Donkey Trouble!

Last week the farrier came, and Sara told us he found an abscess on Fiona the mini-donkey’s right rear hoof. He got as much out as he could, but it was large, and he said we’d need to clean it out and put Betadyne or something like that on her to help it heal.

I’d like to point out to you that this should be about ME, because I am pretty and want ALL the attention.

Sara was able to treat her on Monday, and she said it would be okay to wait to treat her until I got back. Unfortunately, I could not get to her until Friday. At that time she was limping on her front foot as well as the back, and Sara and I cleaned out both of her hooves and medicated them. She was very good, so we were hopeful.

Sara went riding Saturday (yesterday) morning while I was at Earth Day, and said Fiona was still limping, but was easy to medicate.

I don’t feel good. It’s this hoof.

I headed over to check on Fiona and feed the chickens mid-afternoon. It was going to be a quick visit, so I could go to the grocery store, but I was surprised to find Fiona lying down, and not with the horses. That’s not typical for her. Tyler, who’d been mowing, said she’d been down for over an hour.

So, I started making phone calls. I talked to Sara, who said to try to get her up. Then I called Mandi, because she knows way more about equine issues than I do. Bless her, she came over as fast as she could.

I’m up, but I’m not happy about it.

By the time Mandi arrived, I’d gotten Fiona to stand, but she was really having a hard time walking. So, Mandi sent me to get supplies, while she got to work on Fiona, right where she was, and discovered that the issue with her front hoof wasn’t another abscess, it was a wound of some kind. We soaked both her legs in soapy water, then put wound treatment on her front hoof. She perked up after the cool water treatment and was able to join the horses.


As soon as Mandi finished doing Easter with her family, we went back to check on Miss Fi Fi. We were VERY relieved to see that she was able to hobble up with the other horses, which is an improvement.

Fiona brings up the rear behind Spice. I have a movie of her hobbling, but I can’t get it to upload.

We took Apache out, hoping she’d follow, and she sort of did, though it was hard to get her to cross the gravel road (understandably).

It looks quite festive. Let’s hope it helps.

At least we were able to get her near the water hose, so we could really get her clean. Mandi said hydro-therapy is the best for leg issues like this, since we didn’t have any Bute or other painkillers.

Cleaning the right hoof.

For the rear hoof, Mandi made a bandage out of an old washcloth I’d found, soaked it in Betadyne, and put it against her hoof. We duct-taped it on, so she’d walk around on the medicine for as long as the bandage would last. We will go back this evening to remove it, if it’s not already been removed.

You can’t really see the wound, because good ole Fional made a shadow while I was taking the picture. Good ear shadow, though.

For the front hoof, Mandi ran the water over it for quite a while, and some stuff came out of it, which was good. We can’t figure out what the wound is from, but it’s happier now. I’d found liquid bandage that we’d used on the dogs, so she got that on the front hoof. That was her least favorite thing, since spray-cans bother her.

Thank you, Mandi.

Still, she was GREAT, and she was walking even better when we took her back. She even startled at an unfamiliar object and moved quickly. It’s good she can still do that.

Fiona: Look at me! I can drink! Apache: Look at my mane blowing in the wind. That’s worth another treat, right?

When we got her back in the pasture, Fiona got a good drink of water, which relieved me. I had worried that she’d dehydrate from lying around.

Please send Fiona get-well wishes! I know she will want to hang out with us if we go riding next weekend!

PS: A couple people asked me why Fiona is so hairy. She sheds late. You’ll be happy to know that she’s starting to shed out now. I brushed her to distract her from what Mandi was doing, and hair was flying around.

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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