Mammoth donkeys have the widest white line of any donkey. Its a fact. Keeping a Mammoth donkey healthy living in the wet and green Pacific Northwest is a challenge and is most difficult. Donkeys hooves need to stay dry. Our Mammoth Donkey stands 16’2 hands tall at the withers he weighs 1100 pounds and he is not fat. His hooves are tiny for his massive body and narrow unlike the horse his weight is compressed different into the hoof wall.
All of our donkeys and horses are on a regular farrier schedule six weeks in the spring and summer and seven in the fall and winter. During the summer of 2019 we experienced something we have never experienced white line disease eating our Mammoth donkeys hoof.
What is white line disease?
At first we thought it was an abscess so we began soaking and treating for the abscess. After three days I new it was not an abscess. The vet was called. The vet started picking at the bottom of the foot and she kept picking until the all of the rotted hoof was gone on the front of the toe.
Saving a Mammoth donkey from any serious hoof injury takes a team effort. The vet must be experienced in donkey behavior, drugs and care. The vet leads the farrier and the owner. We are blessed to have our vet as she saved Rio’s life. The first three weeks were critical as Rio needed to rest and yet he needed to stay with his donkey friends and keep walking. The big worry was how much weight the other front foot would have to take as laminitis from stress and weight is a real concern. Padding hurry and get the padding on.
When the donkey is put in a stall for rest it can be the end of life in many cases for donkeys. I personally will never choose to put my donkey in a stall without the ability to keep walking. Why? Donkeys get depressed. Donkeys give up. Way too many donkeys are sent to heaven due to this critical mistake all in trying to help the donkey.
If the donkey gets depressed and stops getting up and interacting with his buddys he or she will simply give up and not try to get up any more. Next the donkey is sent to heaven as it is the only other option for most vets. Truly tears for all the donkeys who have died from the wrong form of care. Donkeys are deep, deep thinkers and have serious emotional distress when forced to spend any time alone.
We must keep the equine healthy and not over working and yet have peace and balance. The buddy donkey is always important including if the donkey needs to go to the hospital. Take the buddy with the donkey.
My husband Scott and I worked every day to make sure the temporary hoof wrap was working and Rio had no rubs. No equine boots fit a donkey perfectly at this time. So we must be creative for the donkey. Perhaps one day businesses will build a shoe and a boot for a donkey. I reached out with our business Donkey Whisperer Farm ® begging for a boot to be made, offered to support and help sell it. I was told there is not enough money in donkeys.
Here is a video of Rio wearing the Soft Ride Boots which were way to big. We had to build internal boots and prevent the rub. We checked for rubs and changed the boots every day for three and half weeks. Finally we could have the rubber clog shoes put on Rio. Whew, we made it. Thank you Jesus!!!!
Subscribe to our YOUTUBE channel to never miss a thing on the farm. Donkey Whisperer.
God bless you and your family two and four-legged!
Melody & Scott Johnson