Sunday, May 31, 2009

Buster with his Lucy girl.......!!!
This morning when we were getting ready to feed, I noticed Buster had a piece of hoof wall split off & had gravel behind it. Got the nippers to get it off. When I lifted his foot I was shocked at how long his hooves are. They are about 1/2 inch longer than they should be. They are wearing evenly, which is why I hadn't noticed the length. So as soon as he gets thru with breakfast we will see if we can trim them a bit. What it takes Courtney a couple of minutes to do, seems to take us a LOT longer.....!!! I guess we better physically look at everyone else that usually do their own trimming too, just in case there are some others out there that haven't been walking enough. Lucy is one of Courtney's "regulars", as she has been chronically foundered in the past & really has nasty looking feet. We've never had her x-rayed, but I'm sure if we did, the inside looks as bad as the outside.

The little kangaroo rats didn't make it. After 2 days they were not gaining weight & were getting weaker, so John put a piece of cotton with ether on it with them in their nest. To let them keep going downhill until they died, would have been cruel. I'm sure this happens frequently, mother doesn't get home, & babies starve in many wild species. But once a person gets involved we should do our best for them, which I think we did.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


I don't think Daisy & Jack the mule are an item, I think they were standing together by accident this morning. Daisy is usually with the donkey herd & Jack is with the "horsey" group.

I've got Sha'ba's habronema larvae under control, I hope. I haven't seen anymore large ones, although this morning I found 2 or 3 little ones, that have probably been brought in by flies in the last few days. Those I can deal with, it's the deeply embedded large ones, that really get me going.

I found a couple of small ones on Chester's belly, in front of his sheath. I assume that is the ones the flies were coming to visit & he was kicking at over the last few days. He stands real still for me to "doctor" him now, don't have to use the squeeze or even a halter. Of course he expects to get a butt scratch when I'm done.........!!! (G)

There has also been some change recently with his crippled leg. He's been improving quite a bit, since Martha has been massaging his leg & we've been stretching it every morning. The last week or so, not only is he walking with very little limp, the swelling in the elbow area is noticeably smaller. I have no idea what is going on, it will be interesting to see what Martha thinks the next time she comes out.

This morning John came in & said there were 2 little rats in the garage, so small their eyes weren't open. They were flopping around on the concrete floor which doesn't sound right. I went up & these little things are about an inch long, trying to go someplace & not making much progress. We looked all over & didn't find a nest. We figure the Mom didn't make it back last night, & they were getting hungry. Made a "nest", I got on the web, joined a rat/mice yahoo group, to figure out how to feed them. They can be fed puppy or kitten formula, which of course I didn't have, so off to town we went. Before we left though, I mixed up some canned milk, sugar & water, which is what we use to use when I was a kid, & puppy, kitten formula hadn't been invented yet, I guess. They actually ate a little bit, of course they have to be rubbed to make them go potty, which is scary on something so tiny & not very effective so far. They have to be fed every 2 hours, night & day, OH! GOODIE...........!!!! I haven't quite figured out why John found them, & I get to be nursemaid.........!!!! (G) When we got home I tried them with formula, one is eating pretty good, the other one hasn't caught on yet. I hope he does before he gets dehydrated. Oh! by the way they aren't common garden variety rats, they are Kangaroo Rats. It's really difficult to raise such small wild animals, but I'll give it my best shot
He makes a Q-tip look big...................!!!!

This morning when I went out to feed, BlackJack was watching the feed room door. John was in there cutting up carrots & BlackJack wanted to make sure he was first in line, when John came out with the goodies.

Right after I took the picture, he started pawing the door, which doesn't make things move any faster, & usually brings out the person with a crop in their hand, to "remind" him pawing & banging the door isn't allowed. He hops off the porch when we storm out flailing the air with the crop & yelling at him. Usually he's back on the porch before we get back inside & get the door close, so it's isn't a very tramatic experience for him. We always tell them, their help doesn't make things happen any faster, but they keep trying.

Monday, May 25, 2009

While remembering those brave soldiers who gave their lives to protect our freedom, also remember all the horses, donkeys, & mules that have been in wars throughout history. They never had a choice, but were used as needed. Most of them suffered great hardships & didn't survive.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Its mother being tethered near it

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) was an English poet most famous for his Rime of the Ancient Mariner,
which also has a theme concerning the mistreatment of an animal.

