sick donkey or just being stubborn?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by spish, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. spish

    spish De Regenboog Kippetjes

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    Apr 7, 2010
    Belgium
    we've had our 4 year old donkey, Barney, since last april.....he was 'dumped' on us after 2 good friends got divorced/lost their house etc...all the animals were brought to us.


    anyhow he's lived outside all his life......through wind/rain/ice/snow/sunshine. never been a problem. he has a nice little stall out in the field to keep him high and dry and warm.



    now yesterday he didnt come out of his stall. the field is still covered in frozen snow so i thought maybe he just didnt like the crunch under his feet.
    today the sun is shining and the snow is melting, yet Barney is still in his stall.i went out this morning and he was lying down in the straw. he wouldnt get up, i had to push him to his feet! he usually pushes you away if you comb him but today he's just stood there, not moving.

    i edged him outside to try and encourage him to drink. he wouldnt drink (and as far as i can tell hasnt drank all morning, the water trough is untouched)

    he's munched through his hay and pellets though.

    i left him standing outside his stall in the sunshine , that was 5 hours ago. he's still standing in the same spot now? as far as i can tell he hasnt moved.
    he hasnt brayed either today, normally you can hear him as soon as he see's someone walking by, but not a souund today. theres something not right but i dont know what?

    he's pooped fine...all looks normal that end. one of his back hooves are a little overgrown than id like but the guy comes in 2 weeks to do them again (they get done 3 times a year)


    i dont know what could be wrong? i will be honest and say i know very little about donkeys, we got kinda thrown in at the deep end with this. but im worried about the fact he was lying down, the fact he didnt push me away, the fact he's in his stall at all in the day time! (he's normally over in the corner of the field watching the sheep next door), that he hasnt moved in 5 hours and he's not drank today


    any thoughts?
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I'd get the vet out. Reluctance to stand or move over a 24 hr span is most often a sign of real problems.

    If you want to do a bit more troubleshooting yourself before calling the vet:

    Get a brush and hoofpick and clean each hoof very very thoroughly to search for any foreign object which may be jammed in there, from a rock to a sharp stick to a nail. Look closely for ANYthing that looks odd.

    While you are doing that, also feel his hooves for heat. You may not be able to tell if *all* are hot if you are inexperienced and have no other equid to compare him to, but at least you can see whether there is more heat in any one or two than in the others.

    Put a halter and lead on and try to *make* him move at least a few steps, to see if he walks normally or limps or just stutters forward with teensy little steps?. Don't use force to try to get him to move, but if he *will* move, see what it looks like, you know?

    Then report that to your vet when you call, because it really does sound like you should have the vet out, preferably today.

    Best of luck, let us know how it goes,

    Pat
     
  3. HopeMissouri

    HopeMissouri Out Of The Brooder

    Good advice Pat.

    You need a vet. Don't put it off.
     
  4. MomtoSyd&Emma

    MomtoSyd&Emma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 13, 2009
    Southern VA
    Oh man, poor thing... Keep us all posted!
     
  5. spish

    spish De Regenboog Kippetjes

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    Belgium
    since posting last ive been out and cleaned his hooves, they were full of crud and straw. couldnt see anything sharp but what was in there was packed in hard, i must admit i dont clean them out every day but think i have to get myself in the habit of doing so. they were awful [​IMG]

    i took a bucket of water in with me to hang in his stall and he drank immediatly from it. almost as if he was really thirsty but to scared/lazy to venture out to his water trough?

    i popped on his halster like suggested and walked him round his stall. he's limping, not badly but enought to notice. its his back left leg by the looks of things.

    is it possible he's fallen in the ice and is in pain, hence the not wanting to get up/go outside?

    when my other half gets home i'll get him to call the farm vet for advice and see if we can get him to come over tonight. my hands are a bit tied without a home phone [​IMG]

    many thanks pat for the quick reply. i'll keep you updated
     
  6. verthandi

    verthandi Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2007
    Maine
    Is it cold enough there that he might be hypothermic? This is a long shot, but I have seen it happen once in my lifetime. I was called by my neighbor for a lethargic horse, but she was mostly worried about a sudden lameness. The horse was too quiet, but had no outward visible other signs, until I finally took her temperature. I put a heavy blanket and head hood on her and once she warmed up the lameness was also gone. It was all too weird.
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    That's a real good point, three generic things you should do if you suspect a horse (or donkey) (or, really, other animals too) may be sick are:

    a) take the animal's temperature -- with equids, make sure to have a string attached to the thermometer and tie it to the tail hair, as you'd be surprised how not-rare it is for a thermometer to get 'lost' up there [​IMG]

    b) record pulse and respiration rate

    c) if you have a stethoscope (cheap is fine) or can safely put your ear against the animal's belly/flank in several places on both sides, listen for gut sounds -- either super noisy or silent is bad, "medium rumbly" is normal.

    Good luck, hope the vet can take a look soon (it may just be a hoof abscess but you want to KNOW what the source of the lameness is and if there's anything you should be doing about it),

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011

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