The Dangers of Obesity in Donkeys
Donkeys evolved from the desert. Donkeys living in the U.S.A. are being overfed and fed the wrong foods. Once the neck crest breaks over nothing can be done to repair the neck. Insulin resistance, laminitis, and soon death. If you rescue a donkey with this abuse, get a donkey vet fast. You can save this donkey’s life. Diet changes everything in most cases, test all of your hay, equine analytical lab in the USA to ensure 10% or lower in sugar and protein, no grain, create a donkey track, clean water, salt, and portion control with a slow feeder.
The donkey must live on a dry pasture or paddock for the majority of their life. If we feed the wrong foods such as alfalfa hay, apples, pears, cookies, oats, bread, or munching all day on grass, brush, and trees we will see this in our donkey’s neck. Not to mention death. Death comes next as the donkey evolved from the desert, the donkey was created to live on low sugar/protein hay, clean water. Round bales for the donkey will cause this too! Hay should be measured and controlled as the donkey evolved from the desert.
Laminitis is a condition in which there is inflammation in the laminae of the foot that connect the pedal bone to the hoof wall. This can progress to rotation or sinking of the pedal bone within the foot. The cause is not fully understood and many factors are involved but obese animals are more prone to develop the disease.”
Equine Metabolic Syndrome: Overweight donkeys often develop a fat, crest neck and fat pads around their tail base. When this occurs the donkey can develop a metabolic disease known as ‘Equine Metabolic Syndrome’. This causes insulin resistance and increased levels of blood glucose (blood sugar) in the bloodstream. In equids, this can lead to recurrent episodes of laminitis or founder. This disease involves inflammation of the white lining or laminar junctions of the feet, extreme foot pain and difficulty walking and chronic abscesses. In severe cases, this is death for the donkey.
Select What Is Cushing’s
Hyperlipaemia is a condition in which triglycerides (fats) are released into circulation which can result in organ failure and death unless treated rapidly. The early signs of dullness and reduced appetite can be difficult to detect. Hyperlipaemia can be triggered by anything that causes a reduction in food intake e.g. stress, transport, dental disease.
Causes of hyperlipaemia
A number of risk factors have been identified as contributing to this condition. It is known that a female donkey is at higher risk than a male, especially when there are high energy demands such as if she is pregnant or lactating. Overweight and obese animals are at higher risk than those in average condition but even thin donkeys are at risk. Donkeys that have lost significant weight in the preceding weeks should be monitored carefully as they are at a much higher risk of developing this disease. When managing your donkey’s weight, care should be taken not to crash diet as this will put your donkey at risk.
Stress will cause a donkey to reduce its feed intake and can be brought on by many stressors such as:
- Removal or death of buddy
- Diet Change
- Living With Another Animal Who Is A Predator
- Bad weather
- Forced To Live A Life With Constant Stress And Abuse
Action Plan To Lose Weight – DO NOT STOP FEEDING THE DONKEY.
- Build Pastures made to exercise, a track
- Thyro-L can help along with tested hay low sugar/protein, no pasture and brush to eat and portion control.
- Ask your vet to do blood work insulin resistance or Cushings
- Have the equine vet dentist come out and examine the donkey’s teeth yearly. Fecal sampling spring and summer.
- Engage in an exercise routine
- Take Your Donkey For Walks
- Make Sure Your Donkey Has Toys and A Buddy To Play With
- Clean Water, warm clean water in winter and cool clean water summer.
- Test Your Hay 10% Or Lower In Sugar and Protein – Measure for portion control.
- No treats, sweets, bread, alfalfa, oats, vitamins or supplements are needed. Do give lose free salt with minerals.
Looking for more help?
Sign up for personal Consulting time with Melody Johnson WWW.DONKEYWHISPERER.COM