain weight in 45 minutes, much less being on pasture all night. Instead of a stall, your donkey would do better in a large dry lot (no grass), where it could be housed with a couple of its friends. Using portable panels, you can arrange it so that several donkeys can be fed individually at meal time. The obese donkey should be on a straw diet, supplemented with trace minerals and literally handfuls of hay. Feed at least 3 times a day, but just small quantities. The slimmer donkeys can eat separately, but in the same general paddock, where they can see each other, and then all the donkeys can be together in between meals. You can graze your pasture down with sheep or goats to get the grass short or non-existent, which will be better for all the donkeys. I do not know what part of the country you are in, but in the more humid northern, eastern, or south eastern states pastures are just too rich for donkeys. These animals have evolved to live in very arid and sparse conditions.
Simon, my donkey just tried to injest great gobs of hair I just pulled off him. I grabbed the stuff hanging out of his mouth and pulled all that I could out. Why in the world would he want to eat that disgusting furry filth? Is he missing something in his diet. Also he has white line disease in his left hoof. I live in MO where the grass is wet a lot because of the humidity. I clean the place out of dirt then wash with hydrogen peroxide. but keeping his hoof dry is nearly impossible in the conditions here. do you have some suggestions for me to help him?
I would not worry about your donkey's wanting to chew on hair. I realize that it looks gross, but donkeys will chew on all sorts of stuff, and what we may consider dirty or bad, they may find interesting. If hew was missing anything in his diet, it might just be dry roughage, like dry hay or , better, straw. If most of his diet is grass and it tends to be green and wet he may crave some plain old course roughage, and it would be good for him. White line disease is more of a concern. Donkeys hooves just do not adapt to wet and humid conditions well. Anywhere east of the Mississippi or north of the Great Basin, they will have trouble. While we don't have to deal with that sort of rain and humidity in California, when it does rain here (which may never happen again.....) the clay soil mud can be very bad for horse and donkey hooves. To avoid this we use coarse wood chips, which are larger than bedding shavings, and dump them in the donkey yard to 4 inches deep. This keeps their hooves out of the mud and dry, and the chips contain tannins which further help prevent thrush and WLD. The best treatment for WLD is scrupulous trimming to remove any hoof wall where the white line separations are occurring. As long as the removed wall is not more than 1/3 the normal circumference of the hoof, they have plenty of weight bearing horn to walk on. The pockets need to be trimmed all the way back to where the white line is normal, and watched closely as the hoof wall goes back to avoid separations from developing again. A variety of medications can be used to treat the WLD areas and should be used, but unless the pockets are completely trimmed out you will not have much success in treating it.
I had a mammoth donkey foal 8 days ago. The jenny had a very difficult time, we had to pull the foal and later had to have the placenta extracted. She is sore in her hips and limps slightly. She also lays frequently. She's on bute and antibiotics and she has remained fever-free throughout. My main issue is that she has little appetite and has eaten very little. If I cannot get her to eat more soon, her milk supply will drop. She will eat apples, but I worry about colic. She also eats a bit of hay and green grass. What else could we try to feed her? Perhaps carrots?
Carrots or chard would be fine. They are tasty and may encourage eating. However, if it has been a week, it may be a good idea for your veterinarian to do a blood test called a CBC (Complete Blood Count) including testing for fibrinogen. If your jenny is getting "bute" or Banamine, she may have an infection but still not have a fever. A blood test called "clinical chemistry" , including triglycerides, would also be a good idea. She may have had a difficult birth but after 8 days she should be feeling better. Donkey specific normals for these tests are available at the Donkey Sanctuary website.
I have two standard donkeys, ages 20 and 23. We live in SW Texas and they have been on about 18 acres of fairly good coastal pasture ( along with a bounty of mesquite beans each summer) for years. When they packed on the fat, my local vet never told me they shouldn’t have such a rich diet. Now they both have Cushings and are on Prascend daily. The older one has had skin issues due to the Cushings, but I think they’re clearing up. Their feet, at least, have been well maintained. They are in a dry lot type area that’s about 1/5 of an acre, and they’ve been getting coastal hay. I’ve considered surrendering them to PVDR, as they hate being in a confined area.
My question to you is: Once they have been on Prascend for several months, can they go back out on pasture for short amounts of time? Or would it be kinder to send them to PVDR for a freer lifestyle?
My suggestion would be to keep them on Prescend and monitor their diet. If you are feeding Coastal hay, my suggestion to not over feed carbohydrates especially water soluble (also called nonstructural carbohydrates) you can soak the hay and wash away part of the nonstructural or WS CHOs. If you use warm water you can wash away a larger amount that will help with sugar intake which should be low for donkeys with Cushing. You can also place the hay in slow feeders and or provide enrichment tools like hay balls and that will help keep the donkeys some what occupied and foraging for a longer period of time. The medication (Prescend) is necessary for helping regulate hormones associated with Cushings or phases of Equine Metabolic Syndrome especially PPID (pituitary pars intermediate dysfunction so removing the donkeys from this medication could be very detrimental to the donkeys health so I would highly suggest consulting with your attending veterinarian. As far as handing them off to PVDR that’s a question for for PVDR but would require them to then provide such care.
I'm trying to help a donkey that has a Sarcoma near its eye and another on her rear end, and she is also pregnant. The first vet felt it was too close to her eye and anal area to cut them off. I've heard it can help to build the immune system to eventually have these go away. Do you have any recommendations for me to be able to help both she and here baby to be? She was on her way to slaughter & trying to give her a chance the life she deserves.
I believe that your donkey has "sarcoids" which are very different from "sarcomas". Sarcoids are tumors that are extremely common in donkeys and mules, and can be locally invasive (that is they can enlarge or spread in their immediate area), but they are not considered "malignant" (can spread around the body to many organs). Sarcomas are VERY rare, but if they do occur they are more difficult to treat. If there is any question the tumors should be biopsied, so you know exactly what you are dealing with. If these are sarcoids (by far the most likely situation) the only treatments that have been objectively proven to cure them is wide excision (which means surgical removal including at least 1 cm of normal looking skin around the tumor's base) and local injection of a chemotherapy drug called Cisplatin. Most surgeons use both at the same time and the Cisplatin can be either injected into the tumor area or placed as time release absorbable "beads". The chemo therapy is only local and does not have the side effects systemically that we normally think of with "chemo", but it often has to be repeated several times. If the sarcoid next to the eye will not allow wide excision, it could be just injected with Cisplatin. There is also another, less expensive, chemo agent, called 5 - fluorouracil (5-FU) which I have used successfully by local injection. This does require repeated injections, usually at weekly intervals. The dosages and protocols for these treatments are all available to your veterinarian in scientific publications. Various therapies that basically destroy tissue, such as cautery, cryosurgery (liquid nitrogen), or various caustic agents such as blood root extract (Xterra) will destroy sarcoid tissue, though they are less efficacious. However, these may be difficult to use close to the eye. We have had success with a technique in which a sarcoid is surgically removed, sliced, and the pieces frozen in liquid nitrogen for 10 minutes (to kill the cells and the virus that causes the tumor) and then implanted under the skin to stimulate the immune system to attack remaining sarcoid tissue in the body. It was described by a surgeon at UPenn's New Bolton Center and we have used it in Mexico and Nicaragua, where there were no chemo options, and the horses, donkeys, or mules had so many sarcoids that they could not be removed surgically (dozens sometime).
If my jenny is looking rather wide, should I restrrict her pasture time? My options are to put her in stall, or a muzzle. What do you think?
It is very hard to maintain proper weight on donkeys that are not living in the dry west and south west, with short annual grasses for forage. Besides looking at your jenny's abdomen , look at the crest of her neck and the fat pads to the side of her tail. These areas are good places to estimate actual fat accumulation. Sometimes abdominal "wideness" in a non-pregnant animal can be the result of aging. Donkeys get "saggy" as they age. However, you are quite right: muzzling the jennet or changing to a dry pasture or paddock will be necessary to prevent weight gain if there is enough spring grass. Something else to consider is the amount of exercise. Hiking, jogging, or working with your donkey can help.
My donkey seems to be getting a large stomach but his legs and hind area are becoming boney and thin. He is probably 20 years old and seems to be showing no signs of being sick What could this be?
While it is normal for older donkeys to lose muscle mass (boney and thin over legs and top line) and get a larger abdomen, there are some potential health problems that should be ruled out. Particularly in and older donkey teeth can be an issue, decreasing the ability of the donkey to convert feed energy and protein into body mass. So a good dental exam and treatment , if necessary, would be a good place to start. Also, donkeys seem to remain sensitive to internal parasites even in old age. Analyzing the feces for worm eggs should also be done and management changed if parasites are found. Finally, as donkeys age they can get endocrine problems similar to pituitary adenomas and Metabolic Syndrome in horses. There are blood tests that your veterinarian can do to identify these and treatments available. All of these conditions can re insidious and only make an animal look ill when they are quite advanced. So invetigating these possibilities now is a good idea.
I had a surprise this am when my adopted donkey gave birth to a healthy foal. I had been feeding her hay supplement w/ alfalfa pellets along with free pasture grazing. Now she has a foal, what should I be feeding her to maintain her weight and nutrition for her and the foal?
If you are feeding alfalfa pellets, you are probably providing enough calcium and protein for lactation. You could supplement with a high quality protein like Calf Manna and a trace mineral with fat soluble vitamins (particularly vitamin E). I depends a bit on the quality of hay used to make the pellets. However, be careful to not feed excessive digestible energy (more than the recommended amount of alfalfa or any molasses) as it will tend to make the jennet obese.
How are you handling miniatures that are metabolic? What kind of blood work are you doing and how are you feeding? I have two miniature donkeys I adopted from you and am having weight problems, especially with the smallest one. I've been feeding coastal Bermuda hay in limited weighed quantities. I have studied all of the literature put out by The Donkey Sanctuary UK. and am currently working with my vet to develop a better feeding program. I would like to talk with someone on your staff about suggestions on how to handle the weight loss problem. I live in Fort Davis TX. Zach has been here and knows my place. Thank you. If it would be helpful, I could come for a visit to discuss your feeding program. I've been wanting to come for years now so you might suggest a time when it would be possible.
I am not at PVDR, but to answer your question, generally, I would need to know if the weight problem is weight gain or weight loss. Donkeys, including mini's, are metabolically different than horses, with the tendency to become overweight very easily. This is because of various physical and behavioral adaptations that have stuck with donkeys from the time that they adapted to the very harsh environment of eastern Africa. Among these are a very effective chewing ability to grind even the coarsest feed into digestible particles, an extended gut transit time, a greater percentage of their body being digestive organs, and a metabolic condition referred to as "insulin resistance", which tends to make them store every morsel of energy that they consume. It is entirely possible that a miniature donkey, who is not getting a lot of exercise or not 'working' could gain a lot of weight on good quality coastal Bermuda grass, with no supplements added. We have found it hard to keep donkeys fit (BCS of 3 on a 1-5 scale, or between 4 and 6 on the 1-9 Hennecke scale) without feeding at least part of the diet as straw. Barley straw is preferred, but wheat straw (with NO grain in it) works and is often the only option available. Donkeys are individuals and the amount of hay vs. straw will vary depending on the donkey's feeding behavior and individual metabolism. We occasionally feed supplements to older donkeys or other who, for some reason, don't maintain healthy body weight on hay. What has worked the best is Equine Senior, fed at 1/3 the horse dose and softened with warm water for those with bad teeth. I would doubt that this would be necessary in a mini.
What supplement can I give my donkey to remove fat deposits in neck and some on the sides of her rump? She is 6 years old and I rescue her from bad conditions. She eats grasshay and small amount of grain by nutrena with low fat. Has carrot ,lettuce at times.
Is there suppose to be a extra layer of hoof over the regular front of the hoof on donkey.?
I would replace the small amount of grain with lettuce and carrot for a little extra treat. The grain may be low fat but there is a lot of soluble carbohydrate in all grains and donkeys just don't need that, unless they are being rehabilitated. There really are no supplements that will reduce the "pones " or fat deposits. The best approach is to decrease caloric intake and increase exercise. Walking/hiking is as good for donkeys as it is for humans. However, I would also like to point out that donkeys are the world champs at storing energy as fat. Even donkeys that are trim will retain fat deposits on their necks and rump, once they have developed. As far as the hoof issue: donkeys will develop a thickened layer of hoof wall at the toes that can separate and appear as an extra layer. The reason for this is unclear. There is virtually no research on it and, even experienced farriers, have various theories and approaches to treating it. My observation is that when this layer is rasped off and the hooves are carefully and regularly trimmed they can become normal. Some would recommend a trace mineral supplement like California Trace to improve hoof health and formation. There is no objective proof that these work but we are using CT on our donkeys.
I have a donkey who currently eats mostly from pasture and we supplement with hay as needed through the winter. Our farrier noticed some inflammation when trimming and I was wondering what kind of advice you might have on what to do to reduce the inflammation. She is alone on the 7-acre pasture at this time. Our farrier suggested a grazing muzzle, but I saw some advice against that for donkeys.
One thing to consider when grazing your donkey is the time of day when you are allowing her to graze. You can reduce the amount of nonstructural carbohydrates (also referred to as water soluble carbohydrates) if you allow her to graze early in the morning until roughly 11 am. During the night plants are dormant and use their energy stores (sugars and starches). An overload of sugar or starch (NSC or water soluble carbohydrates) we believe can lead to inflammation in the laminae of the hoof. So, consider grazing time as one way to reduce her pasture intake. Any changes you make in her diet should ideally be done slowly over a period of time. You can also consider offering her slow feeder for hay if you are supplementing her diet with hay when she’s not on pasture. Another way to reduce NSC intake is by soaking your hay for at least 30 mins or up to 1 hour if using cold water, if hot you can go with 30 mins, then remove hay from the water and offer to your donkey. There’s a lot of wonderful enrichment feeders available as well. I know PVDR uses them for some of the mules. This will limit intake and also provide engagement for your donkey. Again, consider her diet and then making changes slowly to reduce sugar intake and allowing for time for adjustments. Another option is fencing off part of your pasture and making smaller lots for her to graze for the limited time. You can easily do this with a hot wire fence. I hope this helps but also consider working with your veterinarian on developing a diet, weigh her and take before and after photos of each side to monitor body condition scores.
Can we switch our donkeys From eating grass hay with some wheat stray to eating barley straw without any problems.
As a rule giving a couple of days for adaptation to a feed change is a good idea. Something like mixing the wheat and barley straw half and half for 4-5 days before making a complete transition. However, if you needed to make the transition right away, this would be absolutely safe. The difference in straw is not that significant.
What are some recommended foods to feed a pregnant donkey.
Assuming the pregnant jennet is otherwise healthy and has good teeth, a lot of special feed is not really necessary. Good quality grass hay (alfalfa is not necessary and can make donkeys excessively fat pretty quickly), a trace element supplement (we use California Trace, though there are lots of others), and maybe a highly digestible pellet, to add some protein, would be sufficient. An example would be Equine Senior, at half the horse dose. Again, a lot of starches and sugars (grain and molasses) is just going to make the jennet fat, and maybe cause laminitis. They just don't need that.
Hello! I am adopting a donkey from an equine rescue. He will be in with my young Quarter Horse gelding. We are in the middle of building a new home and are not set up to separate the two during feeding in the house/pasture we are currently staying at. Do you have any ideas as to keeping the Alfalfa hay the horse eats away from the grass hay the donkey gets? I am thinking a hay bag or something the donkey can't reach? There have to be some better suggestions out there! Help!! Thank you!!
By far the simplest thing would be to feed both the donkey and the horse grass hay. While alfalfa is often fed to horses, it is too high in digestible energy and protein for most horses, unless they are young and growing, lactating, or in heavy work. If your horse needs some protein supplementation (the reason alfalfa is usually fed) a small amount of cubes or pellets in a bucket, away from the donkey would be a solution. Using a hay net will not keep the donkey from eating the alfalfa leaves that fall on the ground and, unless you hang it high enough that it will make the horses neck uncomfortable while eating, will not keep the donkey from reaching the alfalfa. I realize that quality, well cured grass hay may be hard to find in certain parts of the country, but investing in good, low soluble carbohydrate roughage would benefit both horse and donkey.
I just rescued a mom and baby donkey from a kill pen.. the baby is a male 7-9 mos and the mom is approx 5-7 years old.. they are skinny and need to get healthly. I live in the Dallas/Ft Worth area. I was wondering what if there is anything I should be specifically feeding them. I have started them ion coastal hay lots of fresh water and I’m giving the mom just a very little bit of Safe Choice grain. Any help you can give me would be appreciated.
We have the best luck with feeding Purina Equine Senior at 1/2 the horse dose for weight and condition gain in donkeys. You might give the foal a little protein supplement, like Calf Manna. I would also have the manure tested for parasites and don't forget to comb the hair looking for lice. These sale yards are great places for parasite and disease transmission. I would also start their vaccinations: Tetanus, encephalitis, and equine influenza as soon as you can. We have been hearing about outbreaks of equine influenza in donkeys with a history of being rescued from kill yards. This disease causes an annoying cough in horses, but can cause severe respiratory disease, which can be fatal, in donkeys.
What can I do my donkey went down yesterday and he has no strenghth to get up on his own,he will eat and drink as long as I hold him up
THis is a serious situation that requires veterinary assistance. Without knowing things like how old the donkey is, previous diseases, diet, and vaccinations it is hard to make a diagnosis. I can direct you on how to make a sling to help your donkey stand if you email me, but that will only help temporarily without veterinary treatment.
Hi, we own a 13 yr. old donkey with Cushing's disease who needs meds daily (Pergolide). Unfortunately, William isn't taking to the meds in liquid or powder form. We tried molasses mixed with the powder and his rice bran pellets, but ultimately, it didn't work. We tried tasteless powder mixed with the rice bran pellets; that didn't work, either. Can you suggest another way we can attempt to administer the drug to him? Thanks!
This is both a taste and a behavior issue, with which many owners struggle. We can definitely relate....The approach that Cindy takes has been the most successful by far: Mix apple sauce and dark molasses 50:50 (like 2 oz of each), stir well or blender, then start by rubbing a little of the mixture on donkey's lips or gums with your finger, until they get the idea that it is yummy. Then get a catheter trip 35 or 60 ml syringe and put the some of the mix on the outside and use that to put solution on lips. You may have to get the donkey used to your holding something plastic in your hand, which can be done by holding the syringe while you are feeding and grooming. Start rubbing it on the neck and face, until they are not afraid. Always be careful to not jab thier gums or lips with then end of the syringe. This can be done by keeping the tip parallel to the gums and sliding it in after parting lips with your finger. Eventually you can start giving a few milliliters of the solution (like 5 or 10 ) into the donkey's mouth. You can also hold the syringe tip next to a piece of carrot, if that is the reward that they are used to, until they start associating the syringe with goodness. Only after they are really good about taking the syringe and solution do we mix the medication with the apple sauce/molasses. I don't know how much volume in involved in the Pergolide powder because I don't know the size of your donkey, but you can probably disguise it in 20 mls or so. We have used this with a variety of medications: NSAID's, antibiotics, and dewormer and it inevitably works well. It does take sometimes two weeks to get donkey trained, doing the training once a day or every other day. When it comes time to worm our donkeys, Cindy just goes out with syringes, they all line up without halters or any restraint and literally suck the medication out of the syringe. I know feeding medications is more convenient, but the accuracy of dosing is MUCH lower and generally recommend giving oral medications directly by syringe as part of daily feeding or grooming. Otherwise you really never know if you are getting the correct amount administered.
What is the best feed for a 40 yo standard donkey that needs to add weight? She has no issues other than hip and back leg nerve degeneration. Losing muscle in hips.
If the muscle loss in the hips is a result of nerve injury, feed will be unlikely to bring it back. Another issue in an old donkey like that is the condition of her teeth. At that stage of life they are often "expired" (no crown above the gum line). If that is the case she will need to eat processed feed like Equine Senior, which we have found will maintain weight in an older donkey, safely. Soaking the pellets in warm water and adding psyllium to it, makes the diet easier to eat and digest (no chewing required) and will lubricate the bowel to help prevent impaction from coarse roughage. You will still need to feed hay to give her something to do.
maybe sweet itch? will not let me treat topically..what is best to feed for this..supplement scratching terribly..hae experience with horses not donkeys..he is a sweetheart and loving but shies from any topical
If this is actually sweet itch, the most important thing is to separate the donkey from the insects that are causing this hypersensitivity. This may mean putting a sheet or leggings on him depending on where the lesions are. In extreme cases putting the animal in a screened stall when insects are active may be necessary. Veterinarian can prescribe anti-inflammatory medications that can be given orally (antihistamines or prednisolone). We have had some luck in feeding flax seed to a mini with seasonal hypersensitivity. You do have to be careful to not feed too much as this supplement also contains a lot of calories. Donkeys can be trained to accept the administration of topical medications by associating them with carrot treats.
Can donkeys have the same minerals as a goat
Yes, but in very little moderation. If you can get a mineral lick instead of loose minerals, that would be better for the donkey so they don't over do it.
My mini donkey is just turning 6yrs old. Since I have owned him at 1.5 yrs old he has been on a mineral balanced diet with restricted hay in nibble nets and some grass. There have been no issues until people started feeding behind my back. Now I have to muzzle my donkey which upsets us both. His belly became more slender and his body looks great overall. The only exception is his neck seems to be getting fatter. I am freaking out and in disbelief. I am trying to find some barley straw to feed but not something our area has. What about using thyro-L?
