Three years of laminitis and founder with Mama Tess taught me so much…
I remembered that this Sunday when Norma Jean – my 30 year old donkey – was ‘off’ and laying down under an oak tree. This was not normal. Norma never laid down unless she was in her barn.
Her ears were up and she seemed OK, but she never laid down outside. I watched her for an hour and made the call.
Even on Sundays, our wonderful equine hospital has vets on the ready 24/7 (Thank you Loomis Basin Equine Hospital!). So I called in an emergency.
Very quickly, the vet arrived. Neither of us could figure out what was ailing Norma. We thought colic but it wasn’t colic… we thought old age… we thought organ failure… we thought arthritis pain… we thought liver issues… but we never thought laminitis because there is no green grass (yet) and she doesn’t get rich food.
… and then, when Norma stood, we figured it out. Although she wasn’t standing in the laminitis stance, she didn’t want to walk. Her pulses weren’t elevated, she had no temp and her feet were not hot to the touch nor to the hoof testers, but she was sore – no doubt about it. And, donkeys are stoic – so if they show pain, it is probably worse than it appears.
SPRINGING INTO ACTION
Luckily, I had all the necessary tools on hand because of Mama Tess. (Regrettably, I sold my Theraplate when we moved, but I had almost everything else.)
We made little cushion boots out of garden kneeling pads, vet wrap and duct tape. (Soft Ride boots are expensive – these homemade boots work and are relatively inexpensive to create. I got good at it with Mama Tess…)
I started soaking hay in a small-holed hay net drenched in hot water.
The vet gave her IV banamine and took blood just to make sure there was no other issue. (The blood work came back fine. She’s old but good.)
I opened all of the shavings bags I had and made a big, cushy area for her. I brought water there and hung her wet and tasteless hay (she ate it) for her. I also gave her the other meds before she started eating… I always like to give meds on a full stomach, with a clear mouth.
After the vet left, I ran inside and ordered more supplies. On Monday, I raced down to Loomis Basin Equine Hospital because they have Soft-Rides on hand (with no shipping costs). Although Soft Ride hopes to come out with a donkey size, they haven’t yet… so I got the best size I could and will make due.
Thank horsegods that Norma will survive this – and I thank Angel Mama Tess for teaching me so much.
BUT WHY DID THIS HAPPEN WHEN THERE IS NO GREEN GRASS?
Well, there was a patch. I went looking and found it. There was a tear in an irrigation hose where I couldn’t see it… I think some rodent bit through it… Norma found the wet spot and the green grass. It was obvious that she had been feasting there.
Grazing muzzles are great! Norma always protests but she wears hers all Spring and the start of Summer. In this way, she can still roam around – which is so good for her mental and physical health – but not get in trouble with the green grass. I also limit her outings when there is lush grass. (If you buy one for Spring, spend the little extra money to get the muzzle that fits like a halter. If not, they can wriggle out of them. Also, get one with a small hole. If not, it defeats the purpose.)
NEW BUTTON. DIFFERENT FUND. LET’S DO THIS!
FUND TOTAL AS OF TODAY: $25 (Thank you!) We’ve saved POWDER PUFF 2/7/22 ($800), EDDIE 2/9/22 ($1200), SURSHA 3/16/22 ($780), BABY FRED 4/7/22 ($650), “CC” Close Call 5/17/22 ($550), PACIFICA 5/22/22 ($780), DONNA 7/25/22 ($600), MAXIMILLIAN 11/8/22 ($1300), “TJ” 1/8/23 ($1000), SWEETIE 1/8/23 ($700), MAMA and BABY 5/9/23 ($500), SHANGHAI 8/23/23 ($1200), VICTORIA AND PIXIE 10/8/23 ($1000)
Horse and Man Foundation, Inc has a new Fund button. KEEP THEM OFF THE TRUCK FUND. This Fund will go on all day, all the time. It will always be here. If you want to save a horse or donkey from slaughter, you know we will do that here.
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