"Horses Dream Of Being Trained The Way A Donkey Demands To Be Trained" Melody Johnson

Posts tagged ‘Horse’

Apples and Pears Are Ripe In Sequim, WA


Friends of the Donkey Whisperer Farm, LLC

Apple Season has arrived! As great as they may be for humans this is not great for the domesticated Donkey, Mule or Horse. In fact this may cause DEATH from Colic and/or a huge amount of stress, tears, vet cost or even burying the beloved equine (Donkey, horse or mule).

Never feed grass clippings or bread to your horse, donkey or mule. PLEASE NEVER FEED ANOTHER ANY ANIMAL THAT IS NOT YOUR ANIMAL. Some animals have a form of insulin resistance, most must have a slow change of diet or they can founder, hoof rots out abscess or colic or worse die. 

Select grass clipping

Donkeys, Horses and Mules get Sick, belly aches and gas from eating too many apples! Eating too much human food can increase their risk for colic.

Select Apples and Pears

 

 

Source: Apples and Pears

 

 

What Big Ears You Have


MY WHAT BIG EARS YOU HAVE!

Often we get the sweetest inquiries from children asking, “Why do donkeys have such big ears?”. It is a really good question.

Donkeys are desert dwellers and are native to dry, hot climates with sparse, woody vegetation. Unlike horses, donkeys do not cluster in tight herds for grazing in abundant grass lands. Donkeys spread out over large dry environments browsing and rooting up woody vegetation. Often a specific donkey herd will be spread out over a mile or more browsing. It has been determined that Mother Nature, in all of her wisdom, designed donkeys with large ears so they could communicate at great distances. Literally, donkey ears act as long distance antennas receiving vital communication from other herd members. This information is imperative to the survival and safety of the herd.

Secondly, research has shown that donkey’s ears act as a cooling agent. Due to their large surface area donkey ears are able to sweat and cool a donkey’s overall body temperature. These automatic cooling devices are critical to survival in hot desert temperatures.

So, ‘long ears’ are not simply adorable, but they are inherently functional and vital to donkey survival.

Source: Kelly Probst

Donkey Whisperer Farm

http://www.donkeywhisperer.com

On The Front Line Of EPM – Donkey, Horse and Mule


Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) doesn’t make headlines as often as it once did. But this potentially debilitating neurological disease remains a threat to horses all over the United States. If anything, its range is spreading.

Select On The Front Line Of EPM

Select HOW TO PREVENT EPM

Therefore, a primary objective in disease prevention should be to minimize stress so a horse’s immune system can operate at maximal capacity. Witonsky comments, “At this time, we still don’t know why some horses develop disease, although based on studies and on my clinical impression, stress from showing, shipping, training, etc. seems to be a risk factor for increased incidence of disease. As a trainer or owner, it is important to be sensitive to what one’s horse believes is stressful, and try to be observant for subtle changes in behavior and performance which could be due to EPM. If a horse does develop disease, hopefully it will be detected early in the onset of disease. In that way, an infected horse can be started on treatment as early as possible to minimize and prevent horse losses and to improve overall outcome with regard to return to overall health and performance.”

Bill Saville, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, professor and chair in the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine at The Ohio State University, and his colleagues investigated risk factors for development of EPM. In this study they acknowledged the important role of the immune system in fending off disease.

“When animals are stressed, suppressive proteins produced by the central nervous system are released and lead to suppression of lymphocyte production and function,” said Saville.

This, coupled with elevated cortisol levels related to stress, might increase a horse’s risk of developing EPM.

Control Measures to Reduce Risk

Saville’s comprehensive study (Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 2000) revealed the following findings that tell us how we can more effectively prevent EPM in our horses:

Age The highest risk of infection occurred in horses aged 1-5 years. This could be due to the use of young horses in competitive situations and the associated stress.

Opossums Presence of opossums on a farm poses an increased risk.

Location Horses on farms with previously EPM-infected horses had a higher risk of developing EPM, likely due to the presence of protozoa in the feed or water and increased likelihood of exposure.

Seasonal effects More EPM cases occur in spring, summer, and fall, possibly related to hot weather acting as a stressor, as well as this being a time of increased travel to competitions with accompanying transport stress affecting the immune system.

Stress An association of stressful events (such as injury, accidents, foaling, surgery, transport, and illness) with increased risk might be related to suppression of a horse’s immune system.

Natural water source Presence of water sources (creek or river) on the farm provided a preferred habitat for opossums away from the horse barns, thereby decreasing exposure and risk.

Food storage Securing feed and water sources from opossum fecal contamination is important in limiting exposure and risk.

