I knew that when I decided to live with more donkeys, I was also increasing my opportunities to deal with health issues by 50%!
Yesterday, poor little Siog was lame in her left front foot. It started slowly - I couldn't even tell which front foot was bothering her but then progressed quickly - she was barely weight bearing and holding her hoof in the air. Oh - oh! Get out the first aid kit!
I made some external healing oil: I used 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon each of tea tree oil and golden seal powder. Put all that into a dark bottle with a dropper.
I have no idea if those proportions are correct but I wanted to use equal parts tea tree + golden seal and I think a little goes a long way. I also gave her a homeopathic spray (in her mouth) for infections.
I soaked her hoof twice yesterday in very warm water + a lot of Epsom Salts (trying for 20 minutes per soak!) then applied a poultice. I used Animalintex (which is a pad impregnated in something to help draw out the infection,) dunked just for a second in warm water, then cotton batting, then a few pieces of hockey tape and many pieces of duct tape.
Hoof soaking provides a great opportunity to clicker train stationary things, like hand targeting, standing quietly, etc. and Siog was wonderful about it all. I think her hoof must have really be painful as she preferred to hold it up and was very happy to let me dress it.
This morning I was worried, as everybody else came out of the barn but Siog hung back waiting for her hay bag to be delivered (very uncharacteristic!) Normally I like to get them moving around in the morning, so in nice weather, I put the bags on the ground where they have to walk out to get them. This morning Siog had hers delivered (donkeys know best!) and I noticed that the poultice was partially off her hoof so maybe that's why she was reluctant to walk!
She seems much improved this morning, still limping but weight bearing. I took the poultice off but will still continue to treat. The heat in her hoof is noticeably lessened too.