Please help, no one else has

We have 4 miniature donkeys. Before you say, I do not work with donkeys, please read. One has been sick, depressed, loosing weight since March. There have been 4 vets ...We have 4 miniature donkeys. Before you say, I do not work with donkeys, please read. One has been sick, depressed, loosing weight since March. There have been 4 vets ...

Story originally posted by: Michael Lowder, DVM, MS

Dear Dr Lowder
We have 4 miniature donkeys. Before you say, I do not work with donkeys, please read.

One has been sick, depressed, loosing weight since March. There have been 4 vets from 3 different veterinary offices (one of which was supposedly an equine expert but who admitted after arriving that she’d never worked with donkeys, even though I asked the office help when calling to set up the appointment). One took blood and recommended all types of medicine. Fortunately, before I agreed to do so, I looked on the bloodwork report and noticed that the paper said ‘feline’. They had run the blood work report against the standards for a cat! I was able to find standards for a donkey, which I was suprised to find are quite a bit different than a horse. Everything was normal, except calcium was .1 low, barely worth noticing.

She’s been wormed 3 times since April. She’s been on medicine for diarrhea, bute, and more. One vet suggested that I give her vitamins, because nothing else can be found to be the problem. I’ve been unable to find information on dosages for a miniature donkey. I’ve read current and back issues of Miniature Donkey Talk magazine, the book ‘Caring For Your Miniature Donkey’ and the ‘Brayer’ magazine, and more. I cannot find anything that says how much to give her. I do feel that perhaps selenium and vitamin E (from what I have read) might be what she needs. We’re in Southeastern Ohio, I guess our soil is usually selenium deficient.

She is weak in the hind quarters but not lame. She looks like a cow, pot belly, hip bones and spine sticking up and out. She’s depressed, her eyes and coat are dull. She almost always has diarrhea. I am at my wits end trying to get someone competant to help. I’ve spent all the money I can on vet visits, my husband is not happy! so I’m trying all the web sites I can. A friend recommended horsecity.com.

A reply would be appreciated!

Kim Caito

Kim,

This is a good one. First, I want you to deworm the donkey with fenbendazole at 10 mg/Kg once a day for five days in a row. How old is this donkey? What is the vaccination history? When was the last time her teeth have been floated? Send me some more information.

Thanks,
Dr. Lowder