The photo above is of a male donkey early twenties who suffers from insulin resistance. If he was a female many new donkey owners could think he was pregnant.
Donkeys can trick owners into believing they are pregnant even when they are not pregnant. I have met so many donkey enthusiasts who were sold the story take this donkey she is pregnant and the new owner is excited for a new baby donkey. In fact, the new owner starts feeding grain thinking the baby needs the grain. Only to end up with an obese donkey who is now suffering from obesity and the side effects. Obesity in donkeys causes hoof abscesses, insulin resistance, laminitis, hyperlipaemia (fat in the blood), kidney failure, and extremely painful death.
How Can I Know For Sure My Donkey Is Pregnant?
An ultrasound is the best way to ensure your donkey is pregnant. It is really important to not feed grain to the desert equine the donkey as the side effects from being fed to rich of a diet are serious. If you are want to give a supplement to a pregnant donkey you are 100% sure is pregnant I would look for a vitamin supplement low in sugar. I would avoid grain.
Stay On Donkey Time ® when training and caring for donkeys. Meaning, have a plan, become educated, and enjoy your donkey.
Clean water and salt is one of the most important things we can provide our donkeys while living in domestication. Why? Donkeys, mules, and horses will drink more water if it clean. Provide warm clean water during freezing weather.
Rio our Mammoth donkey and Rocket Man (miniature donkey) will back up and poop in their water when they want it clean. Donkeys are so smart. Remember clean water is the natural prevention to colic along with salt.
Consider a track for your donkey. The track will turn to dirt. The track is used for exercise. No grazing muzzle required. Place a gate in the middle and you can let the donkeys graze in the tall grass in the middle for 1 hour per day. The best time to graze is between 6:00am and 10:00am the sugar level is the lowest.
Wild horses, donkeys and mules walk at least fifteen to twenty miles a day along with a bit of running when a predator comes. Domesticated equine today stand around eating and are prone to laminits, founder, colic, hoof abscesses, and eventually death. “All of these things can be avoided if we understand that the equine is built to eat a little bit of grass and walk, eat a little and walk, run, sweat and move their feet. Donkeys are always easy keepers and cannot stand out…
Since I started writing about winter laminitis several years ago the topic has appeared with increasing frequency in other places. Spreading the word is always good but several things have been transformed in translation.
Cortisol as a cause. While it’s true cortisol levels may be somewhat higher with cold stress, they are with heat stress too and we don’t recognize a parallel situation of summer induced hoof pain. If cortisol was a key mechanism it would also put all horses at the same risk, not just those with EMS. While cortisol can sensitize vessels to constrictors, it doesn’t cause constriction itself. Endothelin-1 is the most likely culprit here.
Thyroid hormone as a cause. It’s not true that thyroid hormone reduces blood flow to the hooves.
Arteriovenous shunts function. Several discussions of the role of arteriovenous shunts got the mechanism backwards. These shunts bypass the local tissues and send blood back…
Most donkey, horse and mule owners may not think about salt. Did you know that salt blockswere actually designed for cattle? Cows have rough tongues that can easilylick the block. A block of salt is better than nothing at all. The best is loose (granular) salt.
Donkeys, mules and horses have smoother tongues than a cow and may not actually get their needed amount of salt from a block.They may end up biting the blockin an attempt to get more,which canlead toteeth and jaw or tooth problems. The equine suffering from salt- deficient may lick or chew on objectsor may actually lick or eat dirt.
Test your hay to find out how much selenium is in your hay?
Hay for donkeys should have no alfalfa. Test 10% or lower in sugar and protein.
If you have no selenium in your hay purchase equine salt with selenium.
Donkeys evolved from the desert. Donkeys living in the U.S.A. are being overfed and fed the wrong foods. Once the neck crest breaks over nothing can be done to repair the neck. Insulin resistance, laminitis, and soon death. If you rescue a donkey with this abuse, get a donkey vet fast. You can save this donkey’s life. Diet changes everything in most cases, test all of your hay, equine analytical lab in the USA to ensure 10% or lower in sugar and protein, no grain, create a donkey track, clean water, salt, and portion control with a slow feeder.