It is important to limit opossum presence since sporocysts (the infective stage of the protozoon) are able to survive for as much as a year in the environment. Additionally, birds feed on insects and plant material in the feces of opossums, thereby serving as a vehicle to disseminate sporocysts in the environment. David Granstrom, DVM, PhD, one of the pioneer researchers of EPM when he worked at the University of Kentucky, emphasizes how environmental management can go a long way toward limiting infection.

“It looks like the only way to clean barns that is effective and will not destroy the barn is by the heat of steam cleaning.” –Dr. David Granstrom

“It’s most important to protect feed and the local environment from contamination with opossum feces,” states Granstrom. “Protect livestock feeds and hay from opossums. Keep the local area free of anything that attracts opossums, such as pet food, garbage, and carrion.”

Saville says it isn’t easy to kill the parasites in the environment, and sporocysts are resistant to even the most intense disinfectants.

Granstrom adds, “It looks like the only way to clean barns that is effective and will not destroy the barn is by the heat of steam cleaning.”

Because disinfectant foot baths will not impact sporocysts, it is suggested to change boots or use disposable boot covers in areas where there is the potential for barn contamination.

 

Source: The Horse & Equis links are attached to this blog.

Melody Johnson, Donkey Whisperer Farm, LLC

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Hoof Abscess Dangerous Myths


PLEASE DON’T!

Here are some dangerous myths regarding hoof abscess treatment:

1. Soak the abscessed foot in bleach
2. Soak the abscessed foot in Lysol
3. Soak the abscessed foot in Apple Cider Vinegar
4. Place Tea Tree Oil on the abscessed area of the foot
5. Use an anti fungal cream on the abscessed foot
6. Walk your donkey until the abscess blows
7. Dig out the abscessed area with a pocket knife
8. Pack the hoof with Pine Tar and Turpentine
9. Ignore it, it will go away!

A hoof abscess is not a routine health issue! A donkey hoof is living breathing tissue with blood infused laminae. An abscess is a localized, internal infection, creating a pocket that is walled off within the hoof. This infection builds filling the pocket with blood, pus and fluid creating unbearable pressure in the hoof. Hoof abscesses are not external, they are internal. They are not only debilitating, but can be life-threatening!!!

Please, please don’t employ any of the mythical formulas above. Please learn how to respond to a donkey hoof abscess! Go to: Health Care Series

Melody Johnson, Donkey Whisperer Farm, LLC

Select  OUR STORE

http://wwwyouversion.com/mobile

http://www.donkeywhisperer.com

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Spring Grass Is Dangerous


 

SPRING!

In many parts of the world Spring has arrived and with it bulbs are blooming and birds are singing. It is a joyous time as we all stretch our wings from a long winter slumber, BUT, Spring is also the arrival of one of donkey’s worst enemies…GRASS!

If there is any health threat that is the most difficult to understand and get across to donkey (and all equine) owners it is the extreme dangers of spring/summer grass.

Grass, whether in a pasture, field or lawn has been dormant all winter. In response to increased temperatures and more direct sun, high concentrates of sugar are produced by the root system to signal sudden growth. This sugar is carried from the roots of the grass to the stem. Grass becomes lush and green and brimming with sugar and simple carbohydrates. It is the equivalent of a rich pastry for us human beings.

Our donkey’s have been in mud, cold and gloom for months and we cannot find it in ourselves to keep them from “getting out”, “being in the warmth of the sun” and “doing what comes natural”. BUT, grass is NOT natural for donkeys and is detrimental to their health! As desert dwellers donkeys rarely have access to green grass in the wild. Their natural diet is high fiber woody materials and every inch of their anatomy is designed for this, including their gut and their feet.

The list of health ailments caused by grass consumption in donkeys are numerous, including foot abscesses, colic, Cushing’s Disease, laminitis, metabolic disease and founder. Access to grass is often the cause of death in donkeys.

Remember SAFE GRASS is an oxymoron. No grass is safe for donkeys. Please monitor your donkeys access to grass. NO grass is best, but if you must turn your donkeys out turn them out when the sugar content of grass is at its lowest: Early AM before 10AM and Early PM after 5pm. During these hours the sugar has receded from the stem of the grass back down to the roots. Sugar will be at its lowest. But remember, donkeys love to dig/root up grass and plants, so they are still getting sugar no matter what time of the day it is.

Here at www.donkeywhisperer.com we are dedicated to donkey healthcare and wish you and your donkey a beautiful Spring.

Source: Kelly Probst

GOD Bless You And Your Family Two And Four-Legged!

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