Senior Donkey

Discussion in 'Mini Donkey Talk!' started by Norah, Mar 20, 2013.

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  1. Mar 20, 2013 #1

    Norah

    Norah

    Norah

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    Hi ,

    I have a senior Donkey , standard size ..1 meter . Der Willi is about 39 years old , never vaccinated , lived a healthy life , stabled at night but in the Alps during the day grazing , protecting sheep , pulling a sled , you name it he has done it . he is now retired and just hanging out with his miniature horse friends, and has been healthy for the most part , a few minor problems here and there , but nothing extream.

    here is my question..

    this year has been hard on Willi. He was not eating his hay, spitting out clumps , and he was rubbing his hair off his neck. we called the vet out and had his teeth floated again. found out he had lice , which he has never had before , we gave him a shot , and everything seemed fine .... its been a month and now he has rubbed off all the fur on the side of his jaw line. he has always been a face rubber ... but the fact that now its just one side that he is rubbing , and the hair is completely gone to the skin tells me there is a bigger problem then itchy face . we will call the vet again , but there are 2 factors going on ...... I live in an area where special care is not given to "animals" and the vets are livestock vets , also he is 39 ....

    we will definatly get the vet back today or tomorrow as he needs to follow his pacients progress after the floating , but is Willi , just showing the signs of being at the end of his life ? if he was not in my care he would have been dead by now , I do buy him special food , pellets and a "wellness " diet that would make my ponys as big as a house , he is not thin , not fat , but i can feel his ribs ...the vets say he is in excellent condition, but he wont eat grass hay at all .. how long do i keep feeding him these rich pellets ? I figure once the green spring grass comes in I will put him in a big grassy pasture to eat the soft grass , if he founders , which he wont , but if he does i will euthanize him if its bad ... he has been on pasture all his life and never foundered though . what would you do in this situation?

    here is a recent photo

    krissy

    IMG_1026.JPG
     
  2. Mar 20, 2013 #2

    chandab

    chandab

    chandab

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    Krissy,

    No real advice, but just wanted to say i'm always amazed with Der Willis, 39 years is a fabulous life for an equine. Its a tough question that only you and Der Willis can answer; but if he's still eating well, getting around well (not plagued by arthritis) and seems pretty happy, then I'd probably give him more time on earth to enjoy being a donkey. Can you get beet pulp? You could cut the rich food with some plain soaked beet pulp, if he'll eat it.

    The rubbing on his face could still be lice issues, even with the shot; you probably killed the adults, but any eggs or nits would have hatched upto 10 days after the shot and might not have been taken care of by one shot. Can you get any kind of insecticide dust for livestock where you are? What I've used is a 0.25% permethrin dust product that is safe for dairy, beef, swine, equine and even cats and dogs. I can get it in a small shaker can; you just sprinkle it on, rub it in and repeat in 10 days to be sure you get he new hatch before they can produce more. [i do wear disposible gloves when I use it. And, be sure to avoid the eye, nostils and sensitive areas. I usually just sprinkle it on the mane, down the back, base of tail and point of hocks.]
     
  3. Mar 21, 2013 #3

    drmatthewtaylor

    drmatthewtaylor

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    Clearly he has not just a long, but also a charmed life. He is lucky to have had you.

    1) Lice tend to be more of a problem in the immunodeficient which usually includes the very young and very old. I'm not sure what drug you used to treat him, but no drug kills every life cycle (lice are insects so they have 4 life stages, egg, larva, pupae, and adult). So, we usually treat at least twice at 2 week intervals and a 3rd time wouldn't be a bad idea. I use oral ivermectin and a permethrin/pyrethrin topical used on dairy cattle.

    2) I'm surprised he has any teeth left to float, most equine of this age would have lost many if not nearly all molars. Even if he still has teeth, I doubt they work very. So, I don't mind at all that he doesn't eat hay. He doesn't have to. You can buy (and it might be what you have already) a complete feed in pelleted form. If you read the ingredients you will see that alfalfa is a major component. Essentially the pellets are 'pre-chewed' hay, this makes hay and grass unnecessary to feed.

    Dr. Taylor
     
  4. Mar 25, 2013 #4

    Norah

    Norah

    Norah

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    thank you , both !!! I will get powder and apply again. Yes I have a complete pellet called wellness , and fresh ground flax seed , and a very good mineral suppliment , AND a chopped feed , like sweet feed for the fiber , so I will continue this . His poop looks good , food is being digested, I did not think about the fact that pellets are a form of hay , makes sense thank you !. Dr Taylor , the" taylor " ponys are doing very well , peach has recovered , completely from her last owners neglect here in Switzerland , and both will live here in the Alps with me until one of us dies , hopefully them before me . As much as I love Der Willi , I was hoping he was getting closer to the "rainbow" ...he may outlive all of us . He may be more clever then the grim reaper, being an alp donk, that spent his life guarding sheep and goats , he has never had a vaccine , and it takes 3 men to get a worming paste in his mouth. He can smell the vet before he enters the village , and takes off running !

    thanks for the help !!
     
  5. Mar 30, 2013 #5

    bevann

    bevann

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    If you can get a product to keep fleas and ticks off dogs it will work for lice.Has to have the ingredient Premetherin(sp?) It often comes in small tubes that you just snip off the end and apply.I have used it several times.Buy the size for a large dog 55 lbs and up and put 1 tube from the poll to the base of the mane another form the base of the mane to the tail.We have birds with lice and my very hairy horses got them.Worked like a charm.Williy will let you know when he's ready to leave this earth.doesn't sound like he's ready yet.Bless you for taking good care of him.Too bad he can't talk and tell you some of his life experiences.
     

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