Judging if a donkey is getting overly fat is difficult. Donkeys will often get an increase in their crest before fat is deposited anywhere else. I applaud your diligence in worrying about this, as many people don't until is has already become a problem. I would suggest a few things:
There is nothing wrong with substituting wheat straw for barley straw. Our donkeys main diet is wheat straw and they do fine. The get a very small amount of grass hay, and a evening carrot/chard/cucumber salad (okay...that's a little off the wall but they really like it). However, the hay and salad are literally handfuls, with most calories coming from the straw. This includes two mini's who are doing fine.
Increase exercise: which is good for everybody. If you donkeys do not have a large paddock to roam in, start hiking/running with them, depending on your own exercise regimen. Consider teaching your mini how to pull a cart, snig (drag logs through a course), or do obstacles. Using up some of that excess energy will help.
While there is little toxicity associated with thyroid supplementation, this should ONLY be considered as a VERY last resort. Thyroid hormones have multiple metabolic effects and you don't want to cause a problem in trying to solve something that can be addressed other ways.
I have a 30 year old mini who lost weight and looks thin. He is up to date in vacc, dewormed and recently had teeth floated. Vet had me increase food . Eats senior equine, coastal hay supplemented with alfalfa and treats. I have increased feed to no avail. What diagnostics do you suggest? Plan to see vet again. I have limited funds so would appreciate your suggestions as to prioritizing tests. Donkey Oatie lives with Pardner a hinny who seems fine. Thank you.
One thing that comes to my mind, especially given his age would be Cushings. Cushings can cause muscle wasting (and therefore weight loss). Your veterinarian should be able to assist with making this diagnosis. A baseline ACTH level (from a blood sample) is one way to possibly make this diagnosis, but it can be difficult to interpret, especially this time of year. The other method is called a TRH response test (also run on blood, following an intravenous injection). Feel free to have your veterinarian contact me directly if he/she would like any further diagnostic guidance.
Great suggestion! I would also suggest checking his teeth and considering a dental exam. This could discourage the little guy from wanting to eat a dental disorder and cause him to loose weight. Other thoughts would be to do a fecal egg count and look at how often you are feeding, you may need to increase his diet and offer several small meals a day of his equine senior to meet his caloric needs but test for Cushing's' first because Equine Senior contains molasses and if he has Cushing's then you would need to consider a diet with less sugar- specifically nonstructural carbohydrate sugar and with Bermuda hay "if" he has Cushing's you can soak the hay in warm water to decrease NSC also known as water-soluble carbohydrates.
Hi, I’m need some help and thought you may be able to help me. I just rescued a 3 mo old mammoth donkey. His mom has already weaned him. He shows no interest in eating grain but does nibble on grass and drinks some water. What is the best thing for nutrition for him? What about worming him? Help! I haven’t had anything so young and want to give him a good start.
That is odd that the jennet voluntarily weaned her foal at 3 months. Was she in poor physical condition?
At 3 months of age the following are important:
He needs a higher protein intake because he is rapidly growing and developing. This would normally be provided by mother's milk but if there is no nursing, a milk based supplement is the next best thing. Land O Lakes, Purina, and several other companies make milk replacer pellets. The amount fed depends on which product is available to you , but they all have directions on the bag. Grain, by itself, is too low in protein and calcium to provide adequate nutrition. If he has not eaten a pelleted feed before it might take some time for him to get used to the supplement, but that's what he needs. The rest of the diet should consist of good quality forage (hay). Normally we would not recommend feeding alfalfa to donkeys but if half of his hay ration was alfalfa that would raise the protein and calcium intake too. The supplement should also contain fat soluble vitamins (E and A) as well as trace elements (Selenium, copper, Zinc).
Deworming is likely going to be important. It is always best to have a fecal analysis run as a base line to see if your worming program is working. If the foal is in poor condition or if the previous worming history is unknown, start by giving 1/2 dose of wormer every three days for 4 treatments. This will decrease the likelihood of killing too many of the large Parascaris equorum parasites too fast. Donkeys are sensitive to these and they are large enough to cause intestinal blockage if the foal is heavily infected and you kill them too fast. Ivermetin, Pyrantel Pamoate, or Fenbendazole are all appropriate. Again, doing a fecal analysis before and a week after worming would be ideal as it will identify the effectiveness of the treatment. There are problems with resistant parasites, but they only way to test that is to use a wormer and then check.
For psychologic development this foal needs a donkey "friend". An older gelding is often used for this purpose. Orphaned or early weaned foals who do not get this exposure and are just raised by humans never "learn to be a donkey". This gets expressed in undesirable behaviors as the animal gets older and can make them very difficult to socialize and train for interactions with humans.
Hey there, we have adopted a mature mini jinett. No info on her was given or known other than she was expecting in the spring. She foaled early May, everything about her seemed to be ok. Other than she had some hoof issues. Rolling in and some fungi and our constant wet weather not helping. We had her feet trimmed pretty regularly, about every 6 weeks or less. Towards end of pregnancy, it almost seemed she was going lame. After foaling, her hooves still need constant treatment and trimming, but she has seemed to "bounce" back quite well...our concern now is her weight...
Since shes delivered, here recently, she has seemed to really thin down to point of her hip bones protrude and her legs are very thin. She does eat well,doesn't seem to struggle or turn her nose to anything...
Is this common/normal/as to be expected after foaling and her body caring for baby through milk?
Also, any good supplements recommended for her hoof issue, and or supplements recommended for body being taxed with back to back to back pregnancies? We keep her separated from the Jack, we want her body to have a season of rest, think a good year or 2?
We know this pregnancy was right after her last one, and cant help but wonder if she's depleted, and now her weight...
Depending on the diet jennets can lose weight after foaling. She should certainly get a couple of years off, if for no better reason than that there are a great many donkeys in this country without homes and we try to discourage the production of more. He diet should still be primarily good quality hay and straw, but you might supplement her with a small amount of a highly digestible processed feed like Equine Senior. Some feel that adding California Trace mineral supplement will help with her feet. Jennets who have had multiple pregnancies will often have prominent hip bones (actually part of the pelvis).
HI ! I am still learning about donkey's, and i am planing on adopting one within the next few months. I was informed that a normal diet is 1.5%-1.8% body weight in dry matter daily. I have done some research, and it said to feed it 75% is barley straw, and 25% is grass hay like meadow,orchard etc. In the winter I was informed that the donkey's diet should be 50% barley straw, and 50% grass hay. I was also told to give him a salt block, and a forage balancer. I was wondering if this information is correct, and if you have any tips on taking care of them I would love to hear your feedback, thankyou!
I would agree with this feeding plan 100%. You can substitute wheat straw for barley straw, as it is easier to find in many parts of the USA. Of course, never feed wheat or barley HAY, as that contains the grain heads too and would be way to high calorie for donkeys. Beyond a proper diet, you also need to make sure that your donkey has environmental enrichment, which can take all sorts of forms, including going for hikes with your donkey . You should also work with picking up your donkeys hooves regularly, so that they can be handled by the farrier. In most situations in the USA, donkeys need to have their hooves trimmed about every two months. It is also important that donkeys hooves remain as dry as possible. They do not take moisture well, as they are adapted to arid conditions.
Donkey #1 I had my mammoth Donkey tested for Cushing's on accident. I wanted her tested for EMS. There was a mix-up somewhere. She gained a lot of weight fast. She is on grass hay. I wanted the EMS test do to her just turning 9. The Cushing test came back positive. I'm not sure of what test. The vet took a sample of blood. He gave her a shot in the vain and waited ten minutes and drew blood again. He sent it to Florida. I would attach it if possible. The pre number was 83. The vet said it was positive with that number already, the post number after the IV shot was 386. She does seem to be very tender footed. She is on a diet. before it was free choice
orchard grass or teff hay. We now feed her twice a day what she can eat in about an hour. I didn't know if putting her on a strict diet messed with the test results or not. I don't know what to do from here. I am hoping for advice. The vet said the meds for Cushings has a lot of side effects and some can't tolerate it.
Donkey #2 I bought a male 4 year old Donkey 2 months ago. He is just started his riding career. He was stumbling a LOT. He has even fell all the way down in the front a few times. He came for Kentucky. While the vet was here testing Kassy for Cushings, I wanted to test Keno for EPM just to make me feel better about the stumbling so I could chalk it up to being barely 4 and just starting his riding. I was also think that since is butt was like 2 inches higher than is withers at this time in his growth, I could blame clumsiness on that. I really never dreamed it would come back positive. ugh I choose the IFAT test. He pegged it out at 640. It went to UC Davis. My vet has never seen a case. I live in NM. he is going to talk to another vet. Can antibodies cause that high of a test? From what I've read, I guess taking him away from the only home he knew and transporting him 1500 miles stressed him enough to let EPM Get a hold on him. We live in a small town and nobody seems to really know the next steps for either Kassy or Keno. I am hoping you can help my babies.
EMS and Equine Cushing's have many similar effects: laminitis, obesity, abnormal fat patterns. In fact EMS is sometimes referred to as "Peripheral Cushing's". As with many donkey related issues there has been relatively little research in metabolic disease and much of the testing and treatment recommendations are extrapolated from horses. Assuming that the test your veterinarian did was for pituitary hormones, it does sound like your donkey may be positive for Cushing's. In any event the management of the two conditions is similar. Have your hay tested for soluble or non-structural carbohydrates and try to find the lowest hay that you can. Putting straw (barley straw is best but you can use wheat straw) in a hay net for the donkey to chew on through the day gives them something to do, fills them up, and won't contribute to increased obesity. You may have to supplement with trace minerals and that can be done by top dressing a "salad" of vegetables like carrots, chard, or cucumbers (we grow Armenian cucumbers for our donkeys because of their high production). These are high fiber and high moisture so feeding a small amount everyday for supplementation won't cause weight gain. While any medication can have side effects, reported ones for pergolide, the treatment for Cushing's, has few complications that I know of, except that there is a fair amount of expense involved. X-rays of her hooves would be a good idea to look for evidence of laminitis and also to serve as a baseline if she was to show more lameness in the future. On the 4 year old: that is a significant titer (blood level) for EPM. However, there could be other things causing the stumbling in a large, young mammoth. Before I chalked it up to EPM, it would be necessary to do a thorough neurologic and lameness exam. Mammoths are prone to bone growth abnormalities referred to as "OCD". These can effect joints, but also the spinal chord, which would look very much like EPM.
Because he is young and because stumbling is a potential safety hazard for you it would be a good idea to consider taking him to an equine referral center and investing the money in x-rays and sampling CSF fluid (which is the definitive way of checking for EPM) . There are equine referral hospitals in both Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Treatment for EPM, especially in a mildly effected animal, is pretty successful and well tolerated. Your veterinarian could prescribe appropriate medications (Ponazuril or SulfaTrimethoprim) and you could look for improvement. However, having a more accurate diagnosis would avoid potentially wasting time trying to treat the wrong condition. We really do need more research in these conditions in donkeys.
My miniature donkey has developed colic for the second time. I am not sure why, and not sure what to do for her. I gradually switched her food from Producers Pride 16% all-stock grain to Triple Crown Lite, one measuring cup in morning and one in afternoon. I was originally feeding her alfalfa, and have switched that to half Timothy hay and half straw. They get a daily total of two slices of hay and one slice of Timothy, which they share with 3 goats. Their enclosure is wooded with no grass. I switched their diet about a month ago, and the first colic incident was a month and a half ago.
Chronic colic can be difficult to sort out and diagnose. I doubt that this is diet related and I think that your current ration is much better than the previous one with grain and alfalfa. The approach should include examination of your donkey's teeth, a parasite exam of feces, considering sand or gravel accumulation in the large colon (this can be done by stethoscope, "panning" manure for mineral material, ultrasound, or radiographs), and a some blood work looking for chronic inflammation or metabolic problems. In some parts of the US feeding alfalfa is associated with the slow development of stones in the right dorsal colon (enteroliths) and your veterinarian would know if this is likely in your area. The exact symptoms shown during the episode are also important and may point to intestinal, gastric (ulcers), or other problems that cause unwillingness to eat, rolling, recumbency and other behaviors that are associated with abdominal pain. Examination and "work up" by a competent equine veterinarian would be a good idea, as is scrupulous record keeping. You did a good job of recording diet change, and it would be a good idea to include time of day, time fed, specific symptoms and when the resolved, and even stage of estrus (if this is a jennet). Sorry that there is not a simpler answer. I wish you luck and share your concern.
Is it dangerous for a donkey to eat 2x1 sugar beet?I saw him on a mountain bike trail. I gave 1 on monday and 1 on wednesday and now he isn't in his meadow any more. I am very concerned. I am googling it and I read it is not the best thing to feed him (I will never do it again!). But can a donkey die from it in such a short period?
Sugar beets, depending on their degree of maturity (and therefor sugar content) could cause serious problems in a donkey. Though it is unlikely that just one would cause founder (laminitis) it is certainly possible. The other danger from sugar beets is choke. Large animals tend to bolt the tasty tubers and can get them stuck in their esophagus. Many years ago, when farms around Davis, California, raised a lot of sugar beets, they used to graze cattle on the leftovers after the beets had been topped and harvested. Some of my classmates had jobs "ridin' beets", in which they would ride through the fields looking for cattle choking on beet tops. They would open the animal and reach down their mouth and gullet to pull out pieces of beet that were stuck there. Carrots, celery, chard, or cucumbers are fine, but no beets.
Is there a supplement grain or pellet I can give my donkey as a treat. She is on a grass hay diet and gets to graze in a field grass pasture about a half hour a day. Also can I give her more pasture time? She is not over weight and gets all her shots and is de-wormed 3x per year.
There are a variety of treats given that the donkey is on a good diet, like yours is. Some trainers like just plain whole oats as a reward or treat. A few handfuls of a high fiber grain like that is okay, as a reward in training. I have found small pellets and oats a little clumsy to handle and we use just thin carrot slices. One can also use celery or cucumbers....or chard, depending on what you grow in your garden. We grow all these, feed a "salad" to all donkeys once a day (in addition to some hay and straw) and they do great. Some like carrots more than cucumber and visa versa. You just have to experiment.
What sort of supplement do donkeys need? He gets grass hay. Is horse guard a good choice? Or do they have different requirements?
I am pretty conservative about feed supplements for donkeys, or horses for that matter. I am fortunate in that I live in the Sacramento valley where, for many millennia, minerals have washed out of the mountains of a large geographic area in Northern California. So mineral and trace element deficiencies are rare. Up where I used to live, where that water started in those mountains, things like Selenium and Copper deficiencies were not unusual. I guess the point is: it depends. The quality of forage fed and where it is grown has a large effect on the need for mineral and vitamin supplementation. I know of a colleague who likes California Trace. It is not only a good source of trace elements (Selenium, Copper, Magnesium, Zinc) but also it has a good mix of sulfur amino acids which some research suggests are good for hoof quality. Vitamins, other than Vitamin E (can be deficient in poorly cured hay), are rarely necessary. Donkeys (and horses) make B vitamins and others in their colon. So spending money on these supplements is not a good investment, though more of them has no deleterious effect. Horse Guard is okay too, as long as it does not contain molasses or other highly digestible sugar calories. I couldn't find a feed analysis for Horse Guard.
I live in California. We keep our 2 donkeys on dry lot and provide grass hay (and a salt block). Should I also be giving the California Trace minerals? If so, how much and how often? Thank you.
My short answer is yes. I live in central NY where selenium deficient soils are a huge problem. That may not be the case in your location. However, donkeys do need other vitamins and minerals that are typically not present in sufficient quantities in most dry forages. Also, in my experience, even providing the salt blocks that contain selenium and other trace nutrients are not usually sufficient either. I find that the donkeys just don’t tend to lick them enough to consume adequate quantities. I would recommend feeding California Trace once daily at the dose provided on the label. It is a great way to be sure they are getting the essential micronutrients that they need and, if your donkeys are anything like mine, they will even think of it as a treat too and look forward to it each day.
What is your opinion on Teff hay? Is that a good option for my donkeys?
We have fed Teff hay to donkeys with good results. It is always a good idea to have hay tested as it may vary in non-structural Carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and minerals depending on where it is grown and how it is cured.
I live in SC and have a 4 yr old donkey who has always been out on grass 24/7, he also has been getting a cup of grain twice a day and nibbles on my horses hay. I just noticed he has gotten fat pockets on the side of back and neck, seems to have come up over last month or so. I have had so many comments on social media about how he should and shouldn't be fed. No grass, no grain, dry lot, muzzle. Not sure what is best. Love this little guy and want to do best for him but also want him to enjoy life.
It would be very hard to keep a donkey from getting fat in a place with as much rainfall and grass as NC. Remember these animals evolved to live in an extreme desert environment and are MUCH more efficient in digesting forage than horses. We just identified a 30+ year old donkey that had lived its entire life in Death Valley and was it good shape. That is a tough and efficient animal. It is really important that donkeys not be allowed to get fat, because when they do, it is difficult to get them to lose weight and they are at risk for metabolic diseases and laminitis. Recommendations:
Do not feed your donkey grain ever. It is unnecessary and has way too much digestible calories for a donkey.
IF the donkey is going to be on pasture it needs to be pasture that is as dry as possible. The high energy spring growth should be avoided. This can be done by strip grazing or chopping the grass really short. Muzzles are another option, as is dry lot, though donkeys like to get out in a pasture.
Do not feed the donkey with the horses because horse nutritional requirements are much different and horse feed and hay is just too rich.
Feed a high fiber, properly cured, grass hay or straw as the primary roughage. We feed our donkeys primarily straw with just a little rye grass hay here in California and they do great. The Donkey Sanctuary recommends feeding barley straw. Costal Bermuda, Orchard grass, and Teff hays are okay, but should be tested to make sure they are not too high in non-structural carbohydrates. Hays differ around the country so it is hard to make blanket recommendations. DO utilize advice from The Donkey Sanctuary, especially since they are in an environment that has similar rainfall characteristics to NC. Do NOT use advice on Face Book, unless the content is curated (such as the PVDR site), there are just too many pseudo-experts on social media.
Finally: make sure your donkey gets plenty of exercise. You can easily train them to drive or pack, and hiking or running with your donkey is one of my favorites.
I have a 17 year old female donkey that has been diagnosed with PPID. She seems to have a sensitive stomach and has on/off diarrhea. You can feel her ribs and she has the "hay belly". I am looking to build her topline and add some weight to her. She is currently on a dry lot with having hay fed 2x daily- this usually lasts them throughout the day. the vet is coming out next week to check teeth. She is on Equioxx. I thought of giving some Triple Crown Senior to her for protein. this has come on within the last 6 months or so. I have tried other feeds but she would not eat them.Can you help me with this? If I should put her on feed, could you send along a feeding schedule for her.
Thanks so much.
First I would want to know: are you treating the PPID with Pergolide. We will have at talk on this topic at the DWS this year. With pituitary metabolic disease you are going to the a redistribution of fat to the ventral abdomen (which tends to occur in older donkeys either way). If diarrhea was an issue I would DEFINITELY have a veterinarian auscultate, ultrasound, and/or x-ray the abdomen looking for sand. Also, the teeth definitely need examination because PPID is associated with dental disease and the will affect feed conversion. I would not be in a great hurry to increase protein intake until these issues have been sorted out, as high levels of protein that are not used for muscle formation, which will only occur at a low level in an older donkey, will increase the nitrogen load on the old kidneys. As a feed in older donkeys, particularly if they have bad teeth is Purina's Equine Senior. We had a small standard donkey that was living entirely on Equine Senior at the rate of 9 cups a day. He really got no other feed. In an animal with some dental ability, no sand, and controlled PPID, one might start at 6 cups a day, but I would definitely measure the donkey with a weight tape regularly, to monitor weight game and avoid the development of obesity. Be realistic about 'building her topline'. Metabolic disease driven by a PPID will determine the donkey's body confirmation, no matter what.
I recently noticed my mini donkey is eating manure. He has a salt lick and a mineral lick and he’s on senior feed and hay. I’m wondering if you’d have an explanation for this? He’s eating fine and seems normal but this seems odd.
All equines of all ages, but especially younger ones, will do a little "coprophagy" (eating manure). There is no evidence that this demonstrates a deficiency of any kind. My adult donkeys do it from time to time. It does not hurt them in any way and the only thing that I would worry about is that the donkey may be looking for more "environmental enrichment" (toys, logs to chew on, other donkeys to wrestle with, or some human interaction). You might try taking him for a walk daily or other activity. However, either way, don't worry about it.
I am looking to adopt a donkey and one of the ones I like at the SAC has a broken crest. Is this something that I would have to be concerned with if I adopted him? He is not overweight currently. Thank you for your help.
A broken crest is not a health problem for a donkey, as long as it is no longer obese. This condition does not affect that animal's soundness in any way, just its looks.
I have 3 sheep and 1 donkey. I give loose minerals to them all making sure there is little or no copper that would harm my sheep. However I believe the donkey does need copper. I feed them all together so it would be quite difficult to give donkey a separate mineral. Is there a pill something I can give her and not the sheep?
It is EXTREMELY unlikely that a donkey eating good quality forage would need copper supplementation. Unless your particular part of the country has severely copper deficient soils and forage (local agricultural extension office could tell you this), do not worry about copper supplementation.
How many hours a day is it normal for a donkey to lay down? One of my donkeys consistently lays down much more often than the other. Thank you!
So it looks like the small amount of information available on the amount of time that donkeys spend 'down' suggests that it is something like 1.75% of their daily cycle. Some researchers are working on using some modern technology to measure this more accurately. I think the owner of this donkey should consider pain as a possible cause, even though it is eating etc. A symmetrical gait does not guarantee lack of pain. Veterinary examination and the phenylbutazone (2-4 mg/kg or 1-2 mg/lb) test for a couple of days would be warranted.
