Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Vet Out Again For Arnold the Donkey

Oh my gosh these past three days have been concerning. In the blog before this one I talked about having to have the vet out for an emergency farm call for Arnold, one of our beloved donkeys.

Well, on Monday Arnold was feeling better and I thought we were out of the woods. Turns out I had to call the vet yesterday ( Tuesday) morning because Arnold was laying flat on his side and not feeling well. Arnold rarely if ever lays flat so I knew immediately something was wrong.

He was poo'ing so I knew it wasn't colic anymore. But now I suspected the first stages of laminitiscaused from the stress of his colic.

The vet first scheduled an appointment for 4:30, then he called me back and said 12:30 was the earliest he could come out. That's fine. Well, he showed up at 11:00!

Arnold was once again on his side when the vet arrived.

After an examination there was no signs of laminitis or colic. Okay, then what the heck is going on! The vet gave Arnold another shot of Banamine to relieve his discomfort. He also drew some blood for blood work.

In a few hours Arnold started feeling better. I let him out of his stall, watched his every move and he started to act like his old self. Yes, the Banamine was helping.

I called a very dear friend who knows donkeys through and through. She suggested that now the physical part of Arnold was on the mend, I needed to address the psychological side of it now. He had been in his stall for two straight days being poked and prodded and watched over and......

My friend mentioned that maybe Arnold didn't like all the extra attention and it was making him feel like an outcast with the other donkeys.

Okay, it was worth a shot at working on the psychological side of it.

I went back to 'treating' him normally on and everyday basis.

Hmmmmm, it started to work. As soon as he sensed I wasn't treating him 'special' he started acting normal.

In the meantime the vet called and said Arnold's blood work came back abnormal and he needed to come out in the morning ( Weds) and draw more blood.

Geez, what the heck is going on?!

The vet was out again this morning, drew more blood ( 4 viles worth), went back to the office, ran some tests, called me late this afternoon and said...............

Arnold's blood work is normal!!!! He couldn't explain why yesterday's blood work was abnormal, but today's is great! Yay!!!!!

In case anyone would like to know how to tell if your donkey is not feeling well here is what to look for:

Donkeys are stoic by nature. They generally do not show signs of illness until the problem is well advanced.

Normal adult donkey temperature is 98.8. Their pulse rate is about 44 beats per minute. Anything above that may indicate illness and what level pain they are in. A pulse rate of 60 is extreme pain and distress.

Normal gut sounds are gurgling and rumbling and even some squeaking. To hear gut sounds just place your ear towards the flank and listen.

Normal poo is moist balls that break apart easily. Examining poo is very important. Poo tells you a lot about the health of your donkey.

A big red flag is lack of interest in food. Donkeys LOVE their food.

Also, if you notice your donkey staying to themselves , not acting normal ( for them), drinking a lot more water than normal, pay attention to what is going on.

I am thankful for a great vet, my dear friend Kelly and for the encouraging words from my friends.

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


  1. Talk about stressful!! You're going to need a tranquilizer yourself here shortly just to get some rest! Poor Arnold - I hate thinking of him in pain. Here's hoping that whatever was ailing him is DONE!

    I love that picture of him in the snow.

  2. Thanks for sharing this episode with Arnold. The "not knowing" is maddening. I hope he stays his normal self and you can put this week behind you. As awful as these emergencies are, their value is in how they make you better able to handle the next one.

  3. 7MSN-- So true in what you said. Gotta go through it the first time to be prepared if and when it happens again. And Arnold is back to his old self now. Thank goodness!


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