Poor little Foal of an oppressed race!
I love the languid patience of thy face:
And oft with gentle hand I give thee bread,
And clap thy ragged coat, and pat thy head.
But what thy dulled spirits hath dismay'd,
That never thou dost sport along the glade?
And (most unlike the nature of things young)
That earthward still thy moveless head is hung?
Do thy prophetic fears anticipate,
Meek Child of Misery! thy future fate?
The starving meal, and all the thousand aches
ÔWhich patient Merit of the Unworthy takes'?
Or is thy sad heart thrill'd with filial pain
To see thy wretched mother's shorten'd chain?
And truly, very piteous is her lot -
Chain'd to a log within a narrow spot,
Where the close-eaten grass is scarcely seen,
While sweet around her waves the tempting green!

Poor Ass! they master should have learnt to show
Pity - best taught by fellowship of Woe!
For much I fear me that He lives like thee,
Half famished in a land of Luxury!
How askingly its footsteps hither bend?
It seems to say, 'And have I then one friend?'
Innocent foal! thou poor despis'd forlorn!
I hail thee Brother - spite of the fool's scorn!
And fain would take thee with me, in the Dell
Of Peace and mild Equality to dwell,
Where Toil shall call the charmer Health his bride,
And Laughter tickle Plenty's ribless side!
How thou wouldst toss thy heels in gamesome play,
And frisk about, as lamb or kitten gay!
Yea! and more musically sweet to me
Thy dissonant harsh bray of joy would be,
Than warbled melodies that soothe to rest
The aching of pale Fashion's vacant breast!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Well not the best picture, but you can see a large habronema in the top sore. Below the white spot is the rest of the body, which is probably about the size of a small grain of rice. The bottom sore, had a larger one, the one I pulled the head off yesterday. It came out when I wiped the dried invermectin off this morning. But the 2 small white spots one at the top & one in the middle & to the right are still in there & you can see the amount of damage they do. Bless his little heart, Sha'ba is very good about letting me work on him, considering how tender the area is.

Heard from Judy's Dad & he will be coming to take her home soon. She's done real good, seems to be adjusting to being on pergolide, although I wish she would shed out more. She's much more alert now, & isn't pot bellied & ribby like she was. I know my hay is higher in sugar & starch than I'd like, so we've soaked her hay ever since she came in January. Rory gets his hay from a feed store, so he won't be able to have it tested. I will recommend he continue to soak hay. But other than that, & trying to outsmart her about the pergolide, she shouldn't need any special treatment in the future.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Poor little Sha'ba came here with a horrible infestation of habromena on his face & sheath 6 years ago. We got the face cleared up the first 2 years by daily efforts & fly masks. The fly mask keeps flies from reinfestating (not sure that's a word, but you get the idea).

Unfortunately there isn't anything to protect the sheath from flies long term. I have been checking him daily & was quite pleased to make it thru the spring without any sores on his sheath. But a couple of days ago, I noticed a couple of sores. Sure enough, a couple of them obviously wintered over. A few years ago I read someplace that they can incubate 6-24 months, which is the reason they are thought of as being chronic. It's not that they are chronic, they survive the winter, become active & draw flies, which bring in a new supply of larvae. There were a few teeny tiny ones on the surface that were brought in with the visiting flies & a swipe of invermectin got rid of them. I wormed him that night, supposeably internal worming kills external habronema. Can't say I've seen much difference, but I'm willing to do it, just in case.

I tried to take pictures this morning before I cleaned the area & put more invermectin on it. Although he's a good little guy & puts up with all my "doctoring", it's rather difficult to hold the subject matter & take pictures too. John said he will help tomorrow.

I know one of them is dead, I pulled the head off with tweezers. But the other one is still buried too deep to get ahold of. Pardon my rambling, but it makes my day, when I know they are dead, dead DEAD........!!!!!!!!! What a horrible incidious pest......................!!!!!

Cisco is my other chronic habronema guy, & so far this year he is doing good.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Here is an update picture of Daisy I took this morning. I've still got a little touch up to do with my small clippers, but for the most part she's done. The dark spot on the side of her neck right in front of her shoulder is where she was shot when she was still on the range years ago. She still has shrapnel in there, & her Mom said she gets an open abscess about once a year. I'm hoping with more exercise maybe it won't break open, but if it does we'll take care of it.

