Thursday, April 11, 2013


Badger Update from Thursday 4-11-13  8 pm pst 

Well it was a bit of a frantic day for me.  Badger is doing just OK, no worse which is an excellent thing.  The ER vet I had briefly gotten to know and liked was off today and tomorrow.  Another ER vet called and went right into a whole new plan of action.  I had to stop him and confirm I was talking to a different doctor (in my defense I was in my diesel truck and had pulled off the road but still couldn’t hear well enough to ascertain it was a different doc). 

 can you see the braids holding the IV line in place?!  have you ever tried to braid a donkeys mane?!  I want to meet the person who accomplished this feat!

They scoped him again around noon and the mass of pelleted psyllium and hay was now gone.  So they were going to feed him a senior sweet feed with the powder psyllium in it.  WHOA NELLIE -feed him what?  What happened to tubing to get the psyllium in his stomach.  They want him to eat 1-2 cups of psyllium mixed in sweet feed every 4 hours?!  

I had to stop again and go back over the original game plan, which I realize can change as time goes by.  The reasoning did seem plausible: he had been scoped through his nostril, like an NG tube, so many times they wanted to save his nose.  But my mind was going to saving irritation to his nose or getting life threatening sand out of his digestive tract.  And in sweet feed no less.  I reiterated that he was IR and had laminitis before and I avoided at any cost any sweetened starchy products.  Even his treats are 95% sugar free (Beet Treats).  I emphasized I didn’t want to cure one thing and then him down with laminitis.

I reluctantly mentioned the IR/LAM/EMS formula he is one that worked wonders on all 3 little boys.  I have lived my life surrounded by homeopathic, naturopathic practitioners and know all too well how the allopathic medical community feels about them.  I also know firsthand how medical schools, nursing schools, veterinary schools start immediately at the new students brainwashing them that there is only one way to treat: with their medicine.  Oh don’t get me started.  

We came to a compromise that I would bring the formula over for him to inspect.  I Gave him Dr. Thomas’ information so he could research on his own.  I would agree to try the sweet feed treatment if he would agree to allow Badger to take his formula to try and counteract the heavy load of sugar to his system.

I hung up and called For Love Of The Horse.  Explained the situation and asked what dosage they would recommend.  Well again I can’t say enough about everyone there.  Not only were they discussing the treatment amongst themselves,  Leah and Melissa suggested another alternative: why not use a low starch feed like Purina Well Solve Low Starch which does not load as a sugar.  Well duh why didn’t I think of that?  Many thanks to them again.  I called vet back made suggestion but they don’t have any low starch feed there.

Well there was only one thing to do.  Take my granddaughter home, find someone who carried it and go visit my Badg a day early.  Does anyone know the 91 in southern California?  If you do you know the dread of taking it at rush hour in any direction.  But at least I wasn’t hauling the trailer this time.

When I arrived there he was with IV hanging from the ceiling finishing a bowl of sweet feed with psyllium.  Well of course he loved it, he was hungry and it was sweet.  I wish I could take my meds in chocolate syrup.  Any way we made another bowl with the LS feed another 2 cups of psyllium.  I see one advantage to the sweet feed, it’s moist and sticky and psyllium really sticks to it.  Not so much with the dry feed.  So we will have to see how it goes.  I met the new vet, showed him the formula which he shrugged at but agreed it wouldn’t hurt anything.  
psyllium not sticking to low starch pellets.  He was picking up the bowl and trying to dump it. 

I stayed for a while and sat on floor, will remember to bring a chair next time.  He walked around me, laid his head on my shoulder and snorted in my ear.  Initially I was a bit disappointed that he didn’t bray to greet me and run to me.  I figured he was mad at me for leaving him there! 
The vet did mention that when they scoped him he did have long hairs in his belly.  He said that psyllium doesn’t remove an actual hair ball, that requires surgery.  So I am hoping that its only a little hair.  Tail bag for Carb! 


  1. You might want to get in touch with the Donkey Sanctuary in the uk. They have full time vets there who will answer questions and consult with other vets if yours is willing. All they do is work on donkeys. Just go to their contact page and there is a link on there somewhere. They are usually very prompt at responding and they would know if the sweet feed is OK in this situation. It might be in the circumstances. It may even help prevent hyperlipemia, but I am not sure.

    If they can get the pysllium into him without the ng tube, it would be better. Donkeys have very small nasal passages and it would be very bad if they were damaged.

    Also, you might try soaking the pelleted feed a bit before you add the pysllium so that it will stick. If you have to, add a bit of molasses to the pellets, it would still be far less sugar than the sweet feed and might be a good compromise.

    I hope he is feeling better soon. Good luck.

    1. Hello! We've consulted our human who works for the Donkey Sanctuary and we think you've been in touch with us? Hoping that the info from one of the team was useful. Here is what our human had to say...

      For what it's worth I think the idea about soaking the pelleted feed is a great one, sweet feed is not something we'd recommend in anything but completely anorexic cases. A great trick to get powders and meds in to donkeys is fruit juice to mix in to a paste with meds which you then add to low starch pellets, I have also used peppermint cordial, grated carrots, pears and apples or mashed banana (organic banana and apple baby food works a treat!) These will all have sugar in them but at much lower levels than a sweet feed. As The Dancing Donkey said if your vets need to talk donkeys ours are always happy to help!

      Good luck with Badger and keep in touch with us at the DS if we can help :-)

  2. Poor guy. That's frustrating with the sweet feed issue too, hope things improve more!

  3. So trying when your animals are in the care of others. I like Kris's suggestion that the sweet feed might be o.k. just for now, and her suggestion to get in touch with the experts at the DS.

    When Badger makes it through this trial, he'll have been renewed because of you after all those years of neglect with his previous owner. It takes a special kind of person.....

  4. The only thing I know about Donkeys is what I have learned from reading donkey blogs, so I have no good advice for you what so ever. I do how ever have many healing prayers for your boy. Hopefully that helps.