Thursday, January 28, 2016


Had Dr. Karla from Jackpot Equine out today to look at Gus.   The last couple of weeks he has been grouchy about being touched on his back and sides.  He will lay his ears back, and reach around to bite you if you didn't move quick enough.  Talked about a personality change, this is real unusual behavior for him, he loves everyone especially children.  When we have visitors I always let them go in his pen, because he is so gentle and loves people.  

She checked him all over, and got kicked at a few times for her efforts.  I was glad he was, doing his thing.  It's always maddening when the vet gets here and they have miraculously gotten well.  Because of the muscle atrophy on his hips and general observation, she thinks he might have quite a bit of arthritis in his hips after years of trying to keep weight off his nasty front feet.  Makes sense.  She thinks the kicking is from anticipation of you touching his sore hips.  She said she could hear them crunching.

We also discussed ulcers and both agreed, ulcers aren't a normal donkey problem.  I had taken  him off Previcox a couple of weeks ago and thinking back this touchiness started about the same time.  So she gave me some Ranitidine generic Zantac to try for a few days. If it makes a difference that might be the problem.  Otherwise I'll start him back on the Previcox and see if it helps his hips, so he isn't so touchy.

He's actually walking really good for him.  She was amazed after looking at his x-rays.  His feet look horrible, but they seem to work for him, and Courtney has figured out the best way to trim him.  If it wasn't for her I don't know if he would still be here or not, his feet are that bad.  Right after I took this picture of him, Saddik and John he got up on the porch, which means he had to step up about 10 inches and then step down later.  Didn't seem to bother him.

Heard back on Saddik's valley fever test.  His numbers have actually gone down a little bit.  Since our local vet is only available 2 1/2 days a week, I've had to branch out to Tucson to Adobe Vet Clinic, which is available 24/7 and that's where I took him the day he was sick.   This vet wants to up his valley fever dosage, actually she wants to up it 4 times what he's getting now.  Hopefully we can get this taken care of, he certainly doesn't act like he has something wrong with him. 


ellie k said...

Upping a med four times seems like a big jump but I don't know any thing about this stuff and I am sure the vet is right. Hope Blackjack responds to the meds. Aching back is no fun, I just had injections last week and could kiss my doctors feet for knowing how to place the injections just right. It will last two and a held to three months. Another good thing my insurance covers it.

Witcheylady said...

Poor Gus! the back & hip issues make sense given his history. I also doubt ulcers are the problem but the ranitidine certainly won't hurt. I've done that before when I suspected ulcers. Using treatment to diagnose works well when ulcers are suspected IMO. Sure is less traumatic & less expensive than an endoscopy. Even though I miss him, I'm glad we didn't bring him up here this winter. He needs to stay near Courtney. She certainly gives her all for him...please express my thanks to her. And of course, you know how I love you & John for taking such good care of him. Keep us posted.

Tish said...

Glad they have injections to help your arthritis Ellie. I've been lucky, I can for the most part keep moving and the more I move the easier it is.

Claire, I thought you'd enjoy the pic of Gus, hanging out with John and Saddik. What gets me is he roams all over the place, but doesn't want to be touched. I'd think if he had joint issues, he wouldn't roam speed. No hitch in his "git along". She didn't want to treat him for ulcers and start the Previcox at the same time. If he got better we wouldn't know what worked. She said 4 or 5 days of the Ranitidine would be enough to know if it's making a difference, then I can start the Previcox again. I'll tell Courtney, she is definately a bulldog when it comes to keeping these guys going. She kept Pepper going long after most people would have decided they would wasting their time.