Donkeys evolved from the desert meaning one of their gifts is to survive and thrive on low sugar/protein forage. When donkeys are fed the wrong foods and given the ability to graze twenty-four seven on pasture and brush along with fruits, cereal treats, oats and even vitamins they can gain weight quickly and become obese.
What Is Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) do horses get it?
Equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) is a disorder causing the blood insulin levels to become too high along with fat on the body and in the blood. Making it very difficult for equine (horses, donkeys, ponies) to lose weight. Donkeys with EMS produce higher than normal levels of insulin and are slow to return to a normal value.
Donkey side effects:
A fat donkey, cresty neck, fat pockets on the body, diarrhea, drinking more water, chronic hoof abscesses, laminitis, white line disease, cushing’s, laminitis.
How Can I Prevent EMS?
Watch the diet closely, work with your vet to do preventive care such a blood work and Thyro-L for a short amount of time along with diet and exercise.
What Can I Do To Help My Donkey or Horse that has EMS?
Do not starve your equine. Test your hay before you purchase it for the year. A great place to send off hay samples is Equine Analytical Lab. Use a slow feeder we use the Hay Pillow using 1 1/4 holes. Last but most importantly portion control you may need to weigh your hay. If you have a thin donkey needing to gain weight you may have to create another eating arrangement for the obese donkey. Do not let this equine graze on grass or brush ever as the sugar is too high.
Weigh your donkey regularly
Create a track for your equine to walk and run keep moving but not eat fresh grass. A great book is Paddock Paradise.
If you need help selecting a blanket I am here to help you. Order in our store at Donkey Whisperer Farm ®.
How Do I Measure My Donkey For A Blanket?
Thank you for investing in your donkeys,
Melody Johnson, Donkey Whisperer Farm ®