I was hoping when I upwrapped Jenny's foot this morning the abscess would be open, but not yet. I soaked her foot while she was eating her hay this morning, & she stood real good. Sometimes her cooperation level is rather low, but she was a good girl this morning. It still isn't open, so I put some ichthammol on it. We'll see what happens.

Judy, Max, & Frijolita all seem to be fine this morning after being poked & prodded & stuck with needles yesterday. Max actually seems a little perkier, although I can't say he's a whole lot more stable on his feet. Judy is moving good, although I never could really see what Courntey was talking about when she said Judy was "out". But her hips sure cracked, when Dr. Weaver manipulated them.

Now that I know where Pepper's problem is, I spent more time on his hip when I massaged him this morning. I have a little 3 legged thing you put batteries in & it vibrates, which he loves. He won't let you forget in the morning, & refuses to go out of his pen until he has been "worked" on. Like with Max I don't know if it makes a difference, but he enjoys it.

I noticed that Chester had a lot of flies on his sheath this morning, which could mean it's either dirty & smelly or has habronema larvae on it. Either way, it was time for my simple answer to "dirty little boys", thunja zinc oxide . The general sheath cleaning is a little involved from my point of view, so I have developed a short cut that works for me & my boys. Most of my guys see me coming with the zinc oxide jar & you can almost see them roll their eyes, & assume the position. But Chester has never had to have the "treatment". I got a glob of zinc oxide on my fingers & headed for the object of interest. Well, let me tell you, I don't think he's ever had THAT done before, & isn't really interested in being the subject of such an insult. I called for John & a halter. That makes it official & usually when we put a halter on them, they give up. NO, THANK YOU LADY, KEEP YOUR HAND TO YOURSELF, or I will personally kick you into the next county...............!!! Hmmmm, as I checked my hand for permanent damage from a flying rear hoof, I decided that it was time for the squeeze. Got him in the squeeze, & he never moved a muscle. Of course I didn't spend a lot of time working in the zinc oxide, I figured he could do that himself. Gave him a treat for being a good boy...........NOT.......... turned him loose & no hard feelings I guess, he was looking for more treats.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Thank you Dorothy for the new "hair-do"

Does anyone remember the 1st pictures of Daisy I put on the blog, back in March? Or how about the later one when Katie trimmed half of her & left the front half from the withers forward untrimmed? Well this is what she looks at completely trimmed, except for her legs & ears. We decided to not trim those, to help keep the flies at bay.

She is a tiny little girl once all the hair is gone except for a few extra lumpy pounds here & there. I'll try to get a better picture tomorrow. As soon as she was trimmed, I put a fly mask on her & once again, she started walking around like she couldn't see. We watched her for a few minutes, & she finally started walking normally, although still putting her nose down to the ground like she was sniffing a trail. Her Mom said she had never had a fly mask on before, but I've never seen one act like that. By feeding time, she was doing just fine.

Today was so busy I don't know if I can remember it all. Courtney & Martha along with Dorothy came out this afternoon, to trim those that needed it & massage Chester & Max. We also had a new Vet come out to check out Chester, Max & Pepper. Dr. Weaver does a lot of acupuncture & manipulation & all 3 of those are crippled in one way or another.

His exam of Pepper showed his problem is probably in his right hip. He said it could be bad arthritis, or it could have gotten broke or cracked. I know in the past he has been knocked down at least twice, so who knows. He said there really wasn't much that could be done, unless we had x-rays to show exactly what the problem is & even then probably nothing could be done. So I will continue trying different things to hopefully find something that will help that leg be more comfortable. Right now, he's getting Hyalun, Vit E, Flax Seed Oil, & White Willow Bark, subject to change..................!!

He adjusted Max, after poor Max almost fell down. Max can get real nervous if he doesn't know what's going on. So this strange man, carrying a bunch of medicine & hauling an aluminum ladder type thing was almost too much for him. He started trying to back up & his "backie" up doesn't work very good at all. I thought he was going down. Dr. Weaver got to see him at his worst physically. We got him collected back up, & he let Dr. Weaver adjust his back. Now we will see if it makes a difference, or if all of his problems stem from the break in his neck.

He didn't do any work on Chester, although he did give him a happy shot so Courtney could trim his good front foot. We know he can stand on his bad leg, BUT convincing him to do so isn't easy. A happy shot makes it much easier. Dr. Weaver said new x-rays might give us a better idea of what is going on in there. We had planned on taking him up to the Equine Center the next time we have to haul someone anyway for new x-rays.

