Topics

Donkey support


Carrie
 

Hi, 
Before creating a Case History I am wondering if you are able to support me & my donkey.  Your experience & knowledge is demonstrated so well regarding the horse advice you provide.
 The Donkey Sanctuary here in the UK  highlight there are differences with donkeys compared to horses. They are keen to work directly with vets to ensuring they have donkey facts & research to depend on.
Therefore I feel it’s best to double check before recording the case study.
My girl has foot issues which have been with her for a number of years. If it is possible you can help, it would be great to gain your advice & input.

--
Carrie 
March 2021
UK 


Sherry Morse
 

Hi Carrie,

We have a number of members with donkeys and mules who will be able to help you.




 

Welcome Carrie,
Yes there are some differences in testing results. We do have members and/or moderators that can help you with that. Mean while I will direct you to our information packet for new members below. Please get comfortable with using our search tool. Nearly every page will have a "search box" on it. You can search the messages here and search our files. If you look at the column on the left side of the mail page you will see "Files". Click on that button then use the search box to enter words or terms.

We request that all new members provide us with a case history for each equine. It's the details of health, test results, diet, etc that are needed. Once you have joined our Case History sub-group you can begin building a case history document for your donkey. It's these details that that provide the "clues" often to hoof/laminitis issues. Do review all the sections of the informational document below, especially the DIET section. 

Welcome to the group! 

The ECIR Group provides the best, most up to date information on Cushing's (PPID) and Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS)/Insulin Resistance (IR). Please explore our website where you'll find tons of great information that will help you to quickly understand the main things you need to know to start helping your horse. Also open any of the links below (in blue font) for more information/instructions that will save you time.

Have you started your Case History? If you haven't done so yet, please join our case history sub-group. We appreciate you following the uploading instructions so your folder is properly set up with the documents inside. Go to this CH message with info on how to use various devices and forms. If you have any trouble, just post a message to let us know where you are stuck.

Orienting information, such as how the different ECIR sections relate to each other, message etiquettewhat goes where and many how-to pages are in the Wiki. There is also an FAQs on our website that will help answer the most common and important questions new members have. 

Below is a general summary of our DDT/E philosophy which is short for Diagnosis, Diet, Trim and Exercise.

 

DIAGNOSIS: There are two conditions dealt with here: Cushings (PPID) and Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS)/Insulin Resistance (IR). These are two separate issues that share some overlapping symptoms. An equine may be either PPID or EMS/IR, neither or both. While increasing age is the greatest risk factor for developing PPID, IR can appear at any age and may have a genetic component. Blood work is used for diagnosis as well as monitoring the level of control of each.

PPID is diagnosed using the Endogenous ACTH test, while EMS/IR is diagnosed by testing non-fasting insulin and glucose.

The fat-derived hormone leptin is also usually abnormally elevated in insulin resistance but because there are many other things which can lower or increase leptin ECIR is not recommending routine testing for this hormone. Leptin is the hormone that says "stop eating".

In Europe, adiponectin is tested instead of leptin. Adiponectin helps regulate glucose and fat burning, and maintain insulin sensitivity. Low levels are associated with EMS. It has come to be preferred over leptin because it is not influenced by things like weight or exercise, and also because it was the only factor other than insulin levels that predicted laminitis risk

*Before calling your vet to draw blood for tests, we suggest saving time and wasted money by reading these details and then sharing them with your vet so that everyone is on the same page regarding correct testing and protocols.

*Please remember to request copies of the results of all the tests done rather than just relying on verbal information. Your vet should be able to email these to you. If you have previous test results, please include those as well. All should go in your CH, but if you are having any trouble with the CH, just post in the messages for now. 

