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. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016


This time of year there isn't much to say about the donkeys.  They just do their thing out there, being donkeys.  In fact I noticed the other day some of them are getting rather independent, like if we aren't going to pay attention to them, they'll find something else to do.  Even BlackJack was ambivalent when we had some people out on a tour.  He's usually at the front of the line for soaking up attention.  It won't be that long until the warmer weather and flies, start up the "doctoring" season.  Right now everyone is doing good.  Once doctoring starts a lot of them will get much more attention than they'd like, unfortunately.  Gus and Cisco are completely off the Previcox and so far, so good. 

Yesterday was the 1st practice for the racing season.  Our first race will be the 1st week-end in February, not too far away.  

I have a bad habit of carrying my camera around and not taking pictures.  As usual, I forgot until I had already put the car back up on the trailer.  We were going to take some pictures today, when we unloaded it.......BUT........., today has been one of those days.  Mike and Tony came out to volunteer their help in building a new shelter that will run thru 3 pens.  We also had a neighbor working on an old Ford pick-up, John bought awhile back for a friend to use.  It came back and he's fixing it up to sell, but wasn't getting to it.  So one of the neighbor's offered to fix it.  John is involved in those projects, not to mention he better cut some firewood before sundown or it's going to get chilly in here tonight.  So I would imagine the car isn't getting unloaded today........!!!   LOL  

My practice went really well, once we got thru tech inspection.  We knew there was going to be a problem, because this car came from the factory with suspension that they aren't use to seeing on a Hornet.  Hornets have to be factory stock, which it is.  But, in 1995 Dodge built these little beauties specifically for road racing.  The inspectors wanted to argue, but once John said it was an ACR Dodge Neon, the race director, knew what it was, and wanted to know where we found it.  The inspectors were still grumbling, so it might not be over, but at least they let me on the track. 

We had no idea how it was going to be on the track, but I have to say I was really impressed.  John hasn't done anything to it, because we didn't know what it needed, so why mess with it.  It seems to be very well balanced and John said it looked good out there, so I don't think he's going to be changing anything. The real test will be how the tires hold up the 1st race night. 

Saddik the "sick" dog has bounced