Donkey Care

Products we Love!

Standard Hay Pillow® Slow Feeder Hay Bag

Enables your equine to nibble and eat in a natural grazing position with the only slow feed hay bag designed for use on the ground!

  • Reduces back and neck strain
  • Helps digestive & respiratory issues
  • Easy to fill and transport

Use them in multiple locations to encourage grazing-like movement and reduce boredom.

 

 

Silver Whinnys on your donkey’s legs for fly control!

Equines can suffer from a variety of lesions that affect their Lower legs: dermatitis, scratches, mud fever, dew poisoning, greasy heel, summer sores, and wounds. Silver Whinnys® provide the critical qualities in bandaging/leg protection that allow non-responding cutaneous (affecting the skin) lesions to finally heal.

They end the cycle of infection/re-infection. Silver inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungi in the socks. They are safe, non-toxic, drug-free bandages that obstruct disease-causing pathogens, insects, dirt, debris, and sunlight (UV) from penetrating the socks and reaching the skin

 


Donkeys Feel the Cold!

By Mark Andrews, Horse Journals

Donkeys are not well suited to cold, wet environments and need extra protection in the winter, new research has found. The findings have been incorporated into the UK’s updated Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Code of Practice for the welfare of horses, ponies, donkeys and their hybrids.     Read More…

Options for Blankets:

Dura-Tech® VIKING Solid Pony Turnouts – from Schneiders

Tough-1 600D Miniature Turnout Blanket – from State Line Tack

Tough-1 Mini 1200 Denier Turnout Blanket – from Chicks Saddlery

Showman Large Mini / Pony 1200 – from Chicks Saddlery

 

 

Lets Talk about Hooves!

Since we started this rescue, we haven’t taken in one, single donkey with hooves that were in good shape or appropriately trimmed. NOT ONE! Not even donkeys surrendered from well-meaning owners, who believed they were taking good care of their donkeys. Given that we have now taken in over 150 donkeys in a little over 4 years, that is a really sad realization about the care that many donkeys receive.
Unfortunately, many people who own donkeys, simply do not have enough experience with equines, to truly understand what a correctly trimmed hoof should look like. Add to that, the fact that a donkey’s hoof needs to be trimmed a little more upright than a horse, and the fact that a LOT of farriers don’t even realize this, and you end up with donkeys whose feet are always too long. Maybe not so dramatically, like some of these photos, but too long nonetheless.

It seems that long, curly, disfigured hooves in donkey rescue is such a common theme, that people get numb to seeing it. Law enforcement often don’t even realize what an overgrown hoof really means to the comfort of a donkey. And unless the hoof is so grotesquely overgrown, they don’t really get it, or even think there is a problem.   Hooves that are too long cause constant strain on the interior laminae (basically, the vascular structure inside the hoof capsule that holds the lower hoof bones in place). This stress on the laminae causes stretching and weakening, which eventually makes it easier and easier for the donkey to founder (a very painful condition of inflammation and possible bone movement or rotation). Laminitis is the inflammation stage, founder is the eventual result, if there is any movement of the coffin bone. The pain that an equine endures during either of these stages is almost unimaginable.

The fact that we receive SO many donkeys who have already foundered (meaning that xrays confirm rotation of the coffin bone), shows just how little education the donkey’s previous owner had about their necessary care. And, they were likely not getting their donkey trimmed often enough. Regular trims (done correctly) every 8-10 weeks in most cases are a bare minimum for proper care. Just because the hoof may not look like a slipper hoof, or grotesquely misshapen, doesn’t mean it isn’t already too long.  Of course, proper diet is just as important, and we will go into that AGAIN, in more detail tomorrow. Take a look at these photos to see how they SHOULD look when they get a proper trim. Some are more dramatic than others, but we want to show you some that, to the average eye, would not appear to be too long, but they really are headed in the wrong direction.
At the very least, if you don’t think your farrier is doing a proper job of trimming your donkey (leaving them too long, looking more like a horse hoof), then show them some of our photos. Maybe your farrier would be receptive to learning from an organization whose farriers obviously have tons of experience trimming donkeys properly.

 

Hyperlipidemia Syndrome in Donkeys

Hyperlipidemia Syndrome in Donkeys is an article written by our Veterinarian which gives you the basics of what causes Hyperlipidemia, but we wanted to share with you firsthand how we treat our donkeys when they even start to shut down and not eat.  First and foremost, it doesn’t really matter WHY your donkey might not be eating, it could be a fever, stress, depression, shock, or any number of other reasons.  The key is that you MUST make sure that IN ADDITION to treatment for whatever illness they might have, they MUST eat and keep their blood sugar up.  It can be easy to miss the fact that your donkey might not be eating well, especially if it lives in a herd, and you don’t bring them in specifically to eat or to spend the night.  By the time you might realize that your donkey really is not feeling well, it might not have eaten well for days, and by then, their triglycerides can already be on the rise.  It’s critical that if you notice your donkey really not wanting to eat, that you offer anything you can think of that it might like.  Diets go out the window in these cases.  Try apples, carrots, their favorite treats, green grass, anything to try and get it to eat.  In addition, you can give Karo Syrup, it’s the best way to help keep their energy and blood sugar up.  You can dose about 30cc in their mouth 2-3 times a day.  Just the addition of some Karo Syrup can make the difference and help them bounce back.  It can also be the lifesaving difference that keeps them from going downhill even faster than they might have, before you can get them to a vet hospital.

 

No matter what, DO NOT WAIT!  If you know for sure that your donkey is not eating well at all, it will never hurt to give it some Karo Syrup.  But, if you notice any more than about a day of not eating, you need to have your vet out right away to pull blood and have them run a lipid panel to make sure that the triglycerides are in a safe area.  If they are on the rise (anything over 100 is cause for concern) they need iv fluid therapy.  The vet will give them iv dextrose and insulin, as well as fluids to keep them hydrated.  The goal is to get the blood sugar balanced, and get the donkey feeling better so that they will start eating on their own again.  It can take a few days on fluids to get them on the road to recovery.

 

We have had a few who come here and for whatever reason, (we think it’s usually shock or depression from what they have been through before they came here) they sort of “shut down” and don’t want to eat much of anything at first.  We’ll go right to some Karo Syrup a few times a day, and offer them all kinds of yummy things to eat if we have to and they usually bounce back pretty well.

 

Hyperlipidemia is nothing to mess around with.  Mortality rates are around 80%, and that’s usually because by the time people realize that their donkey isn’t eating well, it hasn’t been eating well for several days and their triglycerides are up high (well over 500).  We had one we had to take to the hospital, and though he was still eating (not much, but some), he was getting pickier by the hour, and we knew he was declining.  His numbers were over 700, and we were lucky enough to save him, but the vets said not many that come in with high numbers make it.  We just caught it early enough.

 

So, pay attention, and don’t be afraid to push on your vet some if you really feel worried that your donkey isn’t eating.  It’s a matter of life and death for them if you wait too long.