What and how much should you feed a mini donkey? Thanks
Approximately 2% of their body weight in grass hay spread out over 2 - 3 feedings per day.
My parents teenage male donkey, Jock, is a bit overweight and the vet they use recommends confining him to a smaller corral to prevent him from eating too much hay. Another visiting vet said that his weight could cause him liver damage. I’m not sure how to help him get to a healthy weight again. Thank you for allowing me to ask for your expertise.
These are always tough cases. Yes, your veterinarian is right in that obesity can result in liver damage or a "fatty liver syndrome". Just like in other animals (dogs, cats, and humans....) losing excess weight is hard and takes time. Don't get impatient. It also takes both a decrease in digestible calories AND an increase in exercise. What we have had the best luck with is using a high fiber roughage, because it keeps the donkeys happy, gives them something to do, and exercises their digestive track without providing a lot of calories. The Donkey Sanctuary recommends Barley Straw (the stems of the barley plant without any grain on it) as the best roughage. the trouble is that in most of the USA barley is not a common crop. So, instead, we have used wheat straw and it has worked just fine. This is usually reserved for horse bedding in the USA, but donkeys can use it quite effectively as feed. Make sure that there are no wheat heads in the straw and have your donkey's mouth examined to make sure the teeth are in good shape. Obviously, the donkey needs to be fenced out of places where it can "help" the horses with their feed and NO green pasture. Donkey are just not evolved to live on highly digestible feeds. Then, start taking walks with your donkey or teach it how to do obstacle courses or (what I have done) train it to pull a wagon. Donkeys enjoy "having a job" and "getting out". They are very easy to train and it is FUN! The nutrients that donkeys need that are not found in straw, are few and can be supplemented with a variety of calorie free additions to the diet, that you can feed with a low-cal treat like some chopped carrots, cucumbers, or chard.
I have a 9 year old John and I have been considering turning him out with my weanling/yearling foals. I usually put out a lick tub for the babies. Would that be safe for my donkey? He truly believes he is a part of the show string horses as he lives with them now with daily turnout but I think he would be a good buddy for my little guys. If it is not safe for him to have access to the lick tub I will let him stay with the show horses. Thank you so much for your time and all the wonderful work you all are doing. Bless you
It depends a lot on what is in the lick tub. If it is salt, other electrolytes, and trace elements, then there really isn't any danger to the donkey. On the other hand if it contains highly digestible energy sources such as molasses, beet pulp, or fats/oils it could very well be harmful to a donkey, with its much lower energy requirement and high propensity for obesity.
I have a kill pen mule and her belly very extended her back hip bones are protruding more each day. Was wormed last month.
I would start with a good dental exam. Particularly with age this can seriously affect body condition and feed conversion. Deworming is a good idea, but a fecal exam 2 weeks after deworming will tell you if she has encysted small strongyles. She may require a Fenbendazole power pack. Deworming should always be evaluated by fecal analysis. We were teaching owners how to do these at the donkey welfare symposium. All you need is a child's microscope. After that, assuming the diet is adequate, it may be necessary to investigate further by some blood work: complete blood count (looking for evidence of anemia or internal abscesses), fibrinogen or Serum Amyloid A (measures of inflammation), and serum chemistries (looking at liver, kidney, and other organ function). This sounds like a lot but it is only two small tubes of blood. As a basic principle: it is better to invest the money on the front end, and get a diagnosis, than to simply try things hoping for improvement. The approach can waste time and end up expending more money (not to mention the mule's welfare), in the long run. Many mules do have a body form with prominent hip bones and a pendulous abdomen, but if you feel it is getting worse rapidly, the above is the approach that I would take.
I would also add that, depending on where the mule has come from and the selenium content of the soil, as well as the feed it has been on, it may be worthwhile to check the selenium and vitamin E status of this animal as well. These can also be run on the same two tubes of blood mentioned for the other diagnostics listed. Deficiency in one or both of these nutrients can result in muscle wasting. Additionally, if the mule is older (like >15 years of age), it may also be worthwhile to have your veterinarian check ACTH levels (also a blood test) to determine if the mule has Cushing’s disease (another illness that can result in muscle atrophy and a pendulous abdomen).
Is it okay to give a miniature donkey a Banamine shot when I think she might be possibly be starting to colic, please? Also could you tell me what the dosage should be, please?
There is some controversy over the exact dosage of flunixin (Banamine) in donkeys. Because they metabolize more rapidly than horses do, some have recommended a higher dose or giving it more frequently. More recently others have suggested sticking to the horse dosage because of concerns about toxicity. We use 1 mg/kg which is the horse dose and have found it efficacious and safe. Two other things to point out:
- Flunixin has the potential for hurting a donkey in several ways: it can injure the kidney at high doses or if the animal is dehydrated, it can cause gastric ulcers, and when give by intramuscular injection it can cause a serious bacterial infection call "Clostridal myositis". Any evidence of swelling or pain at the injection site should be addressed right away. This may require antibiotics or surgically opening the injection abscess. I would avoid intramuscular injection. Flunixin is well absorbed orally. We only give it by intravenous injection.
- If your donkey is colicing repeatedly a you should have a thorough veterinary workup. This should include a dental exam, blood panel, and, potentially abdominal ultrasound or radiography. this sounds like a lot, but colic means that there is something significant going on in the donkey's abdomen which could get worse and could be serious. Having a baseline of information will pay off in getting an accurate diagnosis. It would also be a very good idea to keep a record of any colic symptoms (agitation, rolling repeatedly, anorexia, etc) AND the donkey's heat cycles if it is a jennet. I actually keep a jennet who has mild colic episodes as part of her estrus. We prevent these will flunixin given orally when we know she is coming into heat.
Anyway, this topic is a bit more complex than it may seem...the short answer is 1 mg/kg, but get a diagnosis on the colic first.
Do donkeys need grain?
No, healthy donkeys should be fed a good quality grass hay. Supplemental grain is rarely needed. At PVDR, we only supplement those in poor body condition and nursing moms.
What is the best feed for a healthy donkey?
Peaceful Valley provides a good quality coastal bermuda grass hay for all of our general population. We feed 1-1/2% of their body weight daily and allow for competition and waste (about 10 pound for a standard.
My grandma have a donkey and she has not been able to take care of it. I was just asking a question this donkey has a sore in the neck from the rope that has been in it and for years and I just don't know how to take care of it right now the cut is smelling very funky so I don't know if you can help me. I can tell me now to take care of the wound.
The first step is to remove any rope or halter from the donkey. It sounds like you need to contact your vet immediately, as your donkey probably needs antibiotics. Until the donkey can receive vet care, you need to clean the wound a minimum of two times a day with betadine or chlorhexidine and apply an antimicrobial ointment to the wound.
No donkey or any other animal should ever have a rope around its neck long enough to cause a wound like this.
I live in Florida and would like to know how often my donkeys should be vaccinated and what type of vaccine is best to give them?
The basic vaccine for all equids is Tetanus Toxoid and this should be given as a two shot series, spaced 2-4 weeks apart. After that the particular diseases are somewhat location dependent. For instance, in Norther California where I used to practice or in the northern tier of Midwestern states, Rabies is also a necessary vaccine. Further south the risk of rabies in equids is lower. Donkeys should be vaccinated yearly or even twice a year for influenza, because it is a more serious infection in donkeys than in horses. So donkeys that live in a group, especially if that includes horses that travel to shows or trail rides must be regularly vaccinated for influenza. All the virus encephalitis diseases: Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Western Equine Encephalitis, Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis, and West Nile Virus should all be part of a vaccination program in Florida, which is far south and has mosquito vectors that these diseases require for transmission. Finally, Equine Herpes virus 1 and 4 are a consideration. They can infect donkeys, though donkeys have their own Herpes viruses, for which there are no vaccines, and occasionally cause disease in stressed animals. The efficacy of Equine Herpes vaccines in donkeys has not been studied and may or may not give any protection. So that is controversial. In summary : In Florida I would make sure that donkeys are vaccinated for Tetanus, Influenza, EEE, WEE, VEE, and WNV yearly after an appropriate two shot initial series spaced 2-4 weeks apart. Vaccination for EHV 1 and 4 is a consideration but you should ask your local veterinarian about their opinion. I 'high traffic' situations, vaccinating twice a year for Equine Influenza is a good idea. All these vaccines come in a mixed "shot", which minimizes injections and , therefore, donkey unhappiness. There is absolutely no evidence that multiple antigen vaccines "overload" the immune system. Do not pay attention to misinformation in this area.
My female jenny has just had a foal and can't get near either. Female hasn't got near since I got her 5 months ago.. the baby needs shots...
The foal does not need its initial vaccinations until it is 6 weeks old (some would say 8 or 10). So you have some time. It will be harder to train the jennet with a foal, but it can be done. It will take time and patience. You will need to herd her into a pen that is maybe 12'x20' or 20'x20'. You can set that up with some panels from the feed store. Then you need to start by "hanging out": just be in a corner of the pen until the jennet or foal or both start taking an interest in you. Have some treats (we use slices of carrot) so that you can offer them if they come close. The foal will probably be easier, because you don't know the jennet's background and she may have had traumatic experiences with humans. It may be necessary to feed carrot slices in a rubber pan with you further away until she figures out that they taste good. Depending on the animal this can take a long time, but we have used the slow approach with some really wild donkeys, horses, and mules, and you can get there. Eventually, you will want to just carry a halter and a rope. Don't try to put them on, though, until they are really comfortable with you. We recommend Ben Hart (hartshorsemanship.com) as an advisor. He has a lot of good training plans and a ton of experience with difficult animals. If you can get the foal to eat out of your hand it will be easy to catch, but you should have somebody with experience handling foals to help you. There is a technique for holding them without a halter, which will allow vaccination, and you can easily get that done in 6 weeks. You then need to go ahead and get the pair trained to catch, halter, lead, and allow hoof trimming. None of this is "rocket science" it just takes time and patience....and what could be better than hanging out with donkeys?
My donkey is about 25 years old. He lives in New Mexico with a mare. Does he still need spring shots at his age. They make him very sore.
IF your donkey has been regularly vaccinated for tetanus he can probably skip vaccination at his age and still be protected. Equine Influenza would be the other concern, as this is a more severe disease in donkeys than in horses. If you do not take the mare to places where she might become infected (and she is vaccinated) or have "horse traffic" on your premises the donkey should be pretty safe. The other diseases of concern are transmitted by mosquitos ( encephalitis and West Nile Virus). If your area is arid and mosquitos are not a problem you would, again, be pretty safe. When we have a donkey that gets sore from vaccinations, we treat them ahead of time, with flunixin (Banamine). This prevents the soreness from developing. So a little NSAID pre treatment can make vaccination a lot easier.
Can I give my 6 month old donkey it's first shot?
That depends on the state. I believe you can no longer do that in California, for instance. As to what vaccines ("shots") to give it also depends on the part of the country. The basic and most important vaccine is for Tetanus. Donkeys, like all other equines, are very sensitive to the tetanus bacterium and its toxins. In other parts of the country, Eastern and Western Equine Encephalitis, Rabies, West Nile Virus, or Lymm's Disease may also be necessary. Because donkeys are very susceptible to Equine Influenza that should be included, as it occurs everywhere. Equine Rhinopneumonitis (EHV-1 and EHV-4) is not protective in donkeys and should not be used. When it all shakes out, the best thing to do would be to consult with your local veterinarian, as it is their job to know these things. It would also be good to establish a relationship with a local veterinarian at least so you know their level of comfort with donkeys.
My donkey has developed pimples the whole of its body,kindly assist.
There are a number of possibilities that could cause small lumps or pimples: bacterial infection called "dermatophilus" or "rain rot", skin fungus, or allergic reaction, usually to some kind of arthropod (insect or mite). Washing the affected areas with a cold tar shampoo and then thoroughly drying the hair and doing what you can to keep the donkey dry during the winter would be a potentially successful approach. Rinsing with a mild disinfectant: white vinegar, or dilute betadine or chlorohexidine would work. However, neither of these will treat an allergy. So the best thing to do is really to get a diagnosis, which would involve your veterinarian taking a skin scraping or skin biopsy to identify the actual cause. That would be the best approach.
My donkey is 3-4 years overdue for shots because he threw a fit the last time we had the vet out and she refused to vaccinate him. He had a reaction to shots, but we found that he does not react to intervet, so we can use that brand. Is there a hands-off way to vaccinate donkeys? I am now hesitant to handle him because his rabies vaccine is so overdue, so it is a vicious cycle. I've contacted every local vet I could find to see if there were any chap chur tranquilizer gun type vaccination options, but everyone just tells me to bring him to their vet clinic, which we can't do. Does anyone do hands-off vaccines? What options might I have? Thank you.
You can administer vaccines remotely by blow dart or capture dart gun. These are used for wild animals and in zoo environments. It may be a short term solution. However, your donkey really needs to be trained to accept vaccines and medical handling. Relying on darts for the rest of the donkey's life is not a good idea and will not endear you to them. Further, if there is an emergency or if the dart equipment is unavailable or malfunctioning, there will be negative consequences. Assuming your donkey is basically trained (leads, ties up, and accepts hoof care), start by pushing into their neck with your finger and giving them a reward (we like carrot slices). Do this harder and harder until the donkey is used to pressure. Then take an empty syringe (without a needle) and do the same thing. You may have to just touch the donkey's skin the first time, but be patient, use rewards, and gently increase pressure until donkey will accept the syringe tip pushed into its skin. Then you need to get other people to do the same thing so that the donkey generalizes the fact that it does not need to fear the syringe and procedure. Eventually, using proper injection technique, a veterinarian will be able to vaccinate you donkey. We do this all the time and it works quite well. If this sounds like a lot of work, it is! However, if you figure that your donkey will likely live another 30 years, this training will alleviate a lot of potential problems and welfare issues. Donkeys can be restrained more easily than horses. Using two panels or gates to "pin" them against a fence and just giving them a quick injection will also work, as will simply "snubbing" them to a strong post so that they cannot rear or back up can be done without injury. One would NEVER do this with horses. However, this sort of force should only be used in emergency situations, when there is no time to do the training. We really encourage you to work with your donkey. It will get over its aversion to vaccines given patience and enough time ("donkey time"). This has worked with donkeys and mules that are absolutely wild. We hope to get a video up in the next month demonstrating the technique.
Our 20 year old Donkey received vaccines a few days ago, because of a rabid Bat within 7 miles of our location they asked to ad Rabies to his vaccines he is also compromised with PPID , he has had severe reactions within the day of his vaccines, he became dripping wet within a short time as well as weakness in his back limbs, we were told that its because vaccines make the immune system work overtime and this is not unusual. I do not think this is the case, I have had horses for 40 years and not have seen this before, is it the Rabies shot..we have a horse also 20 wh had the same shots, he is also not himself but nothing like our Donkey
It would be helpful to know what brand of rabies vaccine was used. GENERALLY, rabies vaccine (which in all cases is a killed vaccine, that is there is no living virus in the vaccine) is one of the ones that are least likely to cause a reaction. I would not say that vaccines of any kind make the immune system "work overtime". They do expose the immune system to a foreign material that may, in the animal's future pose the threat of infection, thus readying the immune system for a normal response. When reactions to vaccines occur it is because the donkey (human or any animal) has developed a hypersensitivity (or allergy) to some part of the vaccine. this could be the killed virus, the carrying agent, or the adjuvant (something that is added to improve the normal immune response). You can test the donkey for its level of immunity to rabies. This would be a good idea rather than repeating the vaccination (usually done in 1 year). Vaccine reactions are very rare but any animal can develop a hypersensitivity to just about anything. The reason for this the subject of a large amount of research, and the causes are controversial. The most important vaccinations for donkeys are tetanus and influenza, followed by virus encephalitis (West Nile, EEE and WEE) in some parts of the country.
Hi, I own a mini mare hinny that was used for roping, she is affraid of human's. I purchased her and her sister from a local rescue. I've been rehabilitating my two hinnies for about 3 months. The sister is coming along nicely I can pretty much do anything with her. The hinny I'm writing about is very, very slowly learning to trust me. My question, the hinny has slip her halter off of one ear and the halter is rubbing her skin in front of her ear and behind the other ear, she came with the halter on. She needs to be sedated to remove her halter. My vet has tried 3 different type sedations. Using a blow gun, Doseamine IM, orally Acepromazine 1 1/2 ml in grain didn't work gave her another 1 1/2 ml with grain 40 minutes after the first dose, no effect. Today, 50 mg's of Aceprom tabs in her grain, no results. My vet is and equine vet, but because she is a hinny and weights about 275 pounds he's at a loss of what to give her and the dosage. Do you have any suggestions? The medication needs to go in her grain.
For mules you need to go with 1 1/2 to 2x the dose of Detomidine (Dormosadan). We would use 0.02 -0.08 mg/kg in a horse. So I would go at least 0.08 - 0.12 mg/kg IM or orally in a mule. Then you need to wait 40 minutes without ANY stimulation. Acepromazine will never adequately sedate a significantly scared animal. It just 'takes the edge off' and prevents windup anxiety. Detomidine gel is available and can be mixed with grain. Some will eat it, some won't. As with any sedation in a really wild or frightened animal you may get what appears to be profound sedation, only to have it spook and run off when approached. Personally, i would construct an alley with a side gate chute, as you see at rodeo arenas. Then habituate the mule to this restraint with feed. Allowing the mule two walk through the chute for several days. Once that is done using treats and calm words (and maybe a little Detomidine in the feed) you can slip the halter off or readjust it. You can also use the chute to help gentle the mule. The chute can be made with four 6" posts set in concrete so that the top rail is 5-6 feet high. Use 2x6 planks for the sides and put it together with screws, not nails. You will need a gate at the front, one at the back, and on at least one side, and an "v" shaped alley at the back to make it possible to get the mule in to the chute. All this minimizes trauma to the animal and makes it possible to quietly restrain them.
There are protocols for dart immobilization of mules, donkeys, and horses. As with any sort of drug based approach there are always going to be risks.
What do recommend for vaccines annually?
While necessary vaccines differ depending on management system and part of the country, the Core vaccines are:
- Tetanus (tetanus toxoid)
- Eastern and Western Equine Encephalitis (EEE and WEE)
- Equine influenza (this is different from horses where influenza is not necessarily a core vaccine. "Flu" is a much more serious disease in donkeys.)
- West Nile Virus (WNV) (in most parts of the country)
Note: all vaccines should be properly started with a single injection, followed by a second ('booster') injection 2-3 weeks later. Failure to do this may result in incomplete immunity. Further booster vaccinations should be given on a yearly basis. EEE, WEE, and WNV should be boostered before the spring mosquito season starts. In parts of the country where mosquitos are active year around, repeating the EEE, WEE, and WNV vaccines every 6 months may be a good idea. If donkeys are transported frequently, or exposed to a large, transient horse population influenza vaccine may need to be given more than once a year.
Other vaccines that may be important:
- Rabies: in some parts of rural USA rabies is common in the raccoon, skunk, fox, or bat populations. In these areas equines, including donkeys should be vaccinated for local rabies recommendations.
- Potomac Horse Fever : donkeys are theoretically susceptible to this disease and in parts of the country where the disease is common (east and south east) vaccination should be considered. This vaccine can be purchased as mixed with rabies vaccine.
- Streptococcus equi or "strangles" : donkeys are susceptible to this equine disease. Control methods are controversial and should be discussed with your local veterinarian. Quarantine and Hygiene will generally keep this contagious disease out of a herd. Both live and killed vaccines exist, but they are associated with complications and should only be used in special situations.
What vaccine should I give my donkey?
It is always best to check with an equine veterinarian for any specific needs in your area.
At PVDR, we use the following:
Vetera Gold XP + VEE is a combination vaccine for use in healthy horses 4 months of age and older as an aid in the prevention of disease caused by: Equine Influenza Virus (type A2), Equine Encephalomyelitis (Eastern, Western and Venezuelan), Equine Rhinopneumonitis (EHV-1 and EHV-4), Tetanus and West Nile Virus. Vetera Gold XP + VEE aids in the reduction of severity of clinical disease caused by West Nile Virus. It protects against the Ohio/03 (Clade 1), Richmond/07 (Clade 2) and Kentucky/95 Equine Influenza Virus strains. Available in 1 dose/1 ml syringe or 10 dose/10 ml vial.
I have a female miniature donkey who has a mite condition in both ears. At the advice of local veterinarians, I have treated her several different ways for 2 years. Ivermectin paste by mouth, ivermectin injectable(drops in each ear), and Martin’s permethrin synergized (lightly swab inner and outer ear) The vet is saying that she will probably only get well in a dryer climate. Do you know anything else I can do? I live in south Florida and am considering asking if she can be rescued and put in a dryer climate.
t is true that donkeys are adapted to an arid climate, and generally humidity and tropical moisture can cause a variety of health problems, ranging from hoof problems to excessive weight gain in a verdant pasture. I would be very interested to know what species of mites are in your donkey's ears and if your veterinarian diagnosed the problem with a skin scarping, ear swab, or biopsy. In North America, mite infestations are very rare in equines, including donkeys. You could send me the diagnostic information and a picture of your donkey's ears if possible. I have a colleague here at UCD who is a dermatologist with an interest in donkey skin problems and he might have an idea on how to successfully solve this problem. It could also be that your donkey has a hypersensitive reaction to insect bites and, if so, would respond to anti-inflammatory medications, insect repellent, and a fly mask with ear coverings. It would be worthwhile to look into these options before trying to re-home your donkey to Arizona.
Our winter was extremely wet and the ticks are horrible already, and flies will be along soon. I've been given conflicting information on what is safe to use for insect-control for donkeys, and I don't want to use anything that has the potential to harm my little herd. Are edible fly control products safe? What's the best product to repel ticks? I'm at a loss, so any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.
