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, March 29, 2018

Siog, puzzling conditions and acupuncture

I have promised to write about Siog (She-OH-g) She is my youngest donkey and will be 11 this summer (who can believe it?)  She came to live with me from a farm on Pender island - her birth place, when she was 3 years old. her owner told me she was "very alpha," which didn't bother me in the least but whatever the term, she is certainly a character and I have to say she has been my teacher.

You see that look?  Well, her eyes follow me everywhere, she whimpers like a dog, she is smart as a tack, curious and loves clicker training!  Still, she has her antics ... such as coming to a complete dead STOP on our walks, refusing to walk through the gate when we (finally) get back and her puzzling displays of physical disomfort.

I have been keeping notes on her outward signs of discomfort for, well, years now!  I don't think there is anything terribly wrong, this after years of trial and error supplements, diet changes, consultations with various vets, ulcer treatments, fecal floats and panels, medical check-ups and simply gazing into those eyes and asking her questions.

So what does the discomfort look like?  Biting her flank (either side) pinning her ears, chasing the other donkeys, irritable with the other donkeys, sometimes pawing, occasionally a roll or two and always, always food calms her down. Sounds like colic, doesn't it?  But it's not. It's stagnant liver chi, it's being a jenny, it's attitude, it's possibly digestive (as in bloating, cramps, hind gut acididosis ...) all of the above or none of the above.

It's NOT my worst nightmares of enterolith, pancreatitis, ovarian tumors ... I don't think so anyway.
So now we are trying acupuncture and it seems to help her ... a lot! She has had about 5 treatments from our very skilled vet.

One of the things I have noticed about Siog is that she hates to touched on her back, doesn't like to be groomed and often stands camped out with her hind legs out at an angle. Like this:

And the acupuncture treatments have helped with much of this. Siog is always at liberty during the treatments, free to walk away and she never does - and it takes awhile too before the copper needles are ready to pop out.

For more info, I just read this interesting article about acupuncture and equine:

Siog always seems so calm after her treatments, so reading the signs, I'd say they are helping her!

"zzzzzzz ..."


  1. this is really interesting. I have a friend whose horse is VERY similar ... I shared your blog with her....SIOG is so beautiful!

    1. Thanks Kate - I have been in touch with your friend - thanks for the connection!