Courtney wanted him to look at Judy, which Judy wasn't so sure about the whole situation. Martha & I were standing clear across the pen, & heard her hips crack when he adjusted them. Courtney had been saying she was "out". I'm real anxious to see how she moves tomorrow.

It's been about a year since Jenny the mammoth donkey has had any problems with her feet. When Courtney started to trim her, she noticed a lot of flies in one spot above her coronet. Sure enough there was a soft spot, a probable abscess. At this period in time of treating abscesses there is 2 schools of thought. Soak or poultice & wrap. Soaking has been a long time treatment for abscess, but a lot of people are going to poultice & wrapping instead. I'm about in the middle on the subject. So I wrapped tonight & will think about soaking tomorrow..........!!!! (G)

Friday, May 15, 2009

SUMMER HAS ARRIVED...........!!!!!

I don't know where the weatherman gets his numbers. He keeps saying it's in the high 90's. My thermometer goes over 100 every day. John has always said they put their equipment in a cooler place in Tucson, so the temperatures won't scare off the tourists. Makes sense to me.

This is the latest in the year Cisco has ever gone, without having bloody places where he's itched because of habronema larvae. YIPPEE! That's not to say he hasn't rubbed bald spots all over his back & butt, which makes me feel like a bad Mom for not brushing on him more often. Everybody has started shedding now, & there's no way the two of us can keep up with all of them. Most of them are self starters, "If they aren't going to brush us, we'll just take care of it ourselves". Unfortunately they aren't very careful about how they rub & scratch, & end up with bald spots. Poor Cisco looks like a moth eaten coat, with all his missing divets.

Judy is finally shedding out pretty good. She isn't slick, but everytime I brush her I get a lot of hair.

Monday is going to be a busy day around here. They will get feet trimmed, massages as needed, & there's a new Vet in the neighborhood, that will be coming out to look at my cripples. I like to keep in touch with all the Vets in the area, so if we have an emergency, maybe at least one will be available to come out.

I want to see if he has any ideas to make Pepper, Max & Chester more comfortable. Actually Chester is pretty good, although he still limps he doesn't seem to be in any pain at all. Pepper is the one I worry about, he has almost no use of one hind leg. So we'll see if the Doc has any brilliant ideas.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I'M BACK.............AGAIN...............!!!!!

Got in from Los Angeles, actually Torrance about 7pm last night. We went the upper way, came home the lower way, & decided, there isn't a whole lot of difference, time wise, which way you go. Although the lower way you don't have to participate in Los Angeles traffic patterns............!!! We went thru a couple of hours after rush hour, & there were still cars everywhere...............BUT at least they were moving.

Gulliver was his usual goofy, bratty self. Actually, although I haven't been around large birds that much, he seems to be rather mellow & accepting of whatever is going on around him. I've seen birds that aren't that eager to meet strangers & seem to have issues. He'll go to whoever has their arm out, & really seems to enjoy being the center of attention. In fact if he thinks he's is being ignored, he has a rather high loud shriek that definitely gets your attention.

Sybil gave a good talk, & the club members all got to meet Gulliver, which was fun.

Got home late enough John had already fed, & everyone was eating. I went around to say hi & got the impression that I was interrupting their dinner. Daisy was the only one that actually seemed to enjoy the petting. At least John said he was glad I was home...............!!!

John said everything went just fine, except my big old male guinea was dead yesterday morning when John went over to the pens. He was probably 9-10 years old, I have no idea how long they live. He didn't seem to be sick or anything, he was just laying under where he roosted.

I went out this morning before they started eating, & petting seemed more important.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

ROAD TRIP...............!!!!!!

By Victoria Berry

I'll be leaving in the morning for a few days. Sybil is giving a talk to a bird club in California & asked me to go along. Of course I said yes. After donkeys, travel is my favorite thing......!!!!

Everyone is doing pretty good right now, although John is already whining about being "chief cook & bottle washer"., but he always does just fine. That's OK, when he takes off for a few days, I whine too. One person can do it, but it sures gets tedious quick.

