Hyperlipidemia

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Nuzzle

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I have been a lurker for quite some time but figured now is the time to come out of the woodwork. My mother has a mini donkey who a week and a half ago started to loose interest in his food. This is when the weather here in AZ became really hot and stayed there. We figured since he was eating but just not as much that maybe it was the heat. He had no fever, his pulse and respiration was normal and he still was moving around. So there was no indications that anything was a miss with him. Well Sunday evening he decided to skip his dinner. We knew this meant something was up with him. He had a slight fever also. By Monday morning he still was not eating and the vet drew bloodwork on him and tubed him and gave him electrolytes and mineral oil since it didn't appear he was drinking either. He started him on antibiotics and Banamine. I asked if it could be hyperlipidemia and he said highly unlikely that it appeared to be more of an infectious agent. Well the blood work came back yesterday showing an increased WBC count and the begginning stages of hyperlipidemia. The vet came back yesterday mid day and started him on Insulin shots 2 times a day for 3 days and we need to syringe dextrose into him 2 times a day for 3 days. He also wanted us to syringe Karo syrup into him every few hours in addition to us force feeding him grain with Karo syrup. Well about a 1/2 hour after getting the insulin I borrowed a flake of Alfalfa from our neighbor and offered it to him. He dove into it and ate 3/4 flake. We felt so postitive about that. But he has drank nothing in almost 24 hours. Now were worried he will impact and last night he refused to eat again. I am running over to my Moms this morning to see how he is doing and to help give his shot. He seemed to me to be weaker last night than he was in the morning. Has anybody who has been through this have any words of advice. The vet really wanted her to hospitalize him but she can not afford it and we figured between the two of us (I live 3 doors down) that we can tag team him and keep on top of everything he needs. This donkey means the world to my mother. My mother has major medical issues and her little guy is the one thing that keeps her getting out of bed. She rescued him 10 years ago from an abusive situation and he was so rank. He would kick at averyone. Now he is the sweetest donkey ever and completely safe with my kids. She will do whatever she can for him within financial limits but we both feel lost about if what he is doing (i.e. eating then not eating ) is normal or not.

Thanks for reading and sorry it's so long.
 

Miniv

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Prayers going out to your little donkey........ From my limited experience with Hyperlipidemia, your fellow really does need an IV drip. It may be possible to have your vet put the IV in and you and your mom could manage it at home. But it requires constant vigilance. Hoping and praying for the best.........
 

Sue J

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Hi, I do understand about the cost of hospitalization, but, if you are dealing with hyperlipidemia, my advice would be to hospitalize the donkey. I had a mare that was lost due to hyperlipidemia. It's very difficult to treat especially once the toxins take over. Most miniature medical publications will have info regarding hyperlipidemia that will give you some insight as to how ugly this can be. I hope your outcome is better than my experience was. Best of luck with the donkey.
 

whitney

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When my horses were sick I was able to get the 1% of body weight in water in them by soaking alfalfa cubes or pellets.
 

Reignmaker Miniatures

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I get chills whenever I see that word 'Hyperlipemia' .I agree with those who have said he needs an IV drip. You must keep him hydrated and you MUST stop the cycle of destruction his body has begun if he is to survive this. I lost a mare who had a 10 day old foal at her side this spring and she was hospitalized for nearly 2 weeks. My vet tube fed her twice a day, kept her on IV (dehydration is another enemy here) and used the strongest antibiotics she could find (there was some indication she may have had an infection altho nothing to indicate it would be a serious concern) In spite of everything we tried and MANY MANY long days for my vet, Lady just gave up the fight one afternoon. My advice is to avoid ALL fats, feed sugars and if he'll eat alfalfa feed him alfalfa, feed him anything and everything he shows ANY interest in eating. I wish I had something positive to tell you, I know some people had beaten this condition but not easily. I still believe if we hadn't had a late spring and there had been grass for Lady to eat she would have made it (she wanted to graze, we just didn't have more than tiny bits of green yet) Good luck, your mother and her long eared friend will be in my thoughts.
 
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Nuzzle

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I have an update on Tom the donkey. I was over there with him all this morning. He has taken his meds with no problem and actually came right over like he knew the procedure. He ate another half flake of alfalfa and some senior food with Karo syrup on it. It still seems to me that he is not taking water because the water in the bucket does not appear to be going down. He has really dark BM's. I watched him urinate and it looked like he peed egg yolks. It was flourescent yellow and stringy. We are waiting to speak to the vet to see what he thinks of that. We did ask about putting an IV in him yesterday but the vet said at that point in time it was not necessary. If he had an IV I can definitely give him fluids. I was a vet tech many years ago (though have forgotten alot and have never delt with hyperlipidemia) and have no problems doing that or shots or anything. I feel so much more hopeful with his interest in food but I know we are not out of the woods. He wanted to go out today so we turned him out and will leave him out for about an hour or so per vets orders yesterday. He seems happy to be with his friends. I was wondering (since we don't know what the source of the infection that actually started this whole cycle is) if he maybe has a bladder infection. We will know what to do after speaking to the vet today. Thank you for all the suggestions I will pass them along to my Mom.
 

HGFarm

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I have never dealt directly with this horrible problem, but know others who have, and it was not a good outcome. I dont know any that have survived, personally. Yes, especially in this horrible heat, he MUST be kept hydrated and I am shocked that no IV has been done, or some way to get fluids into him. Running at over 110 the last couple of weeks here, it is WAY too hot and he will dehydrate FAST. This will not help flush his body of the toxins and other things going on there.