Edible fly control products are safe for the donkey, but likely not too good for other insects and nematodes in the environment. We use Piranah Wipe and Spray for flies and it works well. However, those that are particularly sensitive may require leg protection such as "pants" in attached picture. We always use fly masks on our donkeys in the fly season as their eyes are much more sensitive than horses. We have used Equispot for lice and ticks, though the latter is not that common in our arid area. Other things that may work for ticks are sulfur powder or rinse. I use this on myself when in the tropics for ticks and chiggers. It does not smell great, but is very effective. Some research has demonstrated that Neem oil, which can be mixed 50:50 with some other light oil (vegetable, corn, peanut) and used as a wipe on tick prone areas. Neem oil can be used full strength on the ticks themselves as can Ivermectin liquid, to get them to release.
I am a Massachsetts sattelite for PVDR, awaiting more donkeys. I do my own local rescue as well. I have a very sick donkey seen and treated by 3 veterinarians. Most recent vet is suspecting a rare disease for donkeys called Besnoitia. The donkey is a standard female about 8 years old. she was part of a "donkey" train from TX about 7 weeks ago. dropped into a home with kids who had never owned equines. No paperwork, no contract. The donkey was sick with pneumonia and first vet treated for 3 weeks with antibiotics. the donkey got better but not 100%. was still intermittently spiking a fever up to 102. A second vet was called in and treated with more anitibiotics and ran blood work. blood work WNL. a few days later the donkey aborted a foal, no one new or had diagnosed pregnancy. The donkey attached one of the small children and the family asked the vet to find it a new home. He contacted me and I have the donkey. She has a good appetite but has not gained like I think she should have by now. She has had no fever for the past week. Her snotty nose has cleared. She does have an occasional cough. She has what appear to be old bug bites, crusty small lumps on neck. ( not rain rot). She seems depressed as I am keeping her alone away from others due to vet thinking she has Besnoitia. She can see other equines. She is still on antibiotics - SMZ's per vet. I am hoping, since his donkey travelled from TX, you may have something to offer in regards to treatment, ideas, or advice. I just want to see this sweet donkey thrive.
Thank you for your time.
Besnoitia is difficult to diagnose, and the mode of transmission is unknown. Probably the best one could do would be to biopsy one of those skin lesions to see if the parasite could be found there. Most cases have been reported in the North East rather than Texas or the desert west. So, while I cannot be sure this is not a case of Besnoitia, it seems less likely, given this donkey's recent arrival in Massachusetts. I would suggest repeating the blood count and including either a measurement of Fibrinogen or Serum Amyloid A (SAA). These are more sensitive indicators of inflammation and between transport and abortion it is very possible that this donkey has a pleural or uterine infection. I know it is getting TMZ but this antibiotic has a lot of bacterial resistance problems and will not necessarily protect the donkey. It would also be interesting to know what blood work was run, particularly in reference to liver function. The donkey's behavior may also be a result of separation, especially if it is not able to directly interact with other donkeys or horses. I understand that Besnoitia transmission is a concern, but as we don't know the way this parasite transmits anyway, you might be just as well off to put the new donkey in with others.
Three-year old white mini-donkey. Itching his forehead and neck so badly he has open, bloody wounds. I get the wounds healed and he scratches them raw again. Nothing in diet has changed. Gets sprayed for insects twice a day. Nothing there has changed. He wears fly mask and fly sheet. He is on an antibiotic course now because the wounds were so awful. Early on he got an ivermectin injection. We tried two steroid shots. He has just started anti-fungal skin allergy granules that I put with his flax seed in the morning. He also gets a few carrot bits in the morning. His wounds are also treated topically with antibiotic ointment and an anti-fungal antiseptic spray. Started with one little scaly patch over his eye on March 15. Little spots came and went. Now it has blown up. We live in Colorado. Last spring/summer he was fine. I am worn out. Help. ❤️
This does sound like a severe hypersensitivity to insect bites. However, it could also be a number of other autoimmune conditions. A couple of questions: What was the response to the steroid injections (and can you tell me which steroid was used and how much)? Was a skin scraping done to identify the presence of fungus, since he is being treated for that now? I know these skin conditions in donkeys can be very frustrating to treat and you seem to be doing everything that you can to prevent the insect exposure. The problem is there just isnt' a repellent that is 100% effective and, in a hypersensitive animal, it just takes one little bite. It also seems paradoxical that this sort of condition can develop when the donkey did not have the problem in the past. However, allergies can develop over time and there is a myriad of interactions between the animal, its immune system, other creatures, and the environment that can make skin lesions come on without an apparent reason. I would recommend a careful skin biopsy (this should include samples from several different lesions that include the overlying hair and dry skin layers). The first thing is to be sure what you are dealing with and microscopic analysis of the lesions, with the need to do special stains to identify the type of reaction, is the only way that I know of to decide on a therapy. Trying to save money without doing the diagnostics will result in more being spent on unsuccessful treatment, not to mention prolonging the misery that your donkey is experiencing. There are several medications that can quell these hypersensitivities, though they may take some time to work. We can also arrange to have a dermatologist expert in donkey skin issues consult on the samples. Good luck, and, as one who has a donkey like this himself, I completely understand your frustration.
I have a 4 week old mini baby jack that is shaking his head and itching his ears against everything he can, including us and only stops if we rub his ears for him. At that point he is in total heaven. I believe he has mites. How can I treat them?
Before I thought about mites, I would think lice. Bovicola equi is common in donkeys and can cause considerable itching. The parasite is hard to see and often lives in the mane and on the ears. There are a number of treatments that range from Equispot to Neem Oil. Flea sprays that are used on dogs and cats will also work. You can look for the lice eggs in the mane and on the hair. They are tiny (pin head sized) grayish ovals that are attached to the hair. Whatever treatment you use, repeat in 1 week or a new "hatch" of lice will come right back again. Also, if one donkey has lice they probably all do. Mites (Sarcoptes) can occur in donkeys. If you swab the inside of the ear or take some crusts off the skin to your veterinarian they can identify these rare parasites. In some parts of the country there is also a "spinous ear tick" (Otobius megnini) that can live and reproduce down in the ear canal. This is easy to treat with a commercial tick spray, Neem oil, or a pyrethrin. To find these you would need an "otoscope" to look down into the ear canal. I have never seen ear ticks in donkeys but they do occur in horses and cattle, and there is no reason why the might not get into donkey ears. Again, these are rare, and usually cause a little head shaking and no itching.
Is there a particular Strongicide Based wormer that you recommend for donkeys?
Ivemectin, Pyrantel Pamoate (Strongid), and Fenbendazol (Panacur, including the Panacur "power pack") are all safe and effective in donkeys. Unfortunately, this is not based on the same sort of research as has been done in horses, but that would require killing experimental animals and counting worms in their intestines, which I will not do. This is based on a lot of experience doing the next best thing: counting parasite eggs in the manure after deworming. Remember that deworming programs only work if you take the environment, climate, and individual immunity of the donkeys into consideration. This is best done by fecal analysis and good manure control, followed by the use of dewormers when necessary.
Question on worming
Jan/July you use Ivermectin
I have 5 Australian Shepherds and they can’t be exposed to that wormer due to drug sensitivities.
If they eat livestock poop treated with ivermectin they can become very ill.
What else can I use comparable to Ivermectin???
I’ve used the other products as those are not a problem
This is a question I get fairly frequently at the lab, and I’ve spoken to our Toxicologist about it extensively. The maximum excretion of ivermectin in the feces of horses happens around 24 hours but it can then linger for several days—up to 9 days or so. That said, for a 50 lb dog, it would have to consume about 2 kgs of manure (at peak levels of excretion) to get a toxic dose. That’s a lot of poop that would have to be eaten! The bigger, and more common occurrence (and I have seen this happen!), is dogs consuming de-wormer that has fallen from a horse’s mouth. So it is definitely a good idea to keep your dog in the house while you are actively de-worming your horses at the very least.
While individual collie breed dogs can be sensitive to ivermectin, there are no reported cases of intoxication from eating the feces of herbivores that have been treated with ivermectin. It is likely that the concentration is just too low to be a problem. Other anthelminthics can be used for all parasites except bots, which will require treatment with ivermectin. This should be done after the first hard frost in the winter. As always, deworming plans should be based on regular fecal analysis to insure that treatments are at the right time and neither done too frequently or not often enough. All anthelminthics can have effects on environmental invertebrates such as soil nematodes and dung beetles. So over worming not only wastes money, but affects the environment.
Should donkeys be wormed every month?
The most important part of a deworming program is the analysis that you do by running a fecal analysis, from time to time on your animals. Worming every month may be too much or just right depending on the microenvironment on your pasture. This is almost impossible to evaluate in every individual case. So collecting a few fecal samples, and having them analyzed for worm eggs (which are microscopic) is essential to getting parasite control right. You should be able to get with your vet about doing the analysis. The analysis does not require expensive equipment: basic microscope (the kind they use in elementary or HS biology labs will do), some glass slides, and kitchen salt (and a few measuring tools).
I have two donkeys and three goats with plenty of room to roam on five acres. There is also plenty of weeds/grass to browse in Spring and early Summer.
Per your website, I have been diligently deworming them every three months. However, with such a small population over such a large area, I’ve heard that this frequency is not necessary.
The most important part of a deworming program is the analysis that you do by running a fecal analysis from time to time on your animals .Both donkeys and goats are sensitive to what are called "strongyle" parasites. However, they do NOT cross infect each other (goats get goat worms, donkeys donkey worms and "never the twain shall meet"). Worming every three months may be too much, not enough, or just right depending on the microenvironment on your pasture. This is almost impossible to evaluate in every individual case. So collecting a few goat & donkey fecal samples and having them analyzed for worm eggs (which are microscopic) is essential to getting parasite control right. You should be able to get with your vet to do the fecal analysis. The analysis does not require expensive equipment: basic microscope (the kind they use in elementary or HS biology labs will do), some glass slides, and kitchen salt (and a few measuring tools).
How often do I need to deworm my donkey?
It is always best to check with a veterinarian in your area.
At PVDR, we deworm twice per year in the Spring and the Fall as the weather changes.
How do I know which dewormer is right for my area?
PVDR performs fecal parasite studies prior to dewormer to determine what is required. We then retest a few weeks after application to ensure we have a "good kill".
Hoof and Leg Issues
Had my minature donkey and minature horse hooves trimmed by our usual farrier and they are both walking slowly and gingerly. Were their hooves trimmed too short?
That is possible. You could test this by letting them walk around in very soft ground. If their soles are too short the soft ground should make them more comfortable. Farriers who don't regularly trim donkeys can make too mistakes commonly: 1. Donkey hooves, particularly the sole, should be a bit longer than what we leave in horses, 2. Donkeys normally have a steeper hoof angle than horses. You can get advice for trimming donkey feet from The Donkey Sanctuary's web site under hoof trimming. A farrier here on the west coast, Megan Hensley (https://www.holistichooves.com/about) is also a good place to go for advice and farrier training.
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My donkey is limping so we wrapped it with poultice and cotton then vet wrap. Will this help?
Assuming that there is no injury or swelling in the effected leg, it is reasonable to assume the foot is the source of lameness. The most common reason is a sole abscess. Donkeys are prone to these, especially if there is moisture on the ground or their hooves are not regularly trimmed. Depending on what you used for a poultice (there are thousands of poultice recipes) it may soften the hoof and allow the abscess to open, thus relieving the pressure. If this does not relieve the lameness in a couple of days, you should have a farrier (with experience in handling donkeys) or a veterinarian look at your donkey. You can learn to trim your own donkey's hooves with a farrier's rasp and sometimes this is easier (and cheaper) than having to rely on a farrier or hoof trimmer. You can go to this blog : https://www.holistichooves.com/classes for more information.
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How do i get my donkeys hooves trimmed when they wont even let me get halter on them they are very cracked and long. Also how bad is castration? I hear they can fie
Castration need not be dangerous or difficult. You should find a veterinarian with some experience in anesthetizing and castrating donkeys. The same would be true for your hoof trimmer. However, the very first thing that you need to do is to get your donkeys gentle so that they can be caught, led with a halter, and have their hooves picked up. The best place to start is by getting a lot of carrots and slicing them to make oblong carrot "wafers". Some people use other kinds of treats but carrots are universally safe, inexpensive, and donkeys like them. Go out to your donkey's pen and start by hand feeding them carrots. Until they know that they taste good you might have to throw some on the ground next to them. Eventually they will take them from your hand allowing you to get close. Then start carrying a halter, so that they realize that it is normal for humans to carry ropes and halters. Eventually you will start touching the donkey with the halter, and , little by little, slide it on. This slow stepwise approach takes time and effort on your part, but there is no way around this. Two important tips:
If they start to push on you or nip trying to get carrots, don't hit them or raise your voice. Just turn away and don't give carrots until the stand and kindly take them from your hand. Many people worry about donkeys and horses getting "mouthy" when fed treats, this only happens if your forget this rule. Once they learn that pushing does not get a reward they will stop doing it.
Be absolutely consistent and reward even the slightest improvement. A desirable behavior should be rewarded within 3 seconds, or the reward will not be associated with the behavior. It is really important to not try to go too far. You want to stop BEFORE they get scarred and run away.
We highly recommend Ben Hart's materials at www.hartshorsemanship.com. Ben is a behaviorist at the donkey sanctuary in the UK and the best person I know for training donkeys, and teaching people how to train donkeys. Please get started on this process right away. Time spent now will result in a healthier donkey and more happiness for you. Donkeys live for 30 years and can be wonderful companions, but only after you have reached an understanding....carrots are good for that.
Last Wednesday my jenny had a farrier trim; the (extremely experienced) donkey farrier said her feet were looking good, the (diet related) laminitis had significantly improved over the past five months, and gave a general good report.
Since bringing her home (Thursday), right away I noticed she seems to have difficulty with her front hooves while standing. She will lift one front leg, hold it up for a minute or two, then do the same with her other front. She walks a bit gingerly, but most ok while moving.
She has had regular hoof trims & care for the past five months. It looks like her hooves have had a deep trim (perhaps to get rid of dead tissue?). Could it be she is just slightly sore from the trim? (Somewhat like if fingernails are clipped super short, or is this something that should be cause more concern?
Without looking at your donkey's hooves it is a bit hard to tell. However, it is possible that even an experienced trimmer may have removed a little too much hoof wall trying to get rid of separated wall and dead tissue. If this is the case your donkey should respond to just being bedded deep wood chips or other bedding material (6" deep at least). You might also put on a pair of padded boots. We like Cavallo Boots, but there are a number of companies that make hoof boots for donkeys. However, if your donkey does not respond to more padding, you may be dealing with another bout of laminitis, which, as you know, is a serious condition requiring veterinary care.
Had a bad Experience with Ferrior now my Jenny won’t let you pick up Feet. Is there a way to calm her down so her hooves can be trimmed without medicating or causing more tram-a
The best thing to do is to just work on the donkey yourself, or have a friend with whom the donkey is familiar, start working with her feet. I realize that she is scared and resistant, but donkeys will learn that hoof care is not painful or traumatic, if you take your time and are patient. Ben Hart has shaping plans for training donkeys to allow their hooves to be handled at www.hartshorsemanship.com specifically https://www.hartshorsemanship.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=controller.viewPageBasket
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We use small slices of carrots as rewards. Start by getting donkey to allow you to run your hand down the leg to the hoof. This may take a while, but just go slow. Try to stop before donkey resists and reward small things. For instance, if the donkey will allow you to run your hand to their knee, reward with carrot treat in 3 seconds. Then keep going just a little further, rewarding each improvement. Do not use punishment, it will only make them afraid and more willing to fight. Eventually when you get to the hoof, ask the donkey to flex its fetlock a little, and reward when they do. Don't try to lift the hoof until donkey allows you to touch the back of the fetlock and flex it willingly. How long? In a donkey that basically was okay with its legs and just had a bad experience , this could take just a few days. We have trained a completely wild mule to pick up its hooves and be trimmed, but that took 4 months. It just depends. You need a new farrier of course, but if you want to, you can learn how to trim your donkey's hooves yourself. If you just have a good rasp, you can rasp a little every day and avoid a long trimming process.
One of my donkeys is limping and not putting any pressure on her front foot at all which has me to believe there is a fracture or a broken bone instead of an abscess of the hoof. Our farrier cannot come out until Friday to take a look. She won't let me get anywhere near her and just starts trying to run on 3 legs. There are no mobile farm animal vets around my area..
If there is a fracture the leg will be swollen somewhere and/or there limb will be bent in an abnormal direction. Fractures of the bones of the hoof do occur but, in donkeys they are very very rare. A sudden severe lameness like this is most likely a sole abscess ("hot" ones can cause severe pain that looks like a fracture) or, potentially, a sharp object has penetrated the hoof. I would try to find an experienced horse person in your area, get the donkey in a small pen, and use a portable panel to trap her so that the hoof can be examined. If there is no nail or screw in the hoof and you cannot get a farrier to examine the hoof for an abscess, put a plastic bag filled with a warm Epsom salt solution on the hoof and tape it around the pastern. Soaking the foot is warm Epsom salts will soften the hoof wall and encourage the abscess to open and drain. You can also use a material called Icthamol to coat the bottom of the foot. You can hold it in place with an old sweat sock and cover with duct tape or a plastic bag. This will also help get the abscess drained. These should be available at a pharmacy or feed store. Other appropriate poltices would include "Reducine" (at a tack shop or feed store) or pine tar (hardware or feed store). If it really is a fractured bone in the hoof you will need an x ray to diagnose it and the only treatment is rest in a stall.
What health issues may be involved if a donkey is born with white hooves, not dark ones? Any problems with the animal?
Assuming the foal has no congenital abnormalities or health problems, the whit hooves should not be a problem. The mechanical characteristics of hoof material with and without melanins (the color producing chemicals in skin, hair, and hooves) have been studied in the laboratory. As it turns out hooves that lack melanin are somewhat softer and, presumably, more prone to wear. However, I have seen horses and donkeys whose white hooves are extremely hard and durable. There are a large number of environmental factors from nutrition to ambient moisture that affect hoof quality, and they tend to overshadow the effects of hoof color. So, while there is a difference, I would not consider white hooves a serious compromise to the donkey's health. I imagine that this foal has some other unpigmented areas in its hair coat.
My friend's donkey who I've cared for has founders and a club front hoof. He is a rescue appprox 10 yrs old and I love him. He gets vet care but we are in Western North Carolina and he's always on grass and wearing a muzzle. I would love to know if there is avway to get better care for him. He's as sweet as could be.
In that environment it would be difficult to not have your donkey get overweight and founder. It is just that there is too much available grass due to moist climate. Besides veterinary care, regular hoof trimming by a farrier who understands donkey feet would be critical. There are very good resources on donkey hoof care from The Donkey Sanctuary and the Donkey Welfare Symposium. Their contacts are:
We were given a 14 year old donkey by BLM with laminitis. X-rays show no rotation. Our vet suggested boots with gel inserts and measured her hooves as being 3.14 inches wide by 3.93 inches long. I cannot find boots that will fit her per multiple sites sizing charts. Can you recommend where I might find them?
We have had the best luck with Cavallo mini boots (https://www.cavallo-inc.com/product-category/hoof-boot/mini-hoof-boots/) . Even if they don't fit exactly by the chart they seem to work on donkeys as long as you don't buy a version that is too small.
He has a never had a nail trim and is in great need of one is limping because of it but does not let anyone touch his legs
It is easy to train an donkey to pick up its feet. You just have to be patient and persistent. Start by just touching the legs and reward with a small piece of carrot when he stands still. Then slowly start working your way down the leg to the hooves. This may take a couple of weeks or just a couple of days depending on the donkey and your timing. Ben Hart Horsemanship (https://www.hartshorsemanship.com) has a training plan for hooves in horses and donkeys. It is easy to follow and safe. If the donkey is really lame and the feet are extremely bad it may be necessary to anesthetize the donkey and do one good trimming before starting training. A competent veterinarian can do this for you.
9 yr old donkey gelding. After a muddy winter, my guy started acting sore in one front hoof. No sign of abcess other than some heat, no bounding digital pulses. Vet called. Still no abcess detected. Hoof testers used and no indication of founder. Vet diagnosed it as a hoof ligament strain. We put donkey on stall rest for 4 weeks, with bute 1x daily as needed. Pain/injury appeared to be resolved after 1 month of rest. 2 months later, the same symptoms have appeared. This time, I've found thrush beneath his frogs (both front feet) and treated. I realize we may be dealing with 2 issues here.
He is on a dry lot, with light grass access. We live on steep terrain in the Smokies. The dry lot is level. The lameness and laying down resurfaced after access to hills.
If this is a ligament injury, what is the prognosis on a donkey? The vet said that there is no way to see the ligament without an MRI, which is extremely cost prohibitive.
I want my buddy to heal, and to be comfortable,without suffering.
While it is difficult to diagnose this without seeing the donkey, there are a couple of things that need consideration: first is that, while a ligament injury is not impossible, with the environment that you describe, I am still suspicious of an ongoing sub-solar abscess. While I find hoof testers very effective in finding these problems in horses, they don't work as well in donkeys and have been fooled a number of times by an abscess that did not result in a reaction when hoof tested. Also, unlike horses, where all but the most severe thrush does not cause lameness, in donkeys, I've seen several where the sulci (grooves next to the frog) became very tender due to the anaerobic infection referred to as "thrush", and required treatment to resolve lameness. My preferred treatment for this is packing the sulci with metronidazole powder, which is easy to do as donkeys have a large frog and deep sulci. Has a farrier looked at your donkey's feet and trimmed them? It may be necessary to "shop around" a bit to find a farrier with donkey experience. To help with both the diagnosis and the farrier's hoof trimming it may also be valuable to get some x-rays of the donkey's hooves, particularly in the lateral view. Sometimes abscesses and a condition called "false sole" can be detected with an x-ray. This will also help your farrier determine how much hoof can be trimmed away both to find an abscess and to be sure that the donkey's hooves are well balanced. Hope this helps. I used to be at the Veterinary School in Knoxville, so I am familiar with the Smokies and the wet environment there. Donkey's hooves would require regular trimming.