Treatment: EMS is a metabolic type - not a disease - that is managed with a low sugar+starch diet and exercise (as able). The super-efficient easy keeper type breeds such as minis, ponies, Morgans, Arabs, Rockies are some of the classic examples. PPID is a progressive disease that is treated with the medication pergolide. Some, but not all, individuals may experience a temporary loss of appetite, lethargy and/or depression when first starting the medication. To avoid this "pergolide veil" (scroll down for side effects), we recommend weaning onto the drug slowly and the use of the product APF. The best long term results are seen when the ACTH is maintained in the middle of the normal range at all times, including during the annual seasonal rise. To accomplish this, the amount of medication may need to increase over time. Neither condition is ever "cured", only properly controlled for the remainder of the equine's life. If your partner is both PPID and IR then both medication and diet management will be needed. 

DIET: Almost all commercial feeds are not suitable - no matter what it says on the bag. Please see the International Safe Feeds List for the safest suggestions.

No hay is "safe" until proven so by chemical analysis. The diet that works for IR is:

  • low carb (less than 10% sugar+starch)
  • low fat (4% or less) 
  • mineral balanced  

We use grass hay, tested to be under 10% ESC + starch, with minerals added to balance the excesses and deficiencies in the hay, plus salt, and to replace the fragile ingredients that are lost when grass is cured into hay, we add ground flax seed and Vitamin E. This diet is crucial for an EMS/IR horse, but also supports the delicate immune system of a PPID horse. 

*Until you can get your hay tested and balanced we recommend that you soak your hay and use the emergency diet (scroll down for it).  The emergency diet is not intended for long term use, but addresses some of the most common major deficiencies. Testing your hay and getting the minerals balanced to its excesses and deficiencies is the best way to feed any equine. If you absolutely cannot test your hay and balance the minerals to it, or would like to use a "stop gap" product until you get your hay balanced, here's a list of "acceptable" ration balancers

There is a lot of helpful information in the start here folder so it is important you read all the documents found there. The emergency diet involves soaking your untested hay for an hour in cold water or 30 minutes in hot water. This removes up to 30% of the sugar content, but no starch. Starch is worse than sugar since it converts 100% to glucose while sugar only converts 50%, so starch causes a bigger insulin spike. Make sure you dump the soaking water where the equine(s) can't get to it. 

What you don't feed on the EMS/IR diet is every bit as, if not more important than, what you do feed! No grass. No grain. No sugary treats, including apples and carrots. No brown/red salt blocks which contain iron (and sometimes molasses) which interferes with mineral balancing, so white salt blocks only. 

No products containing molasses. No bagged feeds with a combined sugar and starch of over 10% or starch over about 4%, or fat over about 4%. Unfortunately, even bagged feeds that say they are designed for IR and/or PPID equines are usually too high in sugar, starch and/or fat. It’s really important to know the actual analysis and not be fooled by a name that says it is suitable for EMS/IR individuals.

We do not recommend feeding alfalfa hay to EMS/IR equines as it makes many of them laminitic. Although it tends to be low in sugar, many times the starch is higher and does not soak out. Additionally, protein and calcium are quite high, which can contribute to sore footedness and make mineral balancing very difficult.

TRIM: A proper trim is toes backed and heels lowered so that the hoof capsule closely hugs and supports the internal structures of the foot. Though important for all equines, it's essential for IR and/or PPID equines to have a proper trim in place since they are at increased risk for laminitis. After any potential triggers are removed from the diet, and in PPID individuals, the ACTH is under control, the realigning trim is often the missing link in getting a laminitic equine comfortable. In general, laminitic hooves require more frequent trim adjustments to maintain the proper alignment so we recommend the use of padded boots rather than fixed appliances (i.e. shoes, clogs), at least during the initial phases of treatment.

Sometimes subclinical laminitis can be misdiagnosed as arthritis, navicular, or a host of other problems as the animal attempts to compensate for sore feet. 

You are encouraged to make an album and post hoof pictures and any radiographs you might have so we can to look to see if you have an optimal trim in place. Read this section of the wiki for how to get a hoof evaluation, what photos are needed, and how to get the best hoof shots and radiographs.

