On Wednesday, I knew we had a problem when I found my sweet donkey, Jill, lying down and not getting up even after I approached her. Now I know she “trusts” me and wasn’t overly alarmed by my approach but when she made no effort to get up when I called her to me, I became really worried. With help, I was finally able to get her to stand. Upon checking her hooves, I found two stones embedded in her front right hoof. With much effort these rocks were removed using a hoof pick.
I called Cody to ask for his help. Cody dropped everything and immediately came over to help us help Jill. He trimmed the offending hoof past the point of where the stone had been embedded. But she would not let him trim the left front hoof to match due to being unable to put weight on her right front hoof/leg. Being uneven, we put a cushioned boot on her sore foot hoping to compensate for her uneven foot trim. The plan was for her to rest that offending hoof and trim the other front hoof in two days.
On Thursday, she was still lying down a lot. The hoof trim with cushioned boot was not helping her stand/walk. Time for “plan B”. Currently, I am in between “farm vets” which is another story. Fortunately, we live in a city with a veterinarian teaching hospital. I called for an emergency appointment and within an hour I had a vet and three vet students out to assess Jill’s problem.
Jill’s vital signs were good as was her GI sounds. I was reassured that her lying down was resting the sore foot and not to be over alarmed that she was doing this. The vet chose to inject Jill’s sore foot to block her nerves to assess whether her problem stemmed from her hoof or whether it was bone related. Physically, Jill’s hoof was tender but not red, warm and she had good range of motion in her leg. A poultice was made for her sore hoof secured with tape and the boot to “pull out” a potential abscess in her hoof. The nerve block relieved some of her pain and she was able to stand again with less discomfort. Other pain meds were prescribed that we would give Jill over the next few days to ease her discomfort.
I was SO RELIEVED to have a diagnosis and something we could do to help our sweet donkey who was obviously in much discomfort! Jill’s pain med is easily crushed and sprinkled on a spoonful of molasses. Jill LOVES this special treat and licks the spoon clean. Jack, used to everything being about him, pushes his way in to attempt to lick the spoon too. Sorry Jack, this “treat” is just for Jill!
Looking ahead, we are monitoring Jill’s dressing and continuing her pain meds. I watched her eat, drink and poop and am thrilled her GI system appears to functioning properly. Watching her lie down is scary but with the vet’s reassurance, I am not overly alarmed now. Since I spend a lot of time “with the donkeys”, it won’t be hard to monitor Jill’s condition. Poor Jack will just have to share my attention with Jill while she recovers from this injury.
I am so relieved to have had such an immediate response from the vet teaching hospital in having Jill’s conditioned assessed. My two donkeys mean the world to me!! They put their trust in me to take care of them; I want them to know their health and well-being is always a priority in my life. It’s the least I can do for these two precious donkeys.