Will he eat soaked beet pulp, pellets, cubes or something? Any updates from the vet recently?
 

Carolyn R

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You may want to try soaking his hay for about 20 minutes in luke warm water. It is long enough to get some fluids into the hay (and into him) but not so long that it greatly destroys the nutritional value. You can also try buying a bag of alfalfa cubes and soaking them instead of giving (or with ) the alfalfa hay.

Carolyn
 

Nuzzle

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Well the vet said he is not dehydrated and that Donkeys do not need as much water as a horse due to their desert ancestry. He said also that the bright yellow egg yolk colored urine was normal considering what he is going through. Tom drank a whole bunch this afternoon and is wanting to eat so the vet says he thinks we may be over the hump. He said no guarantees that we are out of the woods yet just that it's showing he has fight and that looks good. The vet said he will redraw the blood next Wed to see what his values are at. Thanks everyone for your suggestions and just letting me rattle. Donkeys are so stoic and I know that when they act sick it can be really bad. But this Donkey has a will to live and I think he is showing my Mom what she has to do to fight her health battles.
 

kaykay

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this can be beat but you have to treat them very aggressively! A sit back and watch approach doesnt work. If you cant get an IV in him then I would syringe gatorade or StressDX into him. Either one should make him want to drink water. STressDX is an orange powder you mix with water. Its full of vitamins and salt and I have had it work miracles on a couple of my horses getting them to drink. Remember anytime a horse is sick it is stressed. Keep him eating as much as you can. Walking on green grass helps alot!

sending prayers
 

Hosscrazy

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I have only been through it once ... I am sorry to hear that the donkey is not in a hospital.

Best wishes,,

Liz R.
 

[email protected]

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If he does indeed have hyperlipidemia or hyperlipemia (difference is the actual numbers) aggressive treatment is in order and it can resolve very quickly - at least in minis. I haven't a clue how donkeys differ in this area!

Our mare that had was disoriented, wobbly on her feet and dropped close to 50lbs (we dont know exactly how much but from fairly robust to ribby) seemingly overnight. She also had a month old foal on her, which was contributing to the problem but weaning it away she stressed even more. The vets had her in ICU and her hyperlipemia turned around in 36 hours as far as it wasn't getting worse.

She did remain there for a few more days as we were chasing an infection that we couldn't locate and we wanted her as stable as possible. They finally sent her home with the hopes she'd make it (although they didn't really think she would!). We kept a buffet in front of her literally in my backyard - fresh grass, 2 types of hay, grain w/beet pulp, foallac pellets wet and dry and we syringe gatoraide in her to keep her drinking (as well as salting the food!). She was also on antibiotics, FastTrack as a problotic, EquiMune to pump up her immunities too. It took two weeks but she finally rebounded. She's the one that just had a c-section in April which she's recovered from really fast (only 3 days in hospital) with no other health issues at all!

Good luck with your donkey!
 

coopermini

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We just went thru this with a 19 year old mare with a month old foal this spring. Very aggressive care is needed with minis. Maybe Donkeys are tougher? She is still recovering and will be for a couple more months. She is just off her meds. She spent 9 Days at New England Equine and with out their constant care for the first few days she would not have made it. Her case started with a mild impaction or at least that was the first symptom we saw along with slightly decreased appitite. testing also showed she had Hapatic Lipidosis (sp?) at the same time.

Hoping all goes well!

Mark
 

wendi leigh

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I found this article to be very informative when I was researching hyperlipidemia:

http://wwwchem.csustan.edu/chem4400/sjbr/99boyce.htm

When my mare was in the hospital last month following a C-section, her triglycerides jumped way up at one point and they started insulin therapy immediately to resolve the problem. Within 48 hours the numbers were back to normal and she was ready to come home (where she is still on stall rest to recover from the surgery -- ugh)

Best wishes for your donkey to make a speedy recovery.
 

Nuzzle

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Well Tom is doing wonderful. He is back to eating anything we offer him and he is drinking water with electrolytes in it. His strength is coming back and the little sparkle in his eye is returning. He is also having normal BMs again. I truly felt between the two of us we could pull him thorough (with his will of course) and we did. My Mom is staying in contact with the Vet on a daily basis and he feels we have it beat also. He still wants to wait until this coming Wed to redraw his blood. So of course until then we won't relax but we feel very positive.

Thank you everybody for your words of advice. I know several felt he should be in the hospital but it was not a financial option (and please don't judge without knowing the situation) but we gave him the same level of service at home. He was not always a willing patient and as a true Donkey he was stubborn with taking his oral meds. I have never seen an animal swallow their tongue to shut their throat but Tom did. After a twice a day ritual of going into his throat to fetch it we did get his meds in. Luckily he never clamped down on my arm and truthfully I think he appreciated it because he always followed it up with a big sigh and a head nudge to my arm when we were done. He was always a standoffish Donkey prior to this. He was a gentle soul but never a lot of personality due to the abuse he endured prior to my mom owning him but now.......he Brays loud when he sees you and he comes when you call him and he stays right by you. He knows we helped him and he has helped us.
 

SammyL

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I know several felt he should be in the hospital but it was not a financial option
[SIZE=10pt]Believe me, I know the feeling.
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From your post, you can tell you love your donkey.
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Good luck with your friend. I hope he continues to feel better!
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