The donkey must live on a dry pasture or paddock for the majority of their life. If we feed the wrong foods such as alfalfa hay, apples, pears, cookies, oats, bread, or munching all day on grass, brush, and trees we will see this in our donkey’s neck. Not to mention death. Death comes next as the donkey evolved from the desert, the donkey was created to live on low sugar/protein hay, clean water. Round bales for the donkey will cause this too! Hay should be measured and controlled as the donkey evolved from the desert.
Laminitis is a condition in which there is inflammation in the laminae of the foot that connect the pedal bone to the hoof wall. This can progress to rotation or sinking of the pedal bone within the foot. The cause is not fully understood and many factors are involved but obese animals are more prone to develop the disease.”
Equine Metabolic Syndrome: Overweight donkeys often develop a fat, crest neck and fat pads around their tail base. When this occurs the donkey can develop a metabolic disease known as ‘Equine Metabolic Syndrome’. This causes insulin resistance and increased levels of blood glucose (blood sugar) in the bloodstream. In equids, this can lead to recurrent episodes of laminitis or founder. This disease involves inflammation of the white lining or laminar junctions of the feet, extreme foot pain and difficulty walking and chronic abscesses. In severe cases, this is death for the donkey.
Hyperlipaemia is a condition in which triglycerides (fats) are released into circulation which can result in organ failure and death unless treated rapidly. The early signs of dullness and reduced appetite can be difficult to detect. Hyperlipaemia can be triggered by anything that causes a reduction in food intake e.g. stress, transport, dental disease.
Causes of hyperlipaemia
A number of risk factors have been identified as contributing to this condition. It is known that a female donkey is at higher risk than a male, especially when there are high energy demands such as if she is pregnant or lactating. Overweight and obese animals are at higher risk than those in average condition but even thin donkeys are at risk. Donkeys that have lost significant weight in the preceding weeks should be monitored carefully as they are at a much higher risk of developing this disease. When managing your donkey’s weight, care should be taken not to crash diet as this will put your donkey at risk.
Stress will cause a donkey to reduce its feed intake and can be brought on by many stressors such as:
Removal or death of buddy
Living With Another Animal Who Is A Predator
Forced To Live A Life With Constant Stress And Abuse
Action Plan To Lose Weight – DO NOT STOP FEEDING THE DONKEY.
Build Pastures made to exercise, a track
Donkey lives on a dry paddock
Ask your vet to do blood work insulin resistance or cushings
Have the dentist come out and examine the donkey’s teeth
Engage in an exercise routine
Take Your Donkey For Walks
Make Sure Your Donkey Has Toys and A Buddy To Play With
Test Your Hay 10% Or Lower In Sugar and Protein – Measure for portion control.
Donkeys evolved from the desert. The donkey was created to live on low protein and low sugar forage. Please test all of your hay or straw before purchasing. We do not feed straw on the Donkey Whisperer Farm ®. Donkeys hooves were created to walk on rocks and hard dry ground, the desert. When the hooves get soft this is an opportunity for bacteria and debrie to enter the hoof. Sometimes a hoof trim can trigger the abscess. Eating too much fresh green grass or the wrong hay can trigger abscesses too. So much to learn to keep the donkey healthy.
Jan 25, 2019 while doing our evening farm check Oboe our rescue donkey had a limp. It’s a hoof abscess I said to my husband Scott. We began working fast to get Oboe out of pain. If you would like to learn how to build a boot for your donkey. Make your own poultice and print out a shopping list to take to the store. Our written PDF is attached with each training video we sell on demand. The best part of our training program videos is you can take me, Melody Johnson to the farm with you via any smart phone or device. We sell all of our videos with lifetime access. We do not rent our videos.
We are not vets. We teach you how to get your donkey out of pain fast. Everything we are teaching you has been taught to us from our vets.
Please call the vet if your donkey is not getting better within three days of soaking and creating a new boot and poultice.
Please do not let anyone cut a hole out without an x-ray to find the infection tract line. A hoof tester is not good enough. The hoof takes one year to grow out after cutting the hole out. Donkeys can tear a ligament, or even fracture a bone, just like the horse.
Please learn how to get your donkey out of pain quickly and keep the blood flow moving in the foot, prevent colic from not moving. The best pain relief for a donkey is banamine. If you are not careful with drugs the donkey can colic.