EXERCISEThe best IR buster there is, but only if the equine is comfortable and non-laminitic. An individual that has had laminitis needs 6-9 months of correct realigning trims before any serious exercise can begin. Once the equine is moving around comfortably at liberty, hand walking can begin in long straight lines with no tight turns. Do not force a laminitic individual to move, or allow its other companions to do so. It will begin to move once the pain begins to subside. Resting its fragile feet is needed for healing to take place so if the animal wants to lay down, do not encourage it to get up. Place feed and water where it can be reached easily without having to move any more than necessary. Be extremely careful about movement while using NSAIDs (bute, banamine, previcox, etc.) as it masks pain and encourages more movement than these fragile feet are actually able to withstand. Additionally, NSAIDs (and icing) do not work on metabolic laminitis and long term NSAID use interferes with healing. Therefore, we recommend tapering off NSAIDs after the first week or so of use. If after a week's time your equine's comfort level has not increased, then the cause of the laminitis has not been removed and keeping up the NSAIDs isn't the answer - you need to address the underlying cause.

 

There is lots more information in our files and archived messages and also on our website. It is a lot of information, so take some time to go over it and feel free to ask any questions. If you are feeling overwhelmed, don't worry, you will catch on, and we are always here to help you! Once you have your case history uploaded, we can help you help your equine partner even better.

For members outside North America, there are country specific folders in the files and many international lists in the wiki to help you find local resources.

If you have any technical difficulties, please let us know so we can help you. 

 

--
Bonnie Snodgrass 07-2016

ECIR Group Primary Response 

White Cloud, Michigan, USA

Mouse Case History, Photo Album Deceased


~NeanPiggy~
 

Interesting - I was about to update a Case Study for my Donkey. I have had him 14 months now and am trying my best to avoid the donkey trap.  The vet told me she was unfamiliar with donkey "normals".  I'm in the process of updating the horse and his files.  Hope to get that done tonight.  I'm sure he will love to know he is being helpful for all the other donkey's out there, haha.

I too found the Donkey Sanctuary to be extremely helpful. 
--

Jeannean, Cricket, Chispa & Prince Willy over the rainbow Mercuri ~ PHCP Barefoot Trimmer
Ridge 2011

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Jeannean%20and%20Prince%20Willy/ 

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=79126 


Carrie
 

I am querying about Analysis Testing.
My donkey normally has hay & Bashed Barley straw mixed together. Around half to 75% more straw , based on general Donkey Sanctuary advice.
So I’ve had my hay tested for sugar starch a few weeks ago. I was about to post another hay samplers test for minerals when I thought about including straw in too. The company says it’s possible to do that.  
But I guess things get complicated knowing what’s what when feeding & mixing all the separate figures ! 

I am still to enter up Case Study & expecting blood results regarding PPID & EMS diagnosis.  So this is not referring to any records entered yet or full diagnosis from my vet yet.  I will be including Case Study when I sit down this evening & then update as results come in.
If I do separate tests for Nutrition & Minerals on both Hay & Straw it will cost around £ 210 plus postage. I’m using Forageplus used for thorough analysis, based in UK but use American Labs. I would want to save as much as possible & not waste my money, but I want to help my donkey as much as I can.  So if someone has experience regarding this I would be pleased to see your ideas. 
Cheers Carrie


If there is a method to 

--
Carrie 
March 2021
UK 


Kirsten Rasmussen
 

Hi Carrie,

One option that might be cheaper would be to send your samples directly to Equi-Analytical in the US? 
https://equi-analytical.com/feed-and-forage-analysis/analytical-service-packages/
I know some of our international members do just that.  If you do, our recommendation is the "603" package, which includes the full mineral profile and carbs.  2 "603" analyses at 65 USD ea works out to <100 British pounds according to an online currency converter.  The postage might be expensive but at least the samples are not heavy.  Stay away from the cheaper "NIR" (near-infrared) options, they are not as accurate.

