Category Archives: Medical

ANTIFLAM! My initial report…


Have you heard of AntiFlam (linked here)?  I hadn’t either.  A wonderful reader told me I should try it for Norma.  Basically, it is an herbal anti-inflammatory.  (I have no affiliation.)

This is the manufacturer


In case you are new to this blog, Norma, my donkey,  suffered a severe case of Founder around Thanksgiving.  (She is much better, thank you.)

However, even though Norma is much better, I have to keep her in the barn because her good days aren’t consistent.  I’m not saying that her off days are bad, I’m saying that she isn’t perfectly sound.  She’s a little off about every other day or every three days.  She will have some swelling and then it subsides.  She will be a bit off, but it goes away.  Basically, she’s healing and some days are good and some days are not so good.


I don’t want any of you to think that my vet isn’t involved here.  We’ve taken Radiographs and we know she has a slight rotation in both front feet.  Norma has been trimmed to adjust for the rotation.  My vet, farrier and I have decided not to put on the Steward Clog (fabulous shoe, no nails and adjustable…phone: (719) 372-SHOE {7463}) because of her history of abscesses.

As an aside, the Steward Clog people were incredible.  They made clogs for Norma in ONE DAY.  I gave them her measurements over the phone, he made them, sent them out that night and I had them the next day.  Wonderful people.


Two months ago, when this all started and Norma was in acute pain, Banamine was our best friend.  It helped tremendously in relieving her intense pain and getting her past the worst parts so she could begin healing.

But, as you know, Banamine over an extended time (whatever that is to a particular horse is debatable), is bad for the gut.  It can create ulcers and upset the homeostasis in there.  Bad.


Norma was over the worst part of her illness so I really wanted to take her off of the Banamine.  Besides, she had figured out every single method I had of tricking her into eating it.  So, she was spitting it out in her napkin more often than not.  With the price of Banamine what it is (EXPENSIVE – ouch) I decided to go a less gut irritating andmore economical long-term route.

Besides, I knew switching her to some other anti-inflammatory couldn’t hurt her at this point.  It wasn’t as if she would backslide into oblivion.  She was on the mend and this, hopefully, would be a more natural way to help her internal and external reactions to the laminitis.

So, I ordered it.

Here are the ingredients


It arrived from Canada (good exchange rate…).  About 9 days ago, I started her on the loading dose with my vet’s blessing.  A loading dose is the weight amount twice a day instead of once a day.

After the first day and two doses if AntiFlam, she has never taken an unsound step.  I’m going to say that again louder…  SINCE SHE STARTED ON ANTIFLAM, SHE HASN’T TAKEN AN UNSOUND STEP.

I'm loving it!


Since I’m not testing AntiFlam professionally, I’m not sure if maybe Norma decided to coincidentally heal on the same day I started her on the AntiFlam?… Or maybe she had an internal abscess that healed on exactly that day?…  Dunno.  But for my money, I’m going to say that it is working!


Now, I’m not saying that Norma is out of the woods.  She isn’t kicking and bucking.  She is still very careful when she walks.  But, she isn’t limping or taking any off steps.  I’m not going to say it is a cure-all, but it seems to be really helping her heal.  Norma’s appetite if fine, she isn’t grinding her teeth and she has normal breath so I’m pretty sure it isn’t upsetting her stomach.

Tonight, however, I noticed that she had a wet stool so I think the AntiFlam is built-up enough in her little donkey system. I’m going to reduce the loading dose to a regular dose and stop giving it to her at night.  I’ll let you know if she starts limping again.


The good news is that if Norma stays sound after a few more days, I’m going to put her back out with her friends!  Yay!  I get my barn back and Norma has her donkey freedom again.  Hallelujah!

HOORAY FOR ANTIFLAM!  If you want to try it, click here.  (I have no affiliation.)

Beautiful Norma, finally healing

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Updates on Norma the laminitic Donkey and some Radiographs…

Thursday, January 6th, 2011 | Filed under Medical

Norma is my donkey who suffered a bout of laminitis that was the worst I have ever known in all my years of horse ownership.  Yikes.

For me in the past, when I would see a sore foot (vary rare), I would bring the individual inside, remove all sweet feed of any kind, reduce feed in general, put on pads, dose him/her with Banamine and see how they were in the morning.

Most often, they would get better but I would call out the vet anyway, just to be sure.  The vet would put on better pads and give Banamine.  In every other experience of mine, the equine would be better in three days.  I would watch them for another two weeks but that was it.  Nothing more serious than that.

So, this is what I expected with Norma.  I saw that she was sore, I brought her in, did all my ritual stuff and … and…

She didn’t get better.

Norma Day 1, holding up her left foot. Ouch.


Everyone seems to think that donkeys don’t get laminitis or founder.  But, they do.  Especially heavy donkeys (my bad).  She is a little tubby and I had just let her out on green grass at the wrong time of day during the wrong time of year (another my bad).


I called the vet out the next day.  And the day after that.  And again.