Hi! I'm' awaiting help with my feral jenny. Meanwhile, [and guessing a bit], she may have foundered. She doesn't walk, but rather steps carefully when she moves at all.
Yesterday, I started her on Bute, a half scoop in the AM and another half in the PM mixed in with a small amount of soaked Timothy Pellets. Is there anything else I can do for her while we are awaiting help? Anything I should not do? I can't get her into a pen at this time as I am alone in the attempt; so she is in pasture.
I suspect that the pasture is the problem itself. This time of year, most parts of the country have plant growth that is too high in soluble carbohydrates for donkeys. Donkey metabolism is different from that of horses, because of the extreme desert environment in which they evolved. Also, is she over weight? The combination of the proinflammatory effects of excess fat and the high sugar content of grasses further promotes laminitis. Other things that can help: soaking feet in ice water has proven to be one of the more effective approaches to acute laminitis. You will need to get veterinary and farrier assistance soon. Part of this will be a planned weight reduction diet, which usually involves feeding straw as a roughage. These can be difficult to treat and we wish you luck.
We have a 14 YO and a 4 YO donkeys, the 4 YO is unimpressed when hooves need trimmed, would dormosedan be a good product as the farrier has a bear of a time finding neck vein.
Detomidine (Dormosedan) gel would be a reasonable thing to do, assuming the younger donkey will allow you to put something in its mouth. I will say that putting effort into training your donkey to accept hoof trimming is a better and safer idea in the long run. Start by just getting the little guy to pick up its feet easily and hold them as he would have to for the farrier. Just a few seconds at first, followed by a reward (we prefer carrot slices), gradually increasing the time until he will tolerate, and look forward to, a process that takes a half hour. Then get yourself a small hoof rasp and rasp the hooves a little: again, short periods followed by rewards. Then have the farrier out to just to pick up feet for short period, even though you will have to pay them for their time. Eventually you will have a compliant donkey and it will be much more convenient. Since donkey is going to need a lot of hoof trims in the remaining maybe 35 years of its life, putting in a little time now will really pay off. If you need a plan for hoof training go to www.hartshorsemanship.com. Some farriers these days will only work on sedated animals. If that is the case...get another farrier.
I have a donkey who is about 28 years old and pregnant. Her hooves are in really bad condition from years of neglect. Recently had them trimmed, but they have infection in them. What, if any, antibiotics can be used to help?
While antibiotics will not interfere with pregnancy, they also will have very limited effect on hoof infections. These are best managed by judicious trimming by a skilled farrier and local (on the hoof) treatment with antiseptics and antibiotics.
Spring 2020 mule got vaccines and started to not feel well. 2 months later was diagnosed with Potomac fever. Developed laminitis. X-rays say she has not foundered but remains sore and walking slowly. Lacking normal behaviors like braying and meeting at fence. Started laying down a lot. No heat in the feet. Is Cushings negative and not insulin resistant according to blood work. Slightly elevated calcium levels is the only thing off. She is on three doses a day of gabapenton as she has developed neuropathy in her feet. We have Weaned her off banamine but she doesn’t seem to be improving.
I will contact you directly by email to get some more laboratory information, but, basically, if she had PHF, laminitis is a very very common part of that disease. It may be worthwhile re-x raying her feet to see if there has been slow change resulting from an initial bout of laminitis that had not changed the alignment of her coffin bone and hoof wall at the time the original radiographs were taken , but has resulted in more changes over time. Donkeys and mules don't always rotate the way horses do when they founder, so unless the person reading the radiographs has some experience beyond horses and doesn't actually measure the distance between the proximal end of the hoof wall and the extensor eminence on the coffin bone it is possible to miss laminitis. Of course there are other possibilities and would need a complete chemistry panel and Complete Blood Count to rule some of those out. Depending on what part of the country you are in a Lyme's Disease test might also be necessary. Sorry for your trauma and wish I could help more.
My donkey is about 5 years old. His back legs seem to lock up when he goes to walk? He was malnutritioned before we got him. Wondering if a supplement will help him? Thank you
Your donkey is locking its patellar ligaments over the end of his femur (thigh bone). Equines of all species can do this because it allows them to rest standing, which is important in a prey species. However, in some animals the space between the middle and the medial patellar ligaments is abnormal and the structure "catches" on a prominence on the end of the femur. In extreme cases it will actually lock the stifle (knee) joint, making it impossible for the animal to flex its hind leg. More commonly it catches and then pops free, giving the let a jerking motion when moving. Depending on how badly the joint catches or locks, this can eventually contribute pain and arthritis in the joint. There really aren't any supplements that will help, other than standard good nutrition. Poor nutrition during the growing years is a predisposing factor. Donkeys are also more prone this problem than horses or mules. Minis are especially commonly effected. Fortunately, there are a number of effective treatments:
Many just grow out of the condition as they mature
Exercise is beneficial, as improved muscle tone in the hind legs seems to keep the catching from happening....especially climbing hills will help
Trimming the hind hooves so that the lateral wall is slightly long , thus tilting the hoof laterally, will often solve the problem, in my experience, and is something that I would always try first. This should not be done radically, but a couple of extra 'licks' with the farrier's rasp on the inner wall will usually do it.
Various techniques to cause a small amount of scar formation in the medial patellar ligament will change the conformation of the inter-ligamental space and prevents the triangle formed by the two ligaments from getting caught. These involve either injecting a mild inflammatory agent into the ligament or just inserting a needle or small scalpel blade to spread some of the ligament fibers and start a very small amount of bleeding. The resultant scar makes the space smaller. All this can be done with a local anesthetic and sedation. It takes a few seconds, can be done at your farm, and has nearly no complications.
In the most persistent cases, the medial patellar ligament can be cut, because it is not essential to the functioning of the joint. This changes the inter-ligamental space the most and is always curative. Again, this only requires sedation (or mild field anesthesia in an untrained patient) and local anesthetic. It is recommended that the donkey or horse be kept in a stall for month afterward, as there have been very rare reports of patellar fracturs following this procedure, though I have never seen this happen in 43 years of practice.
Exersice and hoof trimming resolves milder cases, in my experience.
My two year old mini donkey was fine last night when stalled and this morning she is limping on her left front leg. She will not put weight on the hoof only on the toe of the hoof? Any ideas, she is in pain and hanging close to me. She had never been ill and is in great health but sure hurting today. No swelling in the lag and she has a normal healthy hoof. Thank you
While there are a lot of possibilities, I would be almost certain this is a so called "sole abscess", which could be under the sole or hoof wall and are common in even 'healthy' hooves in the winter. They can also be quite painful even if they are very small. We find that they are often found at the angle of the bars toward the heel of the hoof. For the most rapid relief, have a veterinarian or farrier out to remove a little of the overlying keratinized sole or wall and let it drain. You can poultice the hoof (Icthamol, Pine tar, Warm Epsom Salts solution, or others) to soften the sole and allow it to drain on its own. However, this will take longer and the poor little donkey will be in pain for more time. Do not give antibiotics, as they will not help the problem and have potential side effects.
I have questions regarding behavior/training and skin issues. We have a mini donkey we rescued from a well meaning neighbor who did not understand equines. They are cow people. The son bought a year old mini donkey stud and planned to breed him. Life got busy and the donkey was kept in a small pen with a goat (which he killed) for a companion and a plastic calf hut for shelter. His hoofs were often overgrown and I began scheduling the farrier to go there. The donkey was minimally handled for about 6 years. I asked the owner to work with him on picking up his feet. He didn't and I got a black eye the first time we trimmed him. We live in MN where winters can be brutal. Two years ago we set all time records for cold (30 below). Before the worst of the cold set in I asked the owner if we could bring the donkey to our place so his ears didn't get frostbite. We have a horse and several large ponies. The donkey was still a stud so this was a rough transition. He had to be kept completely separate. The donkey bit and kicked regularly. Eventually we got him gelded. This helped immensely. We still have the donkey. I have learned a lot about donkeys but don't understand things he does. He has a deep comfortable three sided shelter connected to our outdoor riding arena which is next to the paddock for the horses. He insists on standing in the rain even when it is cold. He gets rain rot every fall because of this. The rain rot is difficult to treat because the donkey's coat is very thick. If we leave him out overnight he brays loudly early in the morning like a rooster, waking us up. Due to this we generally keep him in a stall overnight. We can't get him to walk willingly on a lead no matter what we have tried. He mainly drags behind but when he is fire up he runs wildly ahead. At times he does a weird thing with his body where he does one shake of his head, body and swish of his tail at us. Is this irritation? This donkey is SUPER smart. He already knows 4 tricks including how to fetch (which he does reluctantly LOL). When we are with him loose in the arena and try to work with him he often lays his ears back and tries to stay directly behind us, especially if we are having him follow us without a lead. He appears to be trying to herd us. I can't break him of this habit. When we got him he bit and kicked terribly. We have gotten past most of that but he bit me again the other day from behind as I was leaving his pen. I can't figure out this spontaneous aggression. He is wormed regularly, up to date on vaccines and his hooves are trimmed on schedule. We also had his teeth done a year and a half ago. He does go out on pasture with the horses for 45 minutes to an hours when weather/days permit. He play/fights with our big horse and large pony gelding like he is their size. I very much limit his time in the pasture for safety and nutrition concerns but he LOVES to be with the guys. Is their someone I can speak with to give me guidance on working with this donkey? Thanks Vanessa
You clearly have a very complex problem with this mini and some of these behaviors will require patience and time to reverse. I would recommend contacting Benjamin Hart at https://www.hartshorsemanship.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=controller.viewPageContact.Ben has a world of experience in donkey behavior problems and is the behaviorist for The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth UK, the largest donkey sanctuary and welfare organization in the world. He is also a good friend who has helped us a lot with donkey behavioral issues over the years. When you contact him, tell him that Cindy Davis recommended that you ask him for help.
On the rain rot: that is also tough as donkeys tend to have skin (and hoof) problems in wet climates such as the northern States and the South East. Their skin and hooves are just poorly adpated to moisture. I wonder if he would be better about going into the shelter if he had another donkey as a friend. Our donkeys have no interest in being out in the rain, even when the horses are just getting soaked. They stay in their barn together at the first droplets. That is just a thought and cannot guarantee that it would work. You can also help prevent rain rot by regular grooming and by brushing a mild disinfectant like white vinegar into the areas where the moisture tends to accumulate.
Need to trim my donkey's hooves. The farrier is suggesting giving them an oral sedative to help calm them. Do you reccomend this and if so what sedative would you suggest?
I would suggest Dormosedan gel given at the horse dose. It HAS to be given 40 minutes (can be longer) before he starts.
I forward the Dormosedan gel suggestion. For oral dosing of Dormosedan gel, my experience is that a recalcitrant donk may take almost twice the horse dose. And waiting the 30-40 minutes is really important, even if they start dropping their head after 10 minutes. Better to have the farrier working on another animal if possible as the sedation takes affect. Farriers are understandably impatient because they are not usually getting paid to wait around.
For these cases, I usually have them try and schedule me and the farrier together for the first visit and I administer the Dormosedan intravenously (or sometimes intramuscular depending on restraint capabilities and cooperative nature of the donkey in question.) That gives us an idea of how much Dormosedan Gel should be dosed in the future for dispensing to the owner. If there needs to be a redosing on that preliminary visit, I am there to do it with intravenous injection. This keeps the farrier happy and more likely to come a second time (and third and fourth and…)
All that being said, sedation is only a temporary solution. It is absolutely vital that the donkey owner spend daily sessions (less than 10 minutes a day) training their donkey to have their feet picked up. They will save hundreds of dollars in vet and farrier bills in the long run and may even save the animal’s life.
Flies are biting his chest and legs. We wrap and spray him but they drive him nuts and he ends up chewing himself up.
We recommend swat, continue fly spray and use external measures such as fly bait (we use fly strike) and we use clarifly tubs to prevent flies from breeding in the manure
We just inherited 2 extremely fat jennies, aged 18 and 12. Mother and daughter. They were fed strictly horse feed and coastal hay. Feet in very poor condition. The mother just had her feet done today and successful at the correcting trim. The farrier told us the daughter is lame and needed to be put down. He would not touch her. We would very much like a second opinion before we look at that as the final call. We were told she fell about a year ago running in mud and they thought she tore her ligaments but they did not seek medical treatment. Said she would limp on it, but was getting better. We did not see the condition of the 2 before they were delivered to us. She has her hoof completely rotated back and puts pressure on what should be upper front part of her hoof (a part that should never be touching the ground). She tries to walk correctly, but hoof falls back because it is not trimmed for a very long time and there is no other way for it to fall in its current state. We were hoping for maybe an orthopedic shoe for her, but the farrier said that's not an option. This was the first time we had worked with him, so that is why we are seeking other opinions before euthanasia as an option. I can send pictures, too, if that helps. We don't want her suffering, but we don't want the mom so grief struck, either.
If the problem is a hoof that is bearing weight on the dorsal wall, there are a number of treatments that range from hoof trimming to a fairly simple surgery to release the deep flexor tendon contracture. I think photographs, video(s) and even radiographs would be helpful as well as visit with their veterinarian to assist with making the best decision for this donkey.
Hello! I have a jinny who is foundering and my vet and I are horse people. We started her on banamine but are wondering if it is the best nsaid since we have read it is metabolized quicker. We are giving her the dose for a horse if her small size. She’s about 400 lbs. any suggestions on which NSAID is best for this situation would help us.
Flunixin (Banamine) is probably about as good as anything and is safer than Phenylbutazone ("Bute"). It does metabolize faster, but as a practical matter most use the horse dose and dosing interval. As you know the main issue is addressing the cause of the laminitis with diet and hoof care. Short term Flunixin will give some relief as will cold water soaks (in the most acute phase).
I have recently purchased two donkeys, born this past spring. They're friendly, but not used to people handling them. they are not tame and I need to tame them in a gentle manner so I can halter them and castrate one and trim them both when they need it. How do I tame them? I'm had extensive experience, since 1999 With Parelli Natural Horsemanship but not with an equine that had never been haltered. How to do I go about this?
Most importantly is time and patience. Donkeys are incredibly smart and the best way to train them is through positive reinforcement. Take your time. Spend 15 or so minutes every day. We have several "how-to" videos on our YouTube channel which can be found at www.donkeyrescue.tv -- examples include "How to Trailer your donkey" and "How to pick up donkey's hooves."
My parents and I have a new 8 year old female donkey who has never had her hooves done. She threw my father and the hoof dr against the wall.....bucking etc, even after she watched our male of 17 years have no problem getting them trimmed. What should we do?
Here is a link to our YouTube channel which if you scroll down a bit, has lots of "how to" videos on this particular subject: www.donkeyrescue.tv -- Most importantly is time and patience. Donkeys are incredibly smart and the best way to train them is through positive reinforcement. Take your time. Spend 15 or so minutes every day, even if those steps are baby steps.
If after reviewing these videos, you still have some specific questions, please let us know -- we're happy to help.
Advice please. I’m grasping at straws to make my donkey better.
6/27/19 first visit, vet wrapped hoof both hoofs for abscess, worst hoof was front right. Unwrapped 7/02/ 19, abscess blew out of the coronet band, soaked several days in Epsom salt, donkey still limped some, after 2 weeks donkey still limped some but not as bad, messaged the vet to see if I needed to do anything else he said No, healing from coronet band abscess is a long healing process. Still limping on 7/28/19 I rewrapped with ichthammol, unwrapped 7/31/19 and could see a pinkish puss draining by the coronet band, soaked my in Epsom a few times. Some days he doesn’t limp as bad and walks with a fairly good gait, was putting weight on his hoof. Last 2 days he’s giving into his hoof again but still walking. “Friend” that has horses (not a vet) looked at his hoof and said he thought his coffin bone was effected and should think about putting donkey down. I think x-rays should be done to confirm that. I’m thinking of wrapping him today in sugardine for 2 days and see how he does. I don’t want to lose my donkey, he’s a big donkey pet. I appreciate a reply of your thoughts. I will get my vet back out this week. Thank you for your input and time. I’m desperate to make him better
Before assuming that the coffin bone is involved you should definitely get radiographs (x-rays). Even if it IS involved , as long as the coffin joint or navicular bursa are not involved, this is likely treatable . To get abscesses to heal you need to:
1. Remove any hoof wall or sole covering the abscess material as the bacteria that cause the infections are sensitive to oxygen AND you have to get any dirt or sand out of the area that is trying to heal.
2. Get rid of the bacterial infection, without using caustic agents which retard healing by injuring the hoof tissue. Antibiotics used locally (NOT by injection or feed into the donkey), such as metronidazole or tetracycline work well for this.
3. keep the hooves scrupulously dry (again: no caustics, just a dry environment). It does take months for the hoof wall that separated at the coronary band to grow all the way out and be replaced by normal wall. However, once the infection and dirt is remove from the abscess track the tissue should start to granulate and heal and the pain should resolve. The fact that you still have exudate (puss) suggests that there is still infection lurking under the wall or sole.
Radiographs can help identify these and also tell the farrier where they can trim more, without contacting bone. Sometimes removing the wall/sole can be done more exactly with a Dremel tool. Also, there are times when so much wall needs to be removed that you lose more than 2/3's of the circumference of the normal weight bearing wall of the hoof. If this happens you may need to put a padded boot or other protective device on the hoof. This will need to be removed, cleaned, and the tissues treated daily. It is hard to recommend the exact location of trimming or of boot placement without seeing the hoof and x-rays. So these are general recommendations.
We have two older donkeys, standard and a mini. We have had our standard for 12 years and she is approx 30 years old. The mini came to us from the SPCA 3 years ago. We are located in North Texas (Keller TX) and due to this years weather, our pastures are very green and proving to be dangerous to our donks.
Both are suffering from beginning stages of Laminitis. We are currently housing them in a small area so that can not graze. However, I'm finding it very difficult to come up with a low sugar hay for them. I was able to find Timothy and Teff. Not able to get straw. What would you recommend?
Grass hay is the number one feed choice for donkeys. Types of grass hay include: Bermuda, Coastal Bermuda, Orchard, Timothy & Brome.
Our standard donkey who is the easiest keeper came up lame in one leg about 5 days ago. We began soaking in Epsom salts 2x day and gave him butte. Not much changed. A farrier visit had already been scheduled and she said it was white line in all 4 feet. I ordered Magic Cushion, and Clean Trax. I figured I would do one or two Clean Trax treatments followed by the Magic Cushion. Is this the right path? In the meantime while we wait for this stuff to arrive, we will keep him off pasture, keep the hooves clean, and brush with 50% water to bleach ratio? He had only been on pasture 1 hour twice a day with a pound of hay after.
I sympathize with the owner (and of course, the donkey) and recognize that what we call lameness is often brought on by a combination of factors. To really come up with at diagnosis, one would have to know a little more about this case, primarily: "how lame is this donkey?" If we make "1" as a case where it is very hard to see any abnormal gait at all, even at the trot, and "5" where the patient will not bear any weight at all on the leg, where is this donkey on that spectrum? I am also assuming that you cannot feel or see any swelling somewhere else in the leg. It does sound like the hoof is the site of the problem and that he may very well have "white line disease" in all 4 feet. However, WLD only causes severe lameness in extreme cases, and since your farrier feels that all 4 feet are affected, yet the lameness is primarily in one leg, you have to wonder if there is something else going on with that lame leg. Was a 'hoof tester' used on the affected hoof? It does sound like this might be a wall or sole abscess, which the donkey could have in addition to the WLD. Hoof testers are a good way to isolate the area of the abscess. There also seems to be some concern over laminitis. Does the donkey's hoof growth or previous x-rays suggest that this donkey has chronic laminitis? Is the donkey obese? For the time being, your treatment of the White Line situation is appropriate. My experience is that all the separated wall must be removed, back to normal white line and hoof wall tissue, to achieve a cure in WLD. This often requires some kind of hoof protection to allow the more sensitive structures of the hoof from bruising. So your hoof packing and, perhaps, a boot are good ideas. Scrupulous cleanliness and the local treatment you are using , along with hour farrier's help, can overcome WLD. If the lameness is in the 3-5 category, and if it persists for any number of days, we would also recommend a veterinary visit.
What is your best treatment for white line disease in donkeys?
White line disease can be frustrating to deal with for sure and seems to be very common in donkeys. Depending on the severity, treatment often entails a hoof wall resection by a farrier. This procedure allows for oxygenation of the affected area so that the causative anaerobic bacteria can no longer survive. Treatment and prevention should also be focused on good hygiene and keeping the hooves as clean and dry as possible.
I think our 3 year old mule might have an abscess near the frog on his left front hoof he has always been really sensitive on the left side what can I do to help him?
It would be best to get a veterinarian out to the farm to take a look at your mule. Since it sounds like he has always had some sensitivity in that area, a thorough exam is a very good idea. It may be an abscess, or it may require further diagnostics such as x-rays to determine the cause of the sensitivity and then come up with the best treatment plan. Further, mules and donkeys, unlike most horses, can have pain in the lateral sulci (deep grooves next to the frog) resulting from chronic anaerobic bacterial infection thinning the keratinized covering of the sensitive tissues that form the sole and frog. They will react to minor hoof pick pressure. They respond to treating the infection (sometimes called "thrush") and allowing the hooves to dry out and toughen.
