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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Saturday, March 31, 2018

Part two: More about Siog

There are some things I didn't mention in my post about Siog and her puzzling displays of discomfort.

While the acupuncture is helping her overall health, I don't think it's really "the thing" that is solving whatever is ailing her.  I didn't mention that she has bouts of liquid manure ... not diarrhea, just brown liquid sometimes.  Hmmm ... this points to digestive issues.

Ulcers cause belly ache and with belly ache, you don't feel like eating.  A donkey off her feed is a red flag alert!  And I would immediately take action.  I have a list of things I try right away and if nothing works, I call the vet. But that's for another post.

All this to say that I don't think Siog is suffering from ulcers, at least not stomach ulcers.  Her appetite is nothing short of amazing - I have never known her to be off her feed, in fact, she gains weight SO easily, I have to be really careful with her.

see those fat bulges?

However she has been treated with Gastroguard just to be sure, and then with a generic brand that also has the amino acid L-glutamine in it. L-glutamine works on the hind gut and hind gut digestive problems are different from stomach digestive problems.

A friend pointed me to these products: www.healthyhorses.ca 
and after trying numerous supplements added to her morning mash, or  in "extra" little mashes throughout the day, I think these are the very best so far.  They support digestive health in the stomach and also in the hind gut. Read about them!

But, we're not out of the woods yet. Siog has had the intensive round of all 3 products, then I back her off and if/ when I see her symptoms appear, I reintroduce the supplements.  She is on the top dressing granular supplement every day though.  And this morning, she was in a real snit, very unsettled and grumpy and chasing poor Rose ... so this will be a day to add the paste and the amino acids back in.  It's so trial and error, I doubt we'll ever home free with this gal.  But I watch her like a hawk and do what I can.

And one final note:  the hemming and hawing over whether her so called "displays" are physical or emotional? That's the 64 dollar question (remember that expression?)   She is a very emotional little donkey, no doubt about it, very annoyed when I work with one of the others, very annoyed if I walk by without asking to perform one of her many splendid behaviours, whimpering and watching me constantly! So ... I think it's both ... something's bugging her.  The way to help, I think, is offering her as much physical AND mental support as I can!


  1. has she been checked for hormonal in balances?

    1. Hi Lois, unfortunately there are no parameters for appropriate hormone levels for donkeys! We know that physiologically, donkeys are different from horses in so many ways, so really no point in assuming that their hormone parameters are the same. No research has been done for donkeys on this. Thanks for the suggestions!

  2. donkeys are very easy keepers,as you know, and prone to metabolic syndrome. Some equines have to go to a strict dry lot situation.

    Ingestion of too much fructan(sugar in grass) leads to fermentation in hingut and lactic acid buildup. Anorexia, ulcers, colic, & laminitis can occur. Consult your vet. Good luck getting to the bottom of this!

  3. Yes, thanks, Siog is very carefully monitored and grass intake is extremely minimal and time controlled, usually just a couple of mouthfuls a week during April, May and June.