Monday, November 30, 2009

Emergency Farm Call

When you have animals in your life you just know when they aren't feeling well.

Yesterday morning when I fed breakfast to the horses, donkey and goats I noticed Arnold hadn't eaten his supper. Oh oh, highly unusual!

I went ahead and gave him his breakfast since he acted like he was kind of hungry.

When I went out later to turn everyone loose he hadn't eaten his breakfast.

Hmmmm, not a good sign.

My first thought was colic ( stomach ache which is not good). Colic can sometimes cause the gut to twist which is very, very serious!

I went ahead and turned him loose with everyone else and watched him. He drank water, was walking around and not showing any signs of distress. Okay, maybe it isn't colic. No tell tale signs.

The day worn on and he was still not acting right.

I emailed a very dear friend who knows Donkeys inside and out. Instead of emailing me back she called me and told me to get a vet out asap. It was serious. Arnold was colicking! And it could be deadly!

She said after I called the vet to put a blanket in him, lock him in his stall and give him some pain medicine. Which I did. Arnold has never had a blanket on ever! I was expecting a struggle, but he knew we were trying to help so allowed me to put the blanket on.

Called the vet. He would be here in twenty minutes.

When the vet arrived I explained all of Arnold's symptoms. I also mentioned that I was looking for colic signs that horses show if they colic.

Come to find out Donkeys do not show signs of colic like horses do! Donkeys are very stoic and hide their pain very well.

After almost three hours out in the freezing cold at night, mineral oil put into Arnolds' stomach and some more pain relief, the vet said Arnold's chances of survival were high. All we had to do now is make sure his water stayed lukewarm and watch for when he poo'd.

All through the night I kept checking on him.

This morning when it was feeding time Arnold didn't get his breakfast. Had to make sure he poo'd. Also rechecked the water temperature.

This afternoon there it was! The poo I had been looking for!!! Yay!!!!

I know it sounds gross and funny, but poo tells you a lot! I even took a picture of it to send to my friend. Yes, she was happy to see it! No worries, no pic of the glorious poo!

Arnold is out of the woods and in a few days should be just fine.

Thank you dearest Kelly! And thanks to Dr. Benson for coming out on a very cold, freezing Sunday evening.

Until next time........................


  1. Oh, scary. Arnold is so lucky that are so attentive to him. So many donkeys aren't as lucky. You are also so very fortunate that you have a veterinarian who will show up at your house within 20 minutes after you call!!!
    Any clue as to what might have set the colic off? What kind of pain meds did you give him? How did you administer it? How did you figure out the dosage? So many questions...

    Arnold: be well, big boy. Your family adores you.

  2. Thank goodness that Arnold is feeling better Cindy! Maybe you should write about the symptoms that Arnold had and how those differ from horses... I'm sure there are donkey and burro lovers out there that would love to know. And maybe even some horse lovers who may come across a long eared friend in the future. Hats off to you - Good job!!

  3. Arnold is so lucky to have you for his mommy. Donkeys are so stoic, it is hard to tell when there is something wrong with them. I'm so glad he is feeling better and hope he will be fully well soon. I love the suggestions from the two comments above. It would be great if you wrote something about this experience to help both donkey and horse owners. Finally, God Bless your vet!


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