How often do donkeys need to be trimmed?
Hoof growth is impacted by many variables. Donkeys on hard rocky ground may never need trimming, wild burros hooves are typically perfect. Nutrition and time of year can also influence growth, hooves grow less in colder months as the donkey's metabolism switches gears and uses more energy to keep warm.
Our 18-year-old Jenny recently was hospitalized for high triglycerides due to a dental problem. The dental problem was addressed a feeding tube was placed due to 636 triglyceride count. They came down and after a two week hospitalization she came home. She’s been home for less than 24 hours and is still circling will eat grain ,nibbles on hay , nibbles on grass but tends to be circling in a stall a lot. She’s receiving a 200 pound dose of Banta mean morning and night for the first two days that she’s home and then once a day for the next three days. My main concern is the vets in our area do not know an tin on donkeys but enough to treat. I’m concerned if the circling doesn’t stop that she’s going to go into a negative energy balance again due moving most of her day and not grazing on grass or hay as usual
Thank you so much for your time
I am sorry, but do you mean "Banamine" instead of "Banta"? If not and she is getting something called "Banta". I agree that not eating normally could put her in negative energy balance again. My first thought is that the circling is a result of being worried and anxious. Is it possible to put a donkey "friend" in with her? It is possible that the transport to the hospital, a return, and, perhaps, a change in routine at home could be causing this. Unfortunately, another concern on an animal that is circling has a neurologic cause. If your donkey was hyperlipemic (fat/triglycerides in the blood) there may be chronic liver damage, which can result in neurologic disease and confusion from a liver not detoxifying certain products of digestion. Liver function can be investigated using a laboratory test called "Bile Acids" .
We are adopting a donkey from the BLM. He is between 1-2 years old. The trainer noticed yesterday that all of his bottom left teeth are missing. She thinks possibly they were kicked out. She said the gums are sealed. Do you think his adult teeth will come in? Any issues to worry about if they do not?
I am pretty sure that you mean this young donkey's incisor teeth, as those would be the ones that could be examined without a speculum. Yes, at this donkey's age the teeth were likely broken off by a kick. If that's the case the permanent incisors should erupt through the gums starting at 3 years old. It might be possible to feel the permanents under the gum, if the donkey will allow that. Otherwise, the only way that you could tell for sure would be to x-ray the jaw. However, even if your donkey was missing incisor teeth they are only important for cropping coarse grass or for biting other donkeys. Donkeys and horses do fine without any incisor teeth under the feeding and management conditions that are used in domestication.
I have 2 Jennies aged 3 and 4. Are they likely to need their teeth floated soon? Should I be getting their teeth examined under sedation every year like my horses or is that not necessary yet?
Yes! They should have their teeth evaluated every year like a horse.
Not sure if this is a tooth issue. This morning I noticed a small lump on the left side of one of my mini donkey's face. It is about 1.5" long. It feels rock hard, not soft at all. Does not appear to hurt when I pushed on it. She is eating her hay as normal and also her small piece of alfalfa cube treat. Other than the lump she appears her usual self. My vet coming Monday. Anything you can suggest I can or should do until then?
No this is not something requiring immediate treatment. If the donkey is chewing normally, there is no blood coming from mouth, and no excess salivation it is VERY unlikely to be a foreign body. As teeth erupt sometimes the pressure on the inside of the alveolus (the hole that the tooth originates from) will cause bone on the outside of the face or jaw (usually the jaw) to grow abnormally and form a bump. These are usually not a problem for the donkey and often resolve as a young animal gets older and the deciduous "cap " comes off the growing tooth, relieving the pressure. Your veterinarian can look in the mouth and maybe take an x-ray and diagnose this pretty easily. Very very very rarely bone tumors can develop in the jaw and facial bones. I would not worry about this, but do get the cause diagnosed.
How often should my donkey have his teeth checked?
Here is PVDR Policy:
A donkey's teeth can acquire sharp edges from years of grinding their food. These edges can cut the inside of the mouth making it difficult for a donkey to chew properly. A warning sign is wet clumps of undigested hay laying in the feeding area. A procedure known as "floating" grinds the sharp edges down and creates a more even bite. The procedure is usually done under a light sedation and the donkey must be immobilized.
All donkeys teeth will be checked annually by our in-house medical staff, this can be done in conjunction with annual vaccines. Any donkey over the age of 10 should be checked annually for teeth problems by a certified professional. Aside from sharp edges, another major problem is lost teeth. Old Age, poor food quality and fighting are the most common causes of tooth loss. Without the upper and lower tooth working together, a donkey cannot chew food properly. Weight loss is a sign of chronic tooth problems.
All senior donkeys 20+ should have their teeth checked every six months by a certified professional. They should also be assessed for additional feed requirements. Sweet feed is a good choice as it is easy to chew. All dental work must be recorded on Lightspoke.
I have a mini 35in tall, I witnessed him drinking water for 29 minutes straight. The drinking a lot of water is a new behavior when the weather was getting hot. The weather has changed off and on, but he is still bloated belly full of food, water and poo. He has always eaten his poo. What can I test for?
I have signed up for the Donkey Symposium but I don't think I should wait that long.
Drinking for 29 minutes is definitely abnormal. Your donkey requires a veterinary exam, and, while I appreciate your registering for the Donkey Welfare Symposium, that would be way too long to wait. There are a number of things metabolic conditions that could increase water consumption, but it may also be that he is experiencing oral or gastric (stomach) pain, which might result in him keeping his nose in the water trough. He might also have a chronic fever, raising his body temperature. So a veterinarian would start with a complete physical exam, which, of course, would include an examination of the oral cavity and taking his temperature. Then there would be some blood work required, looking for kidney problems, inflammation of any kind, or elevated blood glucose. The blood chemistry should include a test for triglycerides, which sometimes is not on a chemistry panel for horses. So your veterinarian should include that as part of the initial work up. I would encourage you to have your donkey examined as soon as possible.
My donkey is approximately 15 years old, we just got him about 5 months ago. He has been doing fine, gaining weight and enjoying life then it seems overnight he has lost almost all his weight! He is still eating like normal but not pooping and is very lethargic now. I don't know what the problem could be but he doesn't look like he will last long... we plan on taking him to the vet as soon as my husband gets home from work.
There are a number of possible causes for rapid weight loss in donkeys. One problem is that they will "sham eat", which means that they will chew on feed but not actually swallow it. People watching will think that they are eating when they really aren't taking in any nutrition. You are absolutely right in taking your donkey to the veterinarian. They will want to do some basic lab work, particularly looking at liver function, as fatty liver syndrome and liver damage from toxins could cause this weight loss, and these conditions do occur in donkeys. A more immediate possibility would be bad teeth. So a dental exam would be an important part of the initial exam. Depending on what part of the country you live and how many other donkeys or horses you have, he should also be tested for parasites. Listening to the abdomen will be important, as mineral material (usually sand) is a common cause of donkey weight loss. An abdominal ultrasound, looking for masses, the condition of the intestinal wall, and other bowel abnormalities. There are a host of other less common conditions that can be diagnosed with a thorough exam and basic lab work. We hope your donkey can be successfully treated and would be glad to consult if your veterinarian wants some help.
One of our donkeys got into a big bag of carrots I left within reach. She probably ate 2-3 lbs. Besides diarrhea, what should I watch for?
Carrots, even 2-3 lbs are unlikely to cause a problem, particularly if the donkey is used to eating carrots anyway. With a sudden increase in energy, which would be MUCH more likely with grain or sugar, you would worry about laminitis (founder) which would present as unwillingness to walk, lameness ("walking on eggs" gait) or laying down. However, with carrots you should be okay.
I have a new donkey that was a wild burro rounded up in Arizona. He is gelded/John that is approximately 3-4 years old. He was not tame by any means when I received him, he is now letting me brush him and we are getting close to getting a halter on him. But HELP tonight he ate at least three fly wipes, they are all natural, herbal, mostly oils and citrus but still they are not supposed to be eaten! Can these go through his digestive system? Or are they going to be stuck and cause a blockage or colic?! He is pooping good right now do I just monitor that?
Donkeys are capable of eating all sorts of coarse materials that would be undigestible for most animals. The Citrus oils in the fly wipes will not hurt him and he has probably ground the material with his teeth so well that they will pass through just fine.I would monitor but not worry.
My Standard Donkey got into and ate insulation from out barn. What do I do?
It depends on how much he ate. Most insulation, unless it is very old (40 years or more, and might contain asbestos) is not toxic. However, if he ate enough it could cause an impaction (blockage of intestines). This would happen fairly rapidly (in 48 hours or so) from ingestion. You might feed him psyllium (like "Sand Clear" although it is better to buy bulk psyllium bran from Bulk Foods) to lubricate digestive track. Otherwise you just have to watch him and make sure he keeps eating and does not colic.
Why does my donkey have diarrhea and how can I help her?
There are literally hundreds of possible causes of diarrhea, some serious, some not so much. I would start by making sure the forage (hay or straw) was of good quality, that the deworming program was successful for your environment (have your veterinarian check a fecal sample for worms), and make sure there are no toxic plants in the pasture (which would be unlikely this time of year). The next thing that I would consider would be sand in your donkey's colon . This is more common in donkeys than horses, because of their feeding behavior. They try to pick up every scrap of everything and can accumulate mineral material and sand in their large intestine (colon) as a result. Diagnosis is done by taking some fresh manure and "panning" it (just like the old gold miners did for gold nuggets: sloshing around with water until the heavy stuff ended up on the bottom of the pan). You can also take a handful of manure, and put it in a glove or plastic bag with water, shake it up really well with a quart of water and see if sand settles to the bottom of the bag or fingers of glove. If there is more than a teaspoon of sand in a handful of manure, you may have sand irritating the colon, causing diarrhea. If you have a stethoscope and know what normal "gut sounds" sound like, you can also hear the sand by putting the stethoscope on the lowest part of the donkey's abdomen right in the middle. You may have to listen for several minutes, but the sand sounds like surf washing up on the beach. This is my preferred way of detecting sand, without an x-ray. Sand can be removed by feeding psyllium, which is best bought by getting raw psyllium bran from Bulk Foods. Some of the "sand supplements" that are available for horses have a lot of unnecessary sugar added.
Other causes include food allergy, which is very hard to diagnose. Basically, you would have to rule out all other possibilities and then start changing the food gradually and waiting to see if that helps. Some donkeys will occasionally get diarrhea one day and then be fine the next. In jennets this can be related to the heat cycle. If this is the case it is not really a problem. Consistent diarrhea does require a diagnosis and treatment.
I live in a sandy desert area. My horses get sand clear every month. Should I be doing a similar psyllium program with my donkeys or is that not necessary as they are 'desert animals'?! They predominantly eat from a slow feed box or hay net but do occasionally eat off the ground.
I would definitely add psyllium (Sand Clear) to your donkey's diet, as long as you do not feed a lot of starchy (grain) feed with it. We use psyllium for old donkeys with expired teeth, who cannot chew their fodder well. To get them to eat it, we mix it with 1/2 cup of Equine Senior pellets. I have actually seen pretty severe sand accumulation in donkeys. Have your veterinarian show you how to test your horses and donkeys for sand in their colon, either by "panning" or by listening with a stethoscope. Anyone can do this and it will help you monitor the success of your prevention.
I have had 1.5 year old donkey for about 1 month now. He is doing well other than he seems to have 1 loose stool everyday day. Normally in the morning. Not sure if the hay is too rich? Or his supplement is too rich?
He is currently on Grass mixed hay 24/7 in a hay net. He gets about 1-2 cups of oats in the AM mixed with an equine supplement. And of course some equine treats which we try to limit and water.
I lowered the amount of supplement and it seemed to help for two days and now he had a loose stool again today. All other stools are normal. Just one a day it seems, will be loose.
His old owner fed the same thing and also said he is UTD on deworming and Vaccines. Just wondering what else it could be.
Donkeys will occasionally have loose stools for unexplained reasons. This can occur once a day or occasionally over a week or month. If the donkey is doing okay otherwise, I would not worry about it. I would not feed that donkey any more oats than you are feeding, and a mere cup may be a better idea. They are just so susceptible to getting fat with any amount of extra grain.
Do you have any books on donkeys care. Can you please tell me if donkeys can eat Sweet potatoes. We grow them and my new donkeys love them. Can they eat turnips.
See if this will help you.. http://www.pvdrforms.org/uploads/download/2406/2015_CARE_AND_FEEDING_lorez.pdf
Sweet potatoes and turnips ONLY in moderation.
About two weeks ago we had a wild donkey come to our property. She is a regular along with her heard who stop for water. She looked very distressed and was all alone. Not normal for her since she is one of the younger donkeys. She turned out to be pregnant. She had a small but healthy foal 10 days ago. Since giving birth she has not had a normal bowel movement. She has been extremely constipated. She has been impacted and in obvious pain. Yesterday she would not get up to be with baby and she was rolling around. We are afraid she is not making enough milk for baby either. This morning moms heart rate is 76 bpm, respirations 26 and temp 104. She seems to be doing a little better but in our research she seems to have all the symptoms of colic. Is there anything we can do for her?
She may have an intestinal obstruction, but if this has been going on for 10 days she could not be completely occluded. What concerns me is her temperature of 104, which is a fever. In a post partum jennet she could also have a uterine infection which could be quite serious. If you can get close enough to take her temperature, can she be restrained in any way? She really needs a veterinary exam to determine the source of the fever, antibiotics, and probably fluids either IV or by tube. A veterinarian could sedate her for the exam and treatment. There are short term medications that you can give for the colic pain, but they are only a short term solution and could have serious side effects if she is dehydrated. It sounds like you are in a desert area. Finding a veterinarian or an experienced rescue that works with donkeys should be possible. Psyllium (Metamucil) can soften feces and ease impaction colics if they will eat it but it must be taken with water, and that does not address the fever. If you would like to discuss this more or possibly look for local help.
When I brush my donkeys the little girl wants to eat the hair. What could be causing this??? Could this cause colic??
This is not colic. The word "colic" refers to abdominal pain, which in equines is first expressed as not wanting to eat anything. The technical term for what your donkey is doing is "pika" , which refers to eating or chewing on things that are not food. Donkeys are particularly big on this and like to chew all sorts of things. Your particular donkey seems to want to chew and maybe even eat hair. That is not something to worry about, rather this is just the personality of this particular donkey.
I have a mini donkey that has off/on loose bowels, sometimes full runny diarrhea. There seems to be no pattern to this. Temp is always fine, fecal is fine, once and a while she will go off feed but otherwise will eat. She is on Prescend and Equioxx daily. She has hay pretty much 24/7. She had lost weight so vet suggested a cup of Triple Crown Senior (blood work seemed fine). I was wondering, do you think a Probiotic or gut supplement might help her?
thank you for your time.
With pituitary metabolic disease you are going to the a redistribution of fat to the ventral abdomen (which tends to occur in older donkeys either way). If diarrhea was an issue I would DEFINITELY have a veterinarian auscultate, ultrasound, and/or x-ray the abdomen looking for sand. Also, the teeth definitely need examination because PPID is associated with dental disease and the will affect feed conversion. I would not be in a great hurry to increase protein intake until these issues have been sorted out, as high levels of protein that are not used for muscle formation, which will only occur at a low level in an older donkey, will increase the nitrogen load on the old kidneys. As a feed in older donkeys, particularly if they have bad teeth is Purina's Equine Senior. We had a small standard donkey that was living entirely on Equine Senior at the rate of 9 cups a day. He really got no other feed. In an animal with some dental ability, no sand, and controlled PPID, one might start at 6 cups a day, but I would definitely measure the donkey with a weight tape regularly, to monitor weight game and avoid the development of obesity. Be realistic about 'building her topline'. Metabolic disease driven by a PPID will determine the donkey's body confirmation, no matter what.
I brought my donkey to our summer home a week ago. Has been here before. Dry lot with limited grass hay as usual. 3rd day he was laying down alot and not interested in humans like normal. Resting right hind leg alot when standing. Very little interest in eating. Drinking ok, not as much as normal though. Pooping and peeing ok. Took him to the vet yesterday. Kept overnight. Treated for dehydration and floated teeth. Still not much interest in eating and laying down with front legs straight out. Any ideas? Thank you!
In the absence of more information there are a lot of possibilities. It would be nice to know a little about what part of the country and any laboratory tests that the veterinarian ran (even if the results were normal). It would also be important to determine if the owner's excellent observation of resting a hind leg went along with any signs of lameness when the donkey was asked to walk. Vaccination history (viral neurologic diseases can present like this)? If the donkey was actually dehydrated, how was that determined? Dehydration doesn't just happen if adequate water is available, meaning that abnormal water balance due to kidney or intestinal problems should be considered. ALSO, maybe it just because I used to practice on the coast, I would definitely investigate the possibility of sand accumulation in the large colon (which can cause abdominal discomfort and colic). This can be done easily with a stethoscope (put on lowest part of abdomen and listen for 5 minutes for sounds that mimic the tide running through sand on a beach), though ultrasound and x-rays are more definitive and gives you an idea of exactly how bad the problem is. Hyperlipemia would always be a concern in a case like this.
My donkey has his GGT result st 75 ? What would be the normal range ? And what could cause such a high result ? Thank you
As is so often the case, the numbers behind donkey blood values tend to be small, and the establishing of normals is often not done. The important question is: does this donkey with a GGT of 75 have OTHER abnormalities? Is it eating? maintaining weight? or showing any signs of discomfort, lethargy, or inflammation? Generally, a single abnormal value, even when significantly high as in this case, doesn't mean much in the absence of any other identified problems. While it could mean liver disease, it might also be the result of an animal being out "on the end of the bell shaped curve" of normals (especially since the donkey curves are bit fuzzy), OR there might have been some problem with processing the sample (blood cells ruptured in transport, for instance). I would recommend doing a very thorough physical exam, looking at a complete blood count and chemistry panel, AND repeating the GGT for confirmation. A liver ultrasound wouldn't be a bad idea either.
if there aren’t any concerning clinical signs and this is the only elevation seen on bloodwork, I probably wouldn’t panic, but I’d certainly recommend following-up to look at trends over time. I’m also a huge believer in trying to establish normal values for individuals, realizing that there is a pretty wide bell shaped curve for many of these indices. Given the lack of current knowledge of normal blood values in donkeys coupled with their stoic nature, I think it would be a great idea to run more routine blood chemistries, like at the time your veterinarian is doing annual vaccines and coggins tests so that you can pick up on changes that may be happening over time. Or, bank serum from routine coggins tests in the freezer so that you can always go back and compare chemistry values from when the donkey was apparently healthy, to that when he is ill.
A neighbor tossed insulation in their yard and their pet donkey is eating it. Will it hurt them?
The exact problem that may be caused by the insulation will vary on what it is made out of. HOWEVER, all of these materials are indigestible and capable of causing intestinal blockage which can be fatal Donkeys chew on all sorts of thing, but synthetic fibers or rubber should be avoided.
My 19-year-old standard BLM burro has developed debilitating arthritis in his back right hip. Injecting it with steroids at the doctor's suggestion only made it worse unfortunately. We are managing his pain at the moment such that he is still happy and enjoying life on the whole. But I foresee having to put him down within the year if the hip keeps getting worse at its current rate. My understanding is that hip replacements are not available for equines in the same way they are for dogs, or humans for that matter. Is that correct? Is there anything else I can do to help this lovely creature? Thank you!
You are correct, surgical options do not exist for degenerative arthritis of the hip joint in donkeys (or horses for that matter). Prosthesis, as used in humans and dogs, don't exist. Attempts at femoral head ostectomies (also done in dogs) have not worked well on animals as large as a donkey. As one who has "bad hips" himself, I sympathize with your donkey. There are some analgesic medications that may help. I do not know if you have used any of the NSAID's such as phenylbutazone, flunixin meglumine (Banamine), acetaminophen, and meloxicam, but, while these will not cure the arthritis or completely remove the pain, they are effective, safe when given at the proper dosages, and not expensive. One thing you can do is rotate these medications. This has been effective in humans at decreasing potential toxicity, and avoiding the development of resistance. Other options are the use of hyaluronic acid substitutes, such as Legend. These need to be administered by injection, but are reported to decrease pain. We have used an entirely different category of pharmaceuticals, called Gabapentin, which can be given orally and decreases the perception of pain in the central nervous system, when given at non-sedative dosages. There are also veterinary forms of the cannabinoid, CBD, which I have not used, however this agent has been shown to be safe in a number of species and might be worth a try. Unfortunately, as we all get older and our joints wear out, it is necessary to use pharmaceuticals to alleviate the pain associated with this process, to maintain quality of life. I wish you and your donkey luck.
I have a Jack ~age 12 who just died. I found him in front of the porch of the farm house so it would seem he was looking for help. He has always been a healthy Jack with a good diet. He has been dead for about 10 days now and I am letting him decompose where he died. I would like to try and figure out (as best I can) how he might have died. His head decomposed faster then the rest of this body so I was thinking he got fly strike as he was alone for two weeks from last we saw him. Its also possible hunters shot him as we are on 90 acres. I know it is difficult to impossible to figure out how an animal has died, but just thought you might have some things to check.
If the donkey was unobserved for 12 days prior to being found dead, nearly anything could have killed it and at 10 days of decomposition, making a diagnosis would be nearly impossible. However, if you think it could have been shot, I would look for broken ribs, where a bullet may have entered the chest or puncture holes which might be a entry or exit wound. Actually finding a bullet is extremely hard, and if there is one it may not even be in the carcass. I am afraid you might never be able to figure this out.