Why wasn’t she getting better?  The vet was scratching his head.  I mean, of course horses don’t get better with laminitis often.  It is an insidious affliction that has many causes and domino effects.  But, we knew what happened to Norma and she should have been getting better.  We did hoof testing and she showed no abscesses or any swelling.

We decided to try an experimental procedure that is having great results in an Equine hospital in Colorado.  However, they had never tested it on a donkey.  Norma would be the first and they were very excited. We did this twice.  Twice they shipped the ingredients to us and twice we administered it.  NOTHING.

Well, I shouldn’t say NOTHING.  Her right foot seemed to be fine.  Her left foot was off the charts ouchy.

We put on pads.  We gave her pain relief.  We bedded her stall so deep we almost lost her.  We looked for abscesses.  NOTHING.

I was not going to lose my donkey if I could help it.  Here it was my fault and I thought it was my duty to make her better.  But, I was failing.

After the vet came... medicated, wrapped, bedded... Nothing. She didn't get better.


Just about when we were starting to feel very glum and worst case scenario… her coronet band exploded!

It didn’t explode but when I went to feed I saw blood and ooze streaming down her hoof.  Yay!  I touched it to feel the consistency and texted my vet.  He called back elated! He swung by my place to place a pad on her coronet band that would encourage and draw out the abscess.  And, we waited.

Ugh.  It was a biggun.   It also broke through about two inches above her coronet band.  Yuk.  Eesh.  Blech.  I kept wiping and wrapping with Betadine and Epsom Salts.  Norma pretty much hated me.  She liked me when I fed but other than that, talk to the hoof.

This is the toe abscess in her left front


Once her coronet band and ankle abscesses healed she was sound for about a day.  Then, I noticed an ever so slight inability to pivot to the left.  Hmmmmm.  The farrier happened to be coming that day.  Yay!  He took one look at her soles and said that she had bi-lateral toe abscesses starting to drain.  He cut them out and opened them up.  We cleaned out the wound and applied medicated pads.  Ouchywowwa.

This is the right foot toe abscess


What is amazing is that Norma hardly showed any pain with the bi-lateral toe abscesses.  BI-LATERAL TOE ABSCESSES, huge boils of yuk pressing against her toe nails and she hardly flinched.  So, that tells me that when she was three-legged lame, it REALLY hurt.   Poor girl.


After Norma had mostly healed from her abscess party, the vet and I decided to do radiographs to understand if there was any Coffin bone rotation and therefore, how to trim her.

Do you know the difference between an Xray and a Radiograph – other than one has to be developed and one is instant?  I didn’t either.  And, because most people say “XRAY” when they mean Radiograph, I decided to ask my vet.

An Xray is the ray that is shot through whatever you need to picture.  So, Xrays are used to create the filmed Xray or the Radiograph.  The Xrays are then recorded either on film (the kind of Xrays your DR holds up in front of the light)  or digitally for a Radiograph (the instant kind the vet brings with him).

I never knew the difference, really.

Slight loss of bone in the tip of the left Coffin bone


I posted the radiographs so you can see where Norma has a slight rotation and a slight drop.  However, we are all very lucky because she has plenty of sole and is in no danger of exposing her Coffin bone.

On the graph, my vet created the lined angles for my farrier to trim her hoof in order to support the Coffin bone and help it re-set itself in time.  I need to print these and give them to my farrier.  Even though there is some degradation to the tip of the Coffin bone on her left foot, we decided not to put on any shoes or clogs at this point.  The issue is slight and should be alright for her once the bone is rotated to its normal position.

The areas that I circled are the two toe abscesses that are healing.  Because we could see that the right foot toe abscess had no clear exit point anymore, we opened it up a bit to make sure it would totally heal.

Then, we put Purple Mush inside the area of the abscesses (this stuff is great!  Read about it here.)

As an aside, my vet asks ME if I have any of “that Purple Mush” to help him heal my donkey.  My vet preferred to use it in this application than anything he had on his truck.  I love it!

OK, then we added gauze, wrapped the foot with vet wrap and then added a duct tape bootie that I designed and created poorly and then he re-built for me.  I will write a “HOW TO” blog on duct-tape booties very soon!

The lines my vet drew to show the farrier how to trim her right foot to support the Coffin bone

The same for the left


Today, she is walking around fine in her booties.  I will change them in a day or so and after 7 days, we will trim her.

Norma will be fine.  Phew…  I learned a lot, believe me!  No green grass in the afternoon in the Fall or Spring.

Thank you, everyone, for caring about my sweet Norma Jean!

Norma in her stall, almost healed and waiting for dinner. Of course, photobombing Shiva in in front...

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To learn all about the Bucket Fund and to donate the the “Saved from Slaughter Orphan Foals”, please click on the photo (photo credit, Trish Lowe)

HELP THE Orphan Foals! Click here!

Supporting The Bucket Fund through Amazon Smile
Please choose HORSE AND MAN, INC when you shop via Amazon Smile through this link.

Riding Warehouse
Your purchase with Riding Warehouse through this link helps the Bucket Fund!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!