Welcome to my blog - a diary about living with donkeys, notes about care, my training sessions and the absolute pleasure of donkey companionship.

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Thursday, January 31, 2013


Radar - the kind that tells you "trouble up ahead" is like a second skin to me! I think it might help me turn my hair prematurely gray ... or worse! But my vet says i have "gift" for knowing something isn't right with a donkey.  Early detection - like a tsunami alert!

So, when I noticed that Siog wasn't "herself" which by the way, means rambunctious, noisy and pushy - I was, at first on amber alert and then on high alert!  Both Siog and Dorica still needed to have their teeth floated so I asked the vet to come, thinking that she could check Siog and at least do Dorrie's teeth.

Turned out that Siog had a fever of 100.8!  I had checked her gums, which looked good and had been giving her an evening mash, with bran every other night and also probiotics but have to admit that I was horrible about taking temperatures as, even with my strongest reading glasses, I was having trouble seeing the darn mercury!

So Dorica had her teeth floated (and boy she remembered that colic episode and was not too pleased at having another IV injection!) but we didn't do Siog's teeth as that would have caused stress and sedation would have caused her fever to spike. 

For the past few days, the protocol was: paste Banamine - 1/2 cc. once or twice a day if needed, cold water enemas until her fever came down and walks out for wet grass. I sat myself down and finally trained my eye to see the mercury in the thermometer, so I have been taking her temp 3 times a day.  It came down to normal (98.6) right after the first enema and dose of Banamine.

The hope/ goal was that she wouldn't get impacted!  Her manure still seems too dry and not plentiful enough.  And I don't think any of the donkeys are drinking enough water!

What could have caused this?  Well, Siog was coughing a bit too, or clearing her throat and I think she ate some portion of new cedar rails that got piled inside the fence before being taken up to the new paddock area.  That's the guess anyway.

She seems much better now, although I am keeping a close eye and still giving an evening mash and making sure she has a bit of wet grass daily.  I will still have to book a dental float for her in the next month and until then, I'll be minimizing any feed that is very coarse or long and getting as much wet stuff into her as I think will help her push feed through her digestive system.  Trying to maintain a good balance.


  1. Oh no poor you, hope Siog continues to improve, you're doing all the right things. Sending you all good luck vibes and hugs from across the water xx

  2. Always something...I am glad Siog is OK. You might want to get yourself a digital thermometer. They sell for around $3 and are easy to read. I've gotten so I just carry one around in the pocket of my barn coat all the time. I don't think they are as absolutely accurate as the good mercury versions, but much easier and durable. I occasionally calibrate it with the mercury thermometer just to be sure of accuracy. I have found frequent temp checks to be very valuable when dealing with donkeys and these cheap digital thermometers make it a lot easier.

  3. Thanks- I have a digital but the battery was dead! For me that means a ferry trip to "town!" Got a new battery today and will check it against the mercury thermometer. Do you lubricate it first? My vet says the digital ones are not that accurate. Siog seems okay now and I have stopped taking her temp.