What shot do you give every two month on a miniature pregnant donkey to prevent a micarage
You could give a progestin, but I would only do that if I had a reason to think that the donkey was not producing adequate progesterone itself. This can easily be tested for with a small blood sample.
Is it normal for a Burro's vagina to drain after birthing? If so for how long
Yes it is normal for a jennet to drain from her vagina for several days to a week or 10 das after foaling. The material is called "lochia". It is usually brown and not foul smelling. It represents the tissue and fluids that are released from the interior of the Uterus, as it transitions from pregnancy to regular estrus cycles. The drainage may be slightly "milky" too, but should not be white like Mayonnaise or have a pungent odor. If it does, a veterinarian can treat the uterus with antibiotics or disinfectants to remove any infection.
how long will a donkey be restless, paw at the ground, roll and twitch her tail before birthing? My girl has had clear liquid drop from teats on Wednesday, fully white yesterday, darkened vulva but no baby yet. We bought her in February with no exact due date. You can see her grooving out and loosening. When the baby jumps inside her it shakes her whole body , so we know it is alive. This is our first donkey delivery but her second or third one. Are we being patient enough or should we be concerned for anything?
It is a little hard to say how much pawing or restlessness a donkey should show before foaling, because the repositioning of the foal in the uterus will cause some discomfort for a day or more prior to birth. However, if you are getting white milk, discharge, and pawing that foal should come today. If not having a veterinary exam may be a good idea. Making that choice before it gets late in the evening will be appreciated by your veterinarian.
My Jenny is at 14.5 months gestation and is definitely bred. She is showing all signs of imminent delivery but doesn’t. The whole pregnancy has seemed very slow in progressing. At what point should we become concerned enough to call in a vet?
If you have an accurate breeding date and it is 14.5 months, it is time to call your veterinarian. An ultrasound of the fetus(es) would tell you if there is a heart beat, and, depending on the skill of the sonographer, may also tell you if the fetus has abnormalities.
I have a 4yo mini donkey. She is pregnant with her first foal. I isolated her because her bag was full and she is swollen. She also sends to have gone lame on 2 feet, one front, one back. Seems to be in a lot more pain and struggling more than I've seen most of my mares. This started yesterday so I expected the goal last night. It didn't come and she is laying down...
For extended times. Please help.
This is an emergency situation requiring veterinary care. A mare who is due to foal and is down for extended periods could have some really serious problems. The lameness does not sound like laminitis, with one front and one hind leg effected. However, without seeing the donkey it is really hard to tell from this brief description. Certainly, you should get a look at the jenny's gum color, capillary refill time, and take her temperature. I do think you need to call your veterinarian now.
We just found out that a donkey we bought is pregnant. About 2 months ago we got her hooves trimmed and they had to give her a sedative. Would this have hurt the baby?
No, the currently available sedatives (Acepromazine, Xylazine, Romifidine, and Detomidine) do not have any effect on pregnancy and fetal development. So don't worry. On the other hand I would be ideal if you trained your donkey to allow hoof trimming without sedation. All donkeys can be trained to do this, with patience and carrots. It is safer, cheaper, and better for the donkey.
What should I feed my pregnant donkey?
Assuming the pregnant jennet is otherwise healthy and has good teeth, a lot of special feed is not really necessary. Good quality grass hay (alfalfa is not necessary and can make donkeys excessively fat pretty quickly), a trace element supplement (we use California Trace, though there are lots of others), and maybe a highly digestible pellet, to add some protein, would be sufficient. An example would be Equine Senior, at half the horse dose. Again, a lot of starches and sugars (grain and molasses) is just going to make the jennet fat, and maybe cause laminitis. They just don't need that.
Does the foal change position close to birthing time. My Jenny last week had a huge baby bulge this morning it looked as though she had birthed. The side bumps were lower and not as big as last week.
Yes, the fetus moves around in the abdomen before foaling. The "bumps" can also be affected by the amount of feed in the colon, especially in a jennet that has had several foals and whose abdominal wall has been stretched as a result. There are more accurate ways to predict foaling, such as udder confirmation, waxing, milk dripping, and "softening" of the muscles at the base of the tail.
We have a 10 month old donkey that still nurses from the mother. If the mother is pregnant would she continue to nurse the donkey?
In a wild setting it’s not uncommon for a foal to nurse for a year or so. In a domestic setting it would be best to wean the donkey foal to not compromise the health and well being of the Jenny. Yes, your Jenny could still be in foal even with the current foal still nursing. The gestation period for donkeys is 12 months. Something to keep in mind is the fact that the most growth and development will take place the last three months in utero. So, if you can wean your other foal this will help the growth of the fetus, help the Jenny’s health as well as prepare her to produce colostrum for the next foal.
Can you feel a baby donkey move just like a human pregnancy? If so about how far along (in months) should we be expecting this?
The basic answer is "yes you can feel a donkey foal move in the jennet's abdomen". However, when depends on a lot of things, including the size of the jennet and the conformation of her body wall. Some have a more pendulous abdominal conformation than others and a thinner body wall, with less abdominal fat. So it would be very hard to age a fetus by feeling it through the body wall. Depending on the breed and size, I would think that a fetus would need to be at least 6 months of gestation before motion could be felt in any donkey, and probably more like 9 months plus in most cases. Transcutaneous ultrasound, looking at cardiac and cranial size would be a much more accurate way to age a fetus.
Can pregnant donkeys have dewormer like ivermectin
Yes they can be wormed
My mini donkey gave birth during the night last night and hasn’t been acting right all day. She has no milk acting very depressed not really with it and now she is collapsing but will stand up for a few and go right back down. When laying down she acts if she has contraction and pushes out a liquid substance. She delivered the whole placenta and cord. We called the vet and then wouldn’t come out.
do not know where you are located, but your jennet needs veterinary attention. I cannot imagine a veterinarian not helping you. If the entire placenta passed I would worry about a uterine intussceseption, where the uterus folds back on itself kind of like you would with a pair of socks. While it is possible for this to resolve on its own, veterinary intervention is almost always required. At the very least this jennet needs analgesics because the condition is painful. Of course there could also be other problems and a variety of post birth complications. Can you take her temperature (insert a regular thermometer in the rectum for a short period of time)? Can you try another veterinary practice or taking her to a veterinary hospital that deals with horses? How is the foal doing? ~~ Dr. Davis
would also be concerned with such a high temperature that part of the placenta did not pass. Ideally, a uterine lavage to attempt to flush the uterus.
Considering her behavior- the possibility of a twin with the colic like behavior which is similar to parturition behavior. Dystocia and twinning are common in mini donkeys.
To increase milk production it’s possible to administer Domperidone under the guidance of a veterinarian. ~~ Amy
I have a female mini donkey that I rescued two years ago. She was/is practically feral. We didn't know she was pregnant and as a result, we were surprised by a baby boy being born. Anyway, we had him castrated but we're suspicious that he already impregnated her again. Since she is practically feral, it is hard to touch her or do any medical treatments on her without stressing her out or using force. She has to get her hooves done because they are getting too long and I don't want her having hoof problems. Every time we've done her hooves, she has had to be sedated. I am cautious this time however because I'm afraid of what could happen if we go that route. Should I proceed in having her hooves done, or should I wait until the ”gestation” period is over? It's also unlikely that we’ll be able to confirm if she’s pregnant with our vet since she is feral and almost anything that would determine if she is pregnant would require sedation.
I am assuming the colt was a year old or more when he was castrated, making it possible to impregnate this jennet. If that is the case there are several things. First, I would not worry about sedation from the standpoint of the pregnancy. Available sedatives and even anesthetics do not cause either birth defects or induce labor. So if you are going to have to sedate to trim feet, it might be a good time have your veterinarian take a blood sample (which can be used to diagnose pregnancy) or do an ultrasound through the skin in the flank, which will allow pregnancy diagnoses after about 100 days gestation). i would also like to encourage you to work with this jennet to try to get her to overcome her fears and stress by slow patient, but persistent, training. I know this can be a serious time commitment, as my wife specializes in gentling with feral donkeys. She is out there with them every day and the really wild ones require months of contact just to get to where they can be haltered and handled. It takes patience and a lot of carrot pieces. While you may not plan on taking her anywhere, or hiking with her, It is MUCH less stressful for routine procedures like hoof trimming and vaccinations if donkeys are trained. Further, in emergencies (injuries, colic, foaling problems, etc OR in the case of evacuation for a natural disaster which is, unfortunately becoming common here in California.....) a donkeys long life will be much better if it is trained.
Does the Jenny need separated from the jack and other Jenny before giving birth? She is three days past her due date.
Separation from the rest of the herd depends on the personalities of the animals involved. It is possible that a jennet who is low on the 'pecking order' with aggressive individuals in the herd may benefit from being fenced off, allowing her to give birth and start raising her foal by herself. In general, however, this is not necessary. Donkeys don't like to be without their herd mates. So keeping them together will be the best in most cases.
How long are donkeys pregnant.
The average is 12 months, but they have been known to go as early as 11 months and as late as 14 months.
I have a question about my mini donkey. He is 4 years old and he is still intact. However, on his testicles he has a growth on each of them that look like large nipples or something.. They are on the back side of his testicles between his back legs. Do you know what these could be? Do I need to get them removed immediately? Every horse, minis, and regular sized donkey I have ever had that is intact do not have the growths on their testicles.
Residual nipples in donkeys can vary in size, however all male donkeys (gelded or intact) have them. Your mini's may be just slightly larger than others that you have seen. Do not worry about them and definitely do not have them removed.
Hey, my mini male donkey was castrated 9 days ago. He had a slight fever and some yellowish fluid 5 days after, so the vet prescribed some oral antibiotics and he seems okay. The wound where the incision is is still slightly open and I can see the pink skin on the inside. Outside the wound on either side is all scabby and raw I think from the scabs coming off. I put kids polysporin on it does this seem normal and okay?
Yes, that sounds normal. It will take 2-3 weeks for those incisions to heal and they will have discharge , which is often purulent (white or yellow). Field castrations are left open to heal by second intention (the same way wounds heal if you don't suture them), because it is very difficult to keep field surgeries sterile. This actually leads to fewer serious complications. It sounds like your donkey is healing normally. The pink skin that you see inside is granulation tissue , which is a normal part of the healing process.
I just bought two donkeys, one very young and both are geldings, however, the younger one has been knocking me around a little, biting at me, and pushing me around. I had to bathe him right away as he had bald spots, much to my horror there is a testicle sack that is flattened but it is there, what does that mean, is he castrated or did they use that horrible method of banding as they do on cows please answer if you can, that would explain why he is trying to get dominance over me every day. I still do what I need to do brushing grooming etc.. but I have very bad arthritis and really that knocking and dragging he does when I lead him is leaving me in awful pain, does he need an operation?Please don't get me wrong he is in no way vicious, but is constantly trying gain dominance over me.
While even intact jacks can be trained to "have good manners" and not push on humans, this could, indeed, be an incompletely or improperly castrated donkey. Either way you need to have a veterinarian look at that sack and do a blood test for Testosterone and another hormone called "AMH". The test is available in several places around the country and I don't know where you are located. The Endocrinology Laboratory at UC Davis (https://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/labs/endo-lab) does a panel of these two hormones for $75. The veterinarian might also use an ultrasound unit to see if there is a cryptorchid (or "hidden" testicle). This can be a problem in donkeys because in some young jack part of the testicle, called the epididymis comes through the inguinal canal, leaving the main part, which actually secretes testosterone inside the abdominal cavity. If this happens an unskilled surgeon may think that the epididymis is a small testicle and cut it off, leaving the main part of the testicle inside. The blood test would identify this problem. Of course you are right that somebody may have used and elastrator band. Among the many problems with this technique is that sometimes the testicle actually slips back into the inguinal canal and the band just removes the skin of the scrotum. That would give you the same male behavior. Again, a veterinarian could identify if this is the problem. So your first step is to get your donkey examined, and , yes, he might need a surgery. In any event he will also need some behavior shaping, because the bad habits he has developed become "learned behavior" and may persist even after complete castration. PVDR can give you advice on training and you could also contact Ben Hart at https://www.hartshorsemanship.com. Ben has both printed and video materials that can help you.
I inherited two male donkeys. One is in his 30's. I was told he was gelded, but one look under the hood told me otherwise. Is he too old to be gelded? I understand his learned behaviors won't change, but I need to know if the surgery can be performed safely at his age.
While gelding can be done at any age, being 30 years old is definitely a risk factor for anesthesia and surgery. We have successfully castrated horses and donkeys in that age group, but I really try to avoid it. If the history is that he was castrated, it might be worthwhile to have a veterinarian check to see if what is hanging down in his scrotum are actually testes. It may also be a hydrocoel, which happens after castration if some of the tunic is left in, heals closed, and fills with peritoneal fluid. They do not cause any problems and the animal is sterile. I would check that first.
I had a 5 year stallion miniature donkey castrated 3 days ago. The vet is experienced in his mid 30's up to date and has saved many of my dogs and goats. He sedated with but then IV ketamine. He castrated and kept insisting the scrotum is left open and no suturing on the testicular arteries. It appeared there was a lot of bleeding which I kept mentioning. He said it was normal. The donkey got to his feet and still had oozing which I mentioned again and told normal. I checked on him in an hour, he was laying down on his belly, tachypnic, I called the vet and he said it was resedation. I told him something was wrong. An hour later, donkey was on his side, rather stiff legged but responding. Went to the vet office and described and he said to expect sedation for the next 6-8 hours. Nex hour went home and the donkey was dead. I feel he bled out. Is it the NEW way to just crimp the arteries and vas deferens and "sing the star bangled banner for the length of time to hold pressure with his clamp, and leave scrotum open. I am worried about is this standard of care.....I have never had an animal die after castration.
This is really terrible! While it is difficult to say exactly why this donkey died without an autopsy (which I am sure would have been very hard for you), it does sound like the cause was internal bleeding. Other possibilities would be a blood clot causing a stroke or an abnormal reaction to the anesthesia. However, these would be EXTREMELY rare. Most practitioners put a ligature (suture to close the blood vessels) on the spermatic chord in donkeys. Their scrotum and spermatic chord are much more vascular than those of horses and in my experience just using emasculators is not adequate for hemorrhage control. The published rates for mortality in horses after castration is something like 0.3% . Our rate has been 0.0006% after some 8,000 castrations of horses, donkeys, and mules. Mortality rates just for donkeys have not been published. I know this is not much comfort in losing your donkey. We do recommend ligation of the chord and it is normal to leave the scrotum open to drain with field castrations. That does not affect the amount of hemorrhage and results in fewer complications.
Our 5 week old donkey foal suddenly just has no energy and does seem to want to run and play at all. He just lays around. He feels very hot to the touch. What could be wrong?
There are a host of things that could be causing this in a donkey foal, and most are serious. Your donkey needs a veterinary examination immediately, including blood work to identify possible infection. We have found that donkeys are much more stoic and do not show serious disease as openly as horses do. So this kind of lethargy should be taken seriously. At this age an umbilical abscess inside his abdomen would be a major concern. Seeding of bacteria to joints or growth plates at birth could also be showing up at this age. Again, this is going to require veterinary examination and testing to resolve.
I have a foal coming In October and want to put a heater in the paddock if needed. Any recommendations on what type?
It is hard to make recommendations, not knowing what part of the country you are in, but unless you are dealing with ambient temperatures far below zero (Fahrenheit) the only thing that you need to worry about is wind chill. In other words if the paddock in which the foaling will take place is protected from the wind and sleet, an actual heater would not be necessary. If the temperatures are really low ( 10 degrees below zero or worse), a dry, straw bedded stall with a heat lamp in one corner should be fine. I would stay away from any heat source that a donkey could actually reach, because of their propensity to play with new things, which could result in a catalytic heater being knocked over and starting a fire. Once the foal is born you can help by drying it with towels and putting an T-shirt or sweat shirt on it to save body heat. Good luck with the foaling.
What can I give my donkey who just had a baby for pain in her milk bag she’s engorged and trying to hurt the foul
I am assuming that your jennet just has an engorged udder, and is not acting otherwise sick, as she might if she had an udder infection, like mastitis. Analgesics that you could give her would be Flunixin (Banamine) at 1 mg/kg twice a day (though I would not continue this for more than 4-5 days), or Gabapentin at 20 mg/kg twice a day (this quite safe and could be given for long periods). If possible you might also remove some of the milk if she has excess either by hand milking (which takes some technique) or using a "mare milker" (here is one you can make yourself that I've always used : https://cavvysavvy.tsln.com/blog/mare-milking-device/
Mare Milking Device CavvySavvy.com - We Know Working Horses
It’s foaling season for many people and if you are foaling mares, you have probably had occasion to milk one to get a foal started with a bottle. As you have noticed, the “handles” are pretty short on a mare and even if she is 100% cooperative, it’s a back breaking, slow process.
or you could spend the money and buy a similar device). Warm compresses applied to the udder will also break up congestion and make her feel better. Various types of medications used to be available for "udder edema" in cattle, which is what your jennet is experiencing, but most have been taken off the market because of milk contamination concerns. Your veterinarian may have a compounded formulation of lasix (furosemide) that would work.
I have a baby mini donkey that was born on Aug 10 (she was a surprise). Velma was born with a tendon contracture in her left hind leg. After 2 visits to area vets, I contacted Retama Equine Hospital. They performed a surgery to cut 2 tendons and the ligament. The cannon bone was slightly curved but they aligned the bones and placed her in a cast. We are looking at the options for long term. She is not a high priced race horse but she is already a very loved member of our family. I am working hard to find ways to afford this second surgery for her. The second surgery will be to place a plate and pins to secure the fetlock joint. My husband is a disabled vet and does work for the Fort Sam Houston Air Force base as a police officer. I am curious if you know of any places that can offer any assistance with medical bills. I want to give little Velma a chance at a semi-normal life and we will continue to give her all the love we have. We have the blessing of a great doctor working on her. Even if you or your colleagues have any advice on long term treatment to help us figure out how to best stabilize her leg, we will take all the advice we can get. We are open to any suggestions!
I appreciate your time!
This sounds like quite and ordeal for the little mini. Without knowing exactly where the flexor tendons and, what I assume, was the suspensory ligament where cut it is a little hard to give specific advice. However, since it is a hind leg and it is currently in a proper caste, I would think that there is a good chance that she will do well without a second surgery to fuse the fetlock joint. Tendons and ligaments will heal enough to provide adequate support for the joint, particularly in a hind leg and such a small animal. One problem with using a plate to fuse the fetlock in a foal is that it will bridge the growth plate or "physis" at the end of the cannon bone, which could result in problems later on. However, without seeing the leg or radiographs it would be hard for me to say. We have had good luck in such situations by raising funds through a crowd sourcing site like GoFundMe. If you put up some cute pictures and a good story, raising amounts up to $5000 would be pretty easy I would think. Waiting to see how much healing and support you get after the period of casting, and then thinking about the need for joint fusion would be a good plan.
Also, if your veterinarian is a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, there is a program called "Vet Direct Safety Net" that may be able to cover up to $600 of expenses. Your veterinarian will have to first get onboarded with the program—which is conducted in conjunction with the ASPCA—and then apply for a grant.
Good luck with the baby.
I have a newborn donkey and she seems to have a cough.
If by "newborn" you mean a day or a few hours old, I would be concerned that the foal is not swallowing milk normally. Is milk coming out of the foal's nose by any chance? If so, a veterinarian should examine the foal and see if it has a cleft palate or some neurologic problem with swallowing. If the foal is a a few days older there are a host of things that could cause a cough, from environmental irritants like dust, to virus infections. I would start by being sure that the foal has been nursing eagerly and regularly. I would take it's temperature (should be less than 102 F). You can take the temperature by using a regular electric thermometer and inserting it in the foal's anus. If the foal continues to cough, has an elevated temperature, or shows any signs of lethargy or lameness, you need to have a veterinary examination right away. Among other things the veterinarian will listen to the chest for signs of infection or inflammation, and will likely also want to do a blood test for immunoglobulins, which are the critical proteins that the foal gets from its mother in the first milk (colostrum) and are essential for allowing the foal to fight off infecting bacteria and viruses until its own immune system can get going.
Good Morning, I emailed yesterday asking about our donkeys behavior well yesterday and today we have noticed our orphaned donkey foal Daisy is having a hard time getting up off the ground. She can stand and walk fine she just can’t or won’t get up after laying down. I have checked her hooves they look fine and she has no visible cuts or anything. She lost her mom about a week ago and she wasn’t getting much milk from mom anyway so she started eating low starch grain and 30% protein grain and we’ve been pouring her milk replacer in that (we can’t get her to take a bottle). Our local vet said if she is eating grain or grass she should be fine, we are looking at having the vet come see her but he hasn’t worked with many donkeys so any feedback would be appreciated, Thank you!
Dealing with a mini donkey colic at our place. These happen to everybody, I guess. If Daisy will stand and walk normally that suggests that it is not a musculoskeletal problem, in the sense of an injury or pain. I am guessing that she is just weak. Low starch grain and hay are fine for adult donkeys bur a foal really needs more energy (that is what is in the starch) and protein. This would all depend on the actual weight of the diet constituents that you have mentioned. In other words: exactly how much low starch grain vs. 30% protein grain vs. milk replacer is she getting? and what is the total amount of feed that she is ingesting per day. Normally, a foal will consume from 10% to, as high as, 25% of its body weight in mare's milk, which is very high in energy (carbohydrate and fat) and high quality protein. 30% protein for a supplemented grain sounds high, but it depends on how that protein is measured. Most feeds show "crude protein", which is actually the amount of nitrogen multiplied by 6.25 under the assumption that the nitrogen is held in amino acids, which are the constituents of protein. So this says nothing about whether or now the protein actually contains sufficient amounts of essential amino acids or if the measured nitrogen is actually protein (nitrogen concentration can be increased by adding urea, which is digestible by adult equids and ruminants, but not by young animals). It is hard to deliver enough digestible energy and protein to a foal if they are eating feeds designed for adults. You can get milk based pellets (Foal Lac Pellets are on example), which come close to the energy and protein quantity AND Quality delivered by straight milk. You might also have your veterinarian do a blood panel to make sure there are no liver, kidney, or muscle problems. I would also do a blood Selenium, IF your area is selenium deficient, and , if possible a vitamin E measurement. Vitamin E is a bit harder.
