Donkey Hooves - Rough, Curling

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TN Belle

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Okay, I don't post much on this side of the mini forum, but I am really getting concerned about my donkeys feet. First of all, he is boarded on a semi dry lot during the day and stalled at night and in the rain/mud times. I can not get out to see him as often as I would like due to new health conditions, but hopefully, we can bring him and my mini horse home within a few months. He is five years old, gelded, and very fat. We got him that way two years ago, hoping he would grow out of it, but he hasn't. All of the issues below have also started since this spring, when I am not there as much, maybe once in three weeks versus three times a week. Plus the owner got hurt too, and her son is taking care of the boarders.

When I saw him last week, his feet really scared me. They have always been really rough and bumpy and scaly at the top half, but now all four feet are that way all the way down the wall. Kinda like they have grown out that way to start with instead of just being dry. There is no smoothness to them at all, period. He has a really deep sole and frog that seems to stay black and stinky. I have asked to pick his feet more and treat them with a thrush medicine, but I don't think they are. He gets a literal handful of Strategy grain morning and night and free choice minerals. He is way over fed, as is my mini, but no one listens to me, saying I would starve them to death. They both get "two flakes" at night and also thrown out for them in the dry lot, the same as all of the big horses. They look like they are going to foal anyday. I have spoken with the owners before and they promise they do what I ask, but I've seen it myself. Sorry for the rant, back on track here. Is this kinda normal for donkey feet? Shouldn't they be as smooth as horse feet. I know the agles are a little different too, the farrier has given really high heels and he is beginning to get a curve outward in his toes, like really neglected and overgrown feet do, but he is trimmed so short on schedule, every six or eight weeks.

I know that he is not getting the correct care, but my barn is almost finished and I will look after them both myself. The farrier does wonders on my mini horse who has ringbone and he is a "natural farrior", but I think something is terribly wrong with the donkey's care, farrior related or not. I can try to get pictures in the next few days, but for now, I was just wandering if any one knows what I am talking about. I am sure it is a combo of things, like he needs more protien from grain, less hay, and more movement, but he does not show any lameness or soreness when I clean his feet or when he runs around. I am so frustrated.

Thanks, and Amos thank you too.
 

JourneysEnd

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The black and stinky is thrush.

I'm a farrier and I have a donkey with really bad feet I fight all the time.

BUT

as your issues started this spring and he's fat, I'm thinking you guy is having bouts of laminitis.

You've got to get the weight off of him. I know this is easier said then done.

You'll be able to do more when you get him to your place. For now, just work on the weight and the thrush.

Okay, I missed the part where you're fighting with the people over the weight. Sorry.

Tell them they're going to kill them with kindness.

Donkey hoof angles are a lot higher than horse angles.
 
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TN Belle

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Yay, well, with you being a farrier, have you ever seen the roughness that I am describing. It's very hard to explain, but all hoof growth has that roughness to them, very badly. It's has the texture of a really bad scab of sorts, with bumps and ridges so bad you can't see the "rings" that you can on a smooth hoof of a horse.
 

JourneysEnd

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Not sure I know exactly what you're describing.

The area at the coronary band is called the periople and it extends about 1/2 " under the coronary band.

If we've had a lot of rain this area will look white and fleshy (for lack of a better word ). When it looks like that it's very easy to damage it. It can get pits that will show up like a scab in the hoof wall as it grows down. Does this sound like it could be what's happening ?

Can you post a picture ?
 

Marty

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Hey Misty, First off Dan and I said HI!

I saw this and took the liberty in sharring it with someone in Pete Ramey's camp down near your neck of the woods and this is the response I got for you and also if you need links just hollar I have them too. It does not appear that you have "natural barefoot trained trimmer"

This can really become life threatening if the donkey founders or the IR develops into Cushings. It can kill them. The stretched toe could possibly be the farrier leaving the heels too high, but it is also possible it's the beginning stage of laminitis. the heels on a donkey are typically high than a horse, but the live sole will also be "higher", so it should still be trimmed down to the level of live sole, just like a horse. Leaving them too high will have the same consequences and make the donkey uncomfortable and have bad hoof form. As far as the black goo, yes, it needs to be treated about once a week with Thrush Buster. Not treating it will allow the fungus to eat away the hoof. The reason he HAS a fungus infection is because his immune system is being compromised by the IR, he's overweight, and his feed is too high in sugar.