--
Kirsten and Shaku (IR) - 2019
Kitimat, BC, Canada
ECIR Group Moderator
 
Shaku's Case History
Shaku's Photo Album


Kirsten Rasmussen
 

BTW, it's not that complicated feeding 2 different forages if your concern is mineral balancing...as long as you keep the proportion the same, like always 25:75, or 50:50, or 80:20.

--
Kirsten and Shaku (IR) - 2019
Kitimat, BC, Canada
ECIR Group Moderator
 
Shaku's Case History
Shaku's Photo Album


~NeanPiggy~
 

10:48   

I don't know if I should create my own thread, seems Carrie & I are at the same stage of getting help for our Donkeys.  I just uploaded his case history & pictures.  I have no clue how to interpret his bloods and my vet is at a loss with donkey numbers herself.  I also just noticed I need to update my signature, which I did but I don't know if it is correct.  Chispa and Cricket should be there.  Prince Willy is deceased & I think I got that rectified with you when he passed. 
-- 
--

Jeannean, Cricket, Chispa de Vida (& Prince Willy over the rainbow) Mercuri ~ PHCP Barefoot Trimmer
Ridge 2011

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHisthttps://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Jeannean%20and%20Prince%20Willy/Cricket/Cricket%20Case%20History%202021%20pdf.pdf
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Jeannean%20and%20Chispa%20de%20Vida/ChispadeVidaCaseHistoryPDF.pdf

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=79126 


Sherry Morse
 

Since you just created a new folder for Chispa you should add that link to your signature.  Let us know if you need help on that.  The link is: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Jeannean%20and%20Chispa%20de%20Vida for the CH folder and the photos are at https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=262693




On Tuesday, April 6, 2021, 10:48:20 AM EDT, ~NeanPiggy~ via groups.io <neanpiggy@...> wrote:


I don't know if I should create my own thread, seems Carrie & I are at the same stage of getting help for our Donkeys.  I just uploaded his case history & pictures.  I have no clue how to interpret his bloods and my vet is at a loss with donkey numbers herself.  I also just noticed I need to update my signature, which I did but I don't know if it is correct.  Chispa and Cricket should be there.  Prince Willy is deceased & I think I got that rectified with you when he passed. 
--

Jeannean, Cricket, Chispa de Vida (& Prince Willy over the rainbow) Mercuri ~ PHCP Barefoot Trimmer
Ridge 2011

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Jeannean%20and%20Prince%20Willy/ 

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=79126 


Carrie
 

Thanks Kirsten, i’ll Take a look at how easy / difficult that might be. Thanks for the info. 😀
--
Carrie 
March 2021
UK 


Carrie
 

It’s nice to have someone who will be on a similar journey.  So hi Nean Piggy
--
Carrie 
March 2021
UK 


~NeanPiggy~
 

OK,  I think I updated my Case History.  But I noticed some of Cricket's stuff is in Prince Willy's file.  I don't know how to move that without screwing things up.  Cricket is alive, a  Gypsy with new bloodwork to review also.  Prince Willy is deceased.
I guess I'll start a new thread. THANK YOU
--

Jeannean, Cricket, Chispa de Vida (& Prince Willy over the rainbow) Mercuri ~ PHCP Barefoot Trimmer
Ridge 2011

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHisthttps://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Jeannean%20and%20Prince%20Willy/Cricket/Cricket%20Case%20History%202021%20pdf.pdf
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Jeannean%20and%20Chispa%20de%20Vida 

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=79126 


Cindy Giovanetti
 

My donkey was very overweight before my horse got laminitis and went on the ECIR protocol.  I’ve not done testing on the donkey; he just eats alongside my horse, who has been the focus of my ECIR-effort.  In other words, I wasn’t doing anything different for the donkey. 

 

Both the donkey and the horse have lost a lot of weight, are sound, and look great.  The donkey is still a little fatter than the horse; but I expect he will continue to lose weight.

 

Cindy


--
Cindy, Oden, and Eeyore, North Texas
On ECIR protocol since 2/19
https://www.facebook.com/LifeWithOden/
History: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Cindy%20and%20Oden
Photos:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=91125