I have a question regarding my donkeys behavior towards an orphaned foal. We had two female donkeys, one was pregnant and the other were not sure. The pregnant one was named Pauline, Pauline gave birth to a foal we named Daisy. Pauline died just recently and her sister Paula we’ve noticed has been taking care of Daisy. But Paula does this strange behavior where she pushes down on Daisy’s back or pushes her around like she wants her to lay down or walk a certain direction. We’re worried she may hurt Daisy doing that, do you have any insight as to why Paula maybe doing that? Thanks!!!
Donkeys can be pretty rough with their foals, both their own and those of other jennies. Immediately after birth they will pick them up by an ear to get them to stand, for instance. They also frequently "herd" foals and use their noses or body to make them go where the jenny thinks they should be. So this is pretty normal behavior. Also, donkey foals are pretty durable, and it is unlikely that Daisy is going to be hurt. Real aggression that can result in injury is very rare and is more likely to come from a jack or gelding than either a original or an adoptive jenny. Of course, you should watch for really serious attacks, like hard biting or kicking at the foal. It sounds like you are "on top" of this and that Daisy will be okay with Paula.
Mini donkey born July 1
Sunday she was lifeless gave her jump start gel, mother wasnt letting her suck.
Milked the mother, she didnt have much. Got it down baby. Got goats milk baby will not suck bottle but moma was letting him suck again. Today she is 6 days old moma bitting pushing her away again. Baby weak again gabe jump start gel again. Baby still will not suck. What can I do?
I have lamb bottle
I would check the jenny's udder to make sure she does not have mastitis (an infection of the udder). If she seems painful or the udder is warm, you need to call a veterinarian to get her antibiotics. For the foal: it is essential that you start getting some nutrition into it. Using a commercial foal milk replacer or goat's milk, keep trying to get it to suckle that baby nipple. If it is too weak or just won't suckle (this may take a lot of patience on your part), you will need to have a veterinarian pass a tube into its stomach and feed it with the tube until it gains some strength. In many many foals (horses and donkeys) I have never seen one that would not eventually nurse if it was given adequate nutrition by stomach tube. The technique is easy and the tube can be left in place for a few days so that you can feed the foal until it starts nursing. The trouble is that lack of milk intake results in hypoglycemia in the foal, with directly effects the brain and will depress the suckle reflex, which all foals have. The only exception would be a foal with severe neurologic disease. Again, that would require veterinary diagnosis.
We just got a baby donkey whose mother was attacked and killed by coyotes he has not been with her for two weeks. We took him from a rescue on Wednesday and he had diarrhea at the rescue the day We picked him up and he still has loose stools. They had him on high and nutrena feed. I have continued both and have given probios. Can you help?
It depends a bit on how old the foal is and I cannot tell from your question. If the foal is older the Nutrena and hay might be fine, but if it is younger it will need a higher protein and calcium level. The diarrhea could be the result of a lot of things, but if the foal looks otherwise okay (normal gum color, normal temperature, alert and willing to eat) it is likely a digestive upset that will respond to Pepto Bismol. I would give the pepto and 2 oz. every 6 hours. If that does not resolve diarrhea or if the foal looks weak or dehydrated, you need to contact a veterinarian to look at it.
I've adopted several PVDR donkeys over the years for our donkey-facilitated wellness program, and am in the process of taking on an orphaned 4-month-old female. She apparently was rejected by her mother and received a plasma transfusion in her earliest days. She will arrive to my farm Sunday 6/20 and will live with 5 other donkeys (2 minis, 3 standards all adults, and 2 adult geldings). I'm new to foal rearing/weaning and hoping to get some advice about general nutrition as well as weaning resources. She is currently taking Foal-LAC milk powder mixed with warm water 3x per day, and is eating grass hay. I like to stay as natural as possible with my donkeys and hope to simply feed her fresh rotated pasture, as well as free choice clean prairie hay and access to Redmond salt/mineral rocks once she is weaned off of milk. I also offer occasional orange peel, carrot, and grapefruit snacks as enrichment. Is this approach healthy for a young donkey? Do you typically recommend any other supplements or foods that are critical at her early stage of life? I want to offer what is best for her health and longevity.
It sounds like you have a good situation planned for this orphaned donkey. It is important that orphans "learn to be donkeys" , by living with other donkeys in a herd. The main issue for this young donkey is protein, as it is still growing and an all grass or hay diet will not provide adequate amounts for growth and development. While equids can be weaned as early as 3-4 months, they really need to be eating a solid diet , which needs to be milk based (Foal Lak pellets) to get not only the quantity and quality of protein, but the needed amounts of calcium and phosphorous. In the wild donkey foals will nurse their dams for a full year, and some will nurse on and off for 2 years. So keeping the foal on milk for at least 3 more months will be important, with some extra protein supplement fed even after that. It is important that she is separated at feeding times, because the other donkeys should not be eating the higher nutrition diet that she requires. It will also be important to make sure that the orphan does not eat too many highly digestible calories, such as fats and sugar/carbohydrates that can sneak in to higher levels of nutrition. Advice on orphaned foal rearing can be found at https://www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/what-we-do/knowledge-and-advice/for-owners/care-of-the-orphan-donkey-foal, by the way, in this article they recommend weaning at 5 months. They also have information on nutrition and you can depend on products by Foal Lak and Purina to have diets formulated for weanling foals. I would keep the protein intake higher than for an adult donkey until the foal is at least a yearling and, better, until 2 .
Our donkey has had 2 foals, first one on Feb 2020 she wouldn't have anything to do with and we thought it was because she was young. She just had a foal yesterday, was so attentive licking nudging etc then the minute it went to nurse the mama wouldnt have any part of it and tries to kick her and managed to a few times before we could intervene, once knocking her out for a second. My questions is why this behavior? We are bottle feeding the baby and she appears to be thriving at this point. The daddy seems to try and stay in between the mama and baby when put in the same pasture to the point of picking the baby up by the back of its neck and moving it. Is this normal behavior as well?
Jennets and mare usually reject foals because they are anxious or upset about something. It is often very hard to tell the level of a donkey's anxiety because they are stoic and don't show fear and distress the way horses do. It would be impossible, without looking at your specific situation, what might be causing the problem. Of course, any noises, strange people or animals, or other upsetting things should be avoided. It may also be that having the jack present in the corral or pasture with the jennet and foal may be worrying the mother. This anxiety can be expressed perversely as actually projecting the problem onto the foal and attacking or rejecting it. Jennets normally are solitary in the wild when they foal, and not around jacks. Clearly, some jennets in captivity don't worry about anything and accept their foals under all sorts of conditions. Like most things biological there is a "bell shaped curve" , and an individual's personality, based on their own genetics and live experiences, can be on any part of that curve. Your jennet is clearly on the anxious end of the curve. Mares and jennets who reject their foals can benefit from tranquilizers, like Acepromazine or Gabapentin, given at parturition, and I would certainly consider using a tranquilizer with this jennet in the future. The behavior where the jack is picking up the foal is common in donkeys. I have seen jennets do the same thing. He may be trying to protect the foal or he may see the foal as competition for the jennet's attention, and therefor trying to remove it. Again, this behavior differs between individuals. I am glad that the foal is doing okay on a bottle. I would suggest that the jennet and foal be placed with another jennet or a gelding rather than the jack.
I have a mother donkey with a baby jenny on her side that I acquired about a month ago. They have both been active, especially the little one up until a few days ago. The baby does not seem to have much energy now and just started having diahrrea. The mother has been on limited amounts of feed. last night we were supposed to get nasty storms so one of the guys at the farm brought them inside the barn, and not knowing any better, left some ranch mix grain in the pen for the night. The baby now has diahrrea, which I assume is from eating the grain, as I do not give grain to the donkeys as part of their diet. Just wondering if there is anything I can do to try and help the little girl. Thanks for your help!
Unfortunately there are a number of things that could cause that diarrhea. If digestive upset from grain in the cause that could be something that would respond to Pepto-Bismol. However, it could also be an intestinal infection brought on by stress and feed change, caused by bacteria like pathogenic E coli or Salmonella. These would be much more serious. You need to take the baby's temperature (if it is either below 98 or above 101.5 I would be concerned) and look at her gums to make sure they are a normal pink color and moist. If they are not (dark red or very pale and "tacky") she may becoming dehydrated and endotoxic. Also check her heart rate if you have a stethoscope. It should be less than 60 bpm. If any of these abnormalities is present she needs veterinary care soon, an IV catheter, and IV fluids. Other anti-endotoxic treatments may also be necessary. You should also make sure that the jennet is not lame and her hooves are not warm, as she is at risk for foundering if she ate much of the grain.
Our momma had her baby yesterday sometime, I noticed him last night. He was limping on his back right leg. This morning he doesn’t seem to want to put it down on the ground, is this something that might be sore? Or could there be an underlying issue?
Sudden severe lameness in a newborn should always be treated as an emergency. The main concern is that he may have picked up a bacterial infection at birth or even in utero. When bacteria get into the blood stream they tend to localize in joints or the cartilage at the end of the long bones. If untreated this can result in permanent crippling of the foal or a fatal body infection. While there may be other causes, it is extremely rare for a jennet to 'step on' or otherwise injure her foal. In fact, I doubt that I have ever seen that happen. Delaying diagnosis and treatment could be catastrophic for the foal. A veterinarian needs to see the foal as soon as possible and a physical exam, and possibly some lab work will be necessary. Please do not wait. If you are lucky and this is something less serious, you have not lost anything. If it is an infection this will be the only chance to fix the problem.
1 week old foal donkey, Mother has severe pneumonia and is not making milk. Baby will not eat replacement from a bottle or bucket.
It can take a while for a foal who is used to nursing to learn how to use a bottle or bucket. Some things that you can try: I don't know what milk replacer you are using, but you might try whole goats mile (not skim!) instead. Handle the foals head and slipping a finger into the foal's mouth with some milk with a a little Karo syrup on it to get it start nursing on your finger, then slip a nipple from a milk bottle in next to your finger, take your finger out, and let the foal nurse the bottle. You may have to be patient until the foal gets the idea. A big concern is that if the foal is not drinking 10% of its body weight a day it will start getting weak and lose the ability to nurse. That starts a serious downward spiral. A veterinarian can put a feeding tube into the foal's stomach through the nose and tape it in place. You can then put milk into the foal's stomach to keep it strong until it gets the idea and starts nursing. Given enough time I have never seen a foal not nurse if it is otherwise normal.
I have a mother miniature donkey and her seven month old foal (I got them two months ago). A vet told me that the mother’s body condition was very poor and that the baby should be weaned so that the mother can regain some muscle mass. She advised to separate the mother and baby for a month. I have them separated now and they’re very very upset. Is there anything I can do to make this less stressful for them? Something I could wrap around her belly to cover her nipples?
Seven months of age would be a minimal age to wean a donkey foal. One approach to this situation would be to increase the jenny's nutritional plain to make up for protein and energy that she is losing in feeding her foal. This is assuming that the jenny is otherwise healthy: good teeth, parasites controlled, etc. Mini's rarely require supplementation and tend to get obese easily. However, she may not have had adequate nutrition prior to your getting her two months ago and needs to catch up. There are a number of ways to supplement ranging from feeding some alfalfa hay to processed feeds specifically formulated for lactating mares. I would feed half the recommended amount of a horse of the same size (this may take some extrapolation). If you do need to keep mother and foal separated it is important that both have donkey friends immediately available. Weaned foals can be pastured with an older animal or with several other foals undergoing weaning. This is often a good time to do your halter training, because the foal will be looking for companionship and attention. For the jennet, being in a small herd of donkeys, or even just one other donkey with which she has a bond would help. Donkey foals will nurse their mother for a year or even two in the wild. The jenny will gradually wean their foal or yearling. Some believe that this is preferrable to earlier weaning from the standpoint of the youngster's psyche.
I had a colt born last night. He has swollen legs and a floppy ear. Wondering if these things are normal for donkeys or should i get ahold of the vet. I've had horses all my life but I'm new to donkeys.
I would definitely have a neonatal exam done on your donkey foal. While newborn donkeys can have ears that are slightly 'floppy', there are a lot of bad things that could result in swollen legs. I am assuming that the foal nursed well, is not lame, and seems alert, but even with this a good principle to follow is: "a foal will always look its best right after birth". So if there are abnormaliities this is one place where waiting to see what develops is not a good idea.
I have a female donkey thats given birth at least 4 times now but none of the babies survived. It wasnt until after losing the 3rd foal that I realized she just isnt making milk. We got all the supplements to foster her last one (colostrum & milk replacer) & the baby didn't survive either. We haven't been able to find someone to cut our male donkey so she is pregnant again. I'm wondering if there is something we can give/feed her to make her produce milk herself or help encourage her to make her own.
I am sorry to hear about your troubles with the donkey foals. Some of the comments I am going to make may involve mention of things that might be disturbing, but to solve the problem everything needs to be objectively considered. Agalactia (lack of milk production) can be related to a number of things. The ones that are treatable include fescue toxicosis, which is very common in the east and southeast. Some mares and jennets with extreme anxiety post foaling will also benefit from acepromazine, a tranquilizer. However, if you are not feeding fescue hay or have fescue pasture, and the jennet is not rejecting or acting aggressive towards the foal, it could also be that she has some metabolic or hormonal deficiency that is interfering with milk production. There are a host of other causes of neonatal deaths in donkeys that would require veterinary investigation, and autopsy of the dead foal. I am assuming the jennet is otherwise healthy, but investigating her liver, thyroid, and adrenal function would be an avenue that should be considered. Castrating the jack would be a good plan, partially because there are thousands of unwanted donkeys in the world. They live as long as 40 years, so creating another individual is a very long term commitment to its welfare. Donkey castrations are not difficult and we are happy to talk a veterinarian through the anesthesia and surgical aspects of gelding a jack.
Why won't my 4 week old bottle feed donkey poop? And also what can I do to get it to poop?
The first question is: how long has it been since your donkey has not passed feces? You can administer an enema (use a Fleet Enema and be sure to lubricate the tube well). Also, is the donkey showing signs of abdominal pain (colic) such as lifting its tail. straining, or rolling? If it really as not pooped in a day or two, you should have a veterinarian examine the little guy. Constipation is common in foals, but usually occurs soon after birth rather than 4 weeks.
I have a donkey that foaled yesterday the baby did not make it but now the jenny cant seem to stand we helped her up but her back legs keep just spreading apart and she goes right back down.we used a lift and tied her back legs together so they couldnt spread and she will stand for a short period then go right back down
This jenny has obturator paralysis. The obturator nerve runs on the pelvis on the bottom of the birth canal and can be injured during foaling. The paralysis may or may not resolve, and it is hard to predict. Concentrate on keeping the Jenny well bedded, dry, and take her temperature to make sure she does not get a uterine infection. Moving her from side to side and massaging her leg muscle will help. You can lift her to allow her to stand for short periods . Hobble her hind legs together to keep them from "spread eagling", but loose enough that she can get them squarely underneath her. You may have to do this for several days. To make a lifting sling out of soft loops try to use the image that I am sending to get you to a UTube video on the subject. If that doesn't work try www.LoopsRescue.com for more information on lifting.
My donkey had her baby today. Momma will not let baby nurse and bites at the baby. I can’t get the baby to bottle feed please help
Maiden mares or jennets sometimes have trouble accepting their foals, especially if there is any noise, dogs, or other distractions around. (I am using the name "mare" here for either horse or donkey females). Make sure that none of these are a problem. It is essential that the foal gets colostrum milk (which contains antibodies that are important for the foal's survival) in the first few hours of life. I want to seen them nurse in the first hour. Be patient and quiet and try to get the foal to lick some milk off your finger and then replace it with the nipple of a baby bottle containing colostrum. If you cannot milk the mare, you will have to find colostrum somewhere. You can use horse or even cow or goat colostrum (which may be available at a local horse breeding farm or dairy). If things really are not going well it many be necessary to have a veterinarian out to pass a tube into the foal's stomach to give it colostrum. This will buy you some time to get the foal nursing. Further, the veterinarian may need to sedate the mare with Acepromazine which will decrease her anxiety (which is what is probably causing her unwillingness to nurse the foal). Acepromazine also helps with milk letdown , making the mare easier to milk. If her udder is really distended the discomfort of the foal nuzzling the udder may also be causing the problem. Some warm towels on the udder along with hand milking to relieve pressure can help. Your veterinarian can show you how to make a simple hand milking tool out of a 60 ml plastic syringe. These are often better accepted by mares than hand milking, especially if the 'milker' is inexperienced. Summary: Try to provide a quiet environment. If that doesn't work, look at sedation and/or milking. AND it is critical to get colostrum milk into the foal. After about 12 hours they start to lose the ability to absorb antibodies and after 24 hours that post-natal ability is gone all together. Of course by several hours the foal is also becoming energy deficient and hypoglycemic. So don't wait to long to get professional help.
Hi hope all is well. I volunteer at a local animal rescue. We have 5 female donkey that were rescued and one of them had a baby about 4 weeks ago and she has some type of skin issue. She has bumps all over the body as you can see on it's snout and the ears are floppy and losing it's hair. I can email you some photos for you to look at. We had our local vet stop by to check her out and he has no idea what it could be, he said other than that she is a healthy baby. Have you ever come across anything like these or do you know anyone that I can contact. I appreciate your help with helping us find what wrong with her. Thank you for your time.
we have an excellent dermatologist here that likes donkeys and has a background in their skin diseases. It is very possible that this is an autoimmune condition called "Pemphigus" and, if so, will be a real problem for this foal. I can tell you now that the dermatologist will probably recommend a biopsy, which is an easy and safe procedure that your veterinarian can do anytime.
Is there a birth control i can give my Jenny? She had a baby last November and is pregnant again..probably due about Nov to Dec. She is a minature and her "spouse" is a mini horse. I've asked Vet about castrating horse. He won't do it because the horse is about 7. I am keeping the mule off springs but I only have 10 acres, alot of which is timbet. I really dont like to see Jenny misearable all the time. Thank you very much!!
So there are methods for birth control in female equids, including jennies. They range from permanent surgical sterilization (which requires a veterinarian who is skilled and experienced in the technique to be used) to hormonal manipulation of the jennet's estrus cycle, similar to what is done in humans. This can be either by daily medication or by implant. I should point out that all will require veterinary supervision and all options have potential complications. A much simpler and effective approach would be to castrate the miniature stallion. This both because male sterilization is a much easier surgery than any of the female techniques AND because it will make the stallion's life better, giving him better options for use, housing, and finding a home if that becomes necessary in the at least two more decades of his life (and it could be 3). Further, as a gelding, he will not be able to impregnate another mare or jennet, in a world where there are WAY too many unwanted equines, including minis. I am assuming that this 7 year old stallion is healthy. If that is the case there is no reason not to castrate him. By the way, I am a veterinarian with 43 years of experience, hold specialty boards in Equine Surgery, and have taught at 4 different veterinary schools. I recognize that your veterinarian may have a different opinion on castrating this mini, but I think that it would be reasonable to look for a second opinion from another veterinarian, perhaps with more surgery and anesthesia experience. It is true that a stallion, gelded at 7 years of age after breeding females, will retain some degree of male sexual behavior, because it has become "learned" and is no longer under hormonal control. HOWEVER, he will be sterile (the main problem here) and his undesirable "maleness" will be less. We castrate even full sized horses older than this all the time without significant complications.
Also, the correct term for a foal from a jenny and a stallion/pony stallion would be a Hinny.
There are a few blood chemistry differences and we find their baseline body temperature to be closer to donkeys. I would encourage handling the hinny foal as well so it's easy to interact with for future vet or farrier appointments.
Also, possibly separating the jenny and pony stallion could prevent future pregnancies.
I have a Mini Donkey that Foaled on Monday the 14th. The Foal is either Premature or Dysmature. Born very small, pliable ears, silky coat. He seems to be making it so far , no obvious problems except for size and lack of body fat. Nurses great, follows Mom etc...
Outside of normal illness. When do you think we are "out of the woods" on his prognosis for making it?
Although this sounds promising it might be a good idea to have a blood test for passive transfer of immunity. It is possible for premature foals to lack maternal immunity even if they appear to nurse well. This is because they may use up their mother's protein antibodies for energy or they may not absorb them properly. The trouble is that when foals lack adequate maternal immunity the septicemia and bone infections that develop can hit very suddenly and be nearly impossible to treat. Another concern would be the degree of calcification, especially in the tarsal (hock) bones. This is common in "premee's" and can result in joint collapse if the foal exercises too much. This can be examined with ultrasound or x-rays, but, at a minimum, I would avoid turning the foal and dam out for a lot of exercise until the foal is a couple of weeks old. ANY sign of lameness or lethargy in this foal is an emergency and requires veterinary examination right away.
We have a Jinny that's almost 6 months, we are getting dad castrated in the 31st will he try to mate with her? I read that she doesn't go into season until she is a year old? Any help would be appreciated
Jennets start cycling around a year of age, though some may start a few months sooner. Remember that even after castration male donkeys will try to mount a jennet in heat occasionally. That is normal. You should be safe, but would get the jack castrated soon.