First off, get rid of ALL the supplemental sweet feed. He does not need it, and it will kill him. Horses and donkeys who are fat simply do not not not need extra calories. Period. If he has free choice minerals to eat, that's all he needs. If you're worried he may be lacking a vitamin in his diet, I recommend buying Accel brand vitamins (available through Country Supply, Valley Vet, Smart Pak, etc) and feeding him half a scoop with a handful of Beet Pulp. There are other low sugar/ low starch feeds available on the market now, and they are listed on my website. I have several clients now feeding the Equi-Lite from the Coop, one is feeding it to donkeys and they are doing very well on it. I have started feeding the Wellsolve to my IR gelding and he also does well on it.

The client I have has 2 VERY VERY fat donkeys. I tried and tried to explain why it's just as bad to have them too fat as it is to have them too skinny. Thier hooves were always in bad shape, but they seemed to be getting worse. I finally asked her what she was feeding (I'd asked before...) and she admitted she was still giving these FAT donkeys sweet feed. Sweet feed is a death sentence for all Equines, and I explained to her everything I've said above. I convinced her to try the Equi-Lite, and within the first 6 weeks the feet are already improving. The new growth is stronger, and the laminea has strengthened in the shelly parts.

I have seen horses improve as well, and just as fast, when the sugars were removed from the diets.

The ridges and rings you are seeing on the hoof walls in a metabolic insult, or an laminitis attack. Every single one of those lumps is a different attack from the insulin killing the laminea in the hoof, a direct result of too high blood sugar. This boarding barn NEEDS to understand they are going to cause the donkey to founder by continuing to feed him his way.

On the hay, He probably only needs 2 flakes a day, not 4. But we also don't want to "starve" the donkey into losing weight as that can cause ulcers or colic. Equine stomachs/ guts are designed to eat small amounta of food all day long, not meals. Being empty causes the stomach acids to rise and leads to problems. The best way to feed would be a small flake in the morning, a small flake in the afternoon, and a small flake in the evening. And NO GRAIN!! lol! Hay should be first and foremost in a diet, and feed (aa in a low sugar pellet) should be secondary, or supplemental, for animals who need more calories to keep weight on. This really only happens with animals who are rode/ worked a LOT or are growing. A pasture ornament donkey and mini are not going to need extra calories
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TN Belle

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Thank You Marty!! Is he a local farrier in this neck of the woods? My new barn is in Birchwood, very literally within reach of the Hwy 60 bridge over the TN River, just across from Dayton. The current one that the boarding barn uses will not come to my place, so other than trailering the boys over all the time, I need to find a new farrier. Right now, I pay $20 for trimming each mini plus a travel fee of $10, so my usual total is $50. If I can stick to that, even better.

The barn has an appointment fairly soon and I want to be there in person to hear what he has to say rather than just getting the bill in the mail. I also hope to get out there today and get pictures to show what I am concerned with.

He doesn't act sore yet, so hopefully we can prevent any further damage, but it is definitely concerning me.
 

TN Belle

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OKAY, Here are some pictures if I can get it to work.

What do you think, they are chipped too.

AmosFeet2.jpg


AmosFeet4.jpg


This is him clipped this early May, you can see the shadow of the big roll/crest he has.

AmosShaved.jpg
 
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Marty

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I'm attempting to hook you up Misty. Hang in there and I'll get back to you asap.
 
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Bunnylady

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Yipes! I'd be worried about those feet, too!

I'm no expert, but I'd have to suspect founder, as per some of the previous posts.
 

JourneysEnd

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Those do look like you may be having laminitis issues.

It's hard to tell angles from a picture because you never know how the feet were loaded, but in the second

picture see how the hoof wall is straight just below the coronary band and then angles out ?

The angle of the hoof wall should match the angle of the pasture and his don't (by this picture)

Either you have a club foot or you've got a founder.

If Marty can get a good trimmer to you, they should be able to pull those heels down.

You can de-rotate a founder in most cases, if that's indeed what you have. A farrier will be able to tell

by the scar tissue in the wall at the toe.
 

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