BlackJack has a new nickname as of this morning. John has been calling him Stinky. It seems sometime last night he found a skunk or a skunk found him. Either way, we now know that although we haven't had any problems with skunks lately, obviously there are still some in the neighborhood.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Tula is doing much better today. She'll be getting antibiotics for a few days, the Vet hasn't told me how long yet.

Today was finally the day to put fly masks on everyone. I put it off as long as possible, so they could have access to Burroland during the day. Some of them came up to me when they saw me carrying the masks, so I guess they thought it was time too. The first day always takes awhile to get the masks organized & decide which one goes on who. After that we hang them in the appropriate shelters, so it goes much quicker.

Daisy's mom told me she had never had a mask on, so I wouldn't have been surprised if she didn't think much of one. But she stood & let me put it on. Then she started acting funny, & walking funny. Actually she wasn't walking at all, she acted like she was feeling her way with her feet. It just took a minute to figure out what the problem was. She couldn't see............!!!! She still has a lot of hair on her face, & when I put the mask on, it must have pushed the hair down over her eyes. I hurried & took off the mask, & she didn't even seem to hold a grudge. She has enough hair around her eyes, that the flies don't bother her too much anyway, so we'll forgo the fly masks until we trim her face.

I used the furminator on Judy today, & she is starting to shed pretty good, for a Cushings mule. Guess the pergolide is working. I never could get her to eat the chasteberry on a regular basis, so it isn't a player.

John got the golf cart running again............yippee.........!!!! It might not have the style of the quad, but it sure is a lot easier to use for hay hauling.

Monday, May 04, 2009


We were suppose to go to Tucson today, but this morning Tula was not acting like Tula. Maybe her standing in the shed yesterday which was unusual for her, was a sign that she didn't feel good. Instead of eating with her usual gusto this morning, she was picking at her hay & just standing around. We got her in the squeeze & the first thing I checked was where the cactus wound was on her belly. It is all healed up & she didn't react when I pushed on the area. She is running a little temperature, but for the most part, I didn't find anything out of the ordinary. I called the Vet & we decided to give her antibiotics for a couple of days to see if that makes a difference. The Vet said there might a small abscess where the cactus thorn punctured her belly. Or it might be something else completely. We'll watch her for a couple of days & if there isn't any improvement the Vet will come out.

Before we let her out of the pen, all of her little followers were standing around the gate waiting for their marching orders I guess. Once we let her out, she only went to the next big shade tree & has stood there for most of the afternoon. Hopefully the antibiotics will kick in & she will be her flighty suspicious wild child self by morning.

So I stayed home & let John go to Tucson. We would have waited until tomorrow, but we have been using the quad to haul hay at feeding time, rather than the golf cart. The cart quit about 3 days ago, & it's taken awhile to figure out what, is wrong with it. So John headed to town with a small black part to replace. We didn't realize how much easier using the golf cart is than the quad, so we're rather anxious to get it back into service. The quad is much more exciting to drive, except there is no place to put all the hay buckets. So if you hit a bump or get on unlevel ground, the buckets slide off.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Yesterday the equine had to stay in ALL day until after midnight last night. We spent the morning parking cars at the Oasis Exotic Bird Sanctary for their annual Open House. We set the alarm & got up early so we could get down there on time. Of course that made everyone happy, to get fed early. But we had to leave them in their pens. We got back about 1pm & started feeding them about 2pm, because last night was race night. Of course once we started feeding they were thrilled & forgot they had been in their pens all morning. Then we left again to go racing. I happy to report both cars made it on the track, finished their races & went up on the trailers with only a few battle scars. That is a first for this year, it's difficult to keep 2 cars up & running. We got home about 1am & of course weren't feeding at that time, but they were all excited to get out of their pens. I tell them they are lucky to be able to run around all over the place, rather than be stuck in a pen all the time, but they don't seem to appreciate freedom, as much as they expect it.

Today has been far, & they got out on time. I was helping John figure out why the clutch on the race car wasn't engaging & looked over in the barn where we keep the quad, tractor, golf cart & anything else we can squeeze in there. I had to look twice before I figured out that Tula was standing in the shed. It's 3 sided with all that "stuff" in it, & I would have thought she would feel trapped, but she was standing there falling asleep. Then I noticed a pair of ears behind her, farther into the shed. I thought it might be Pepper, he use to stand in there a lot, but it was Chester. We made sure we didn't go close to the shed until she decided to go someplace else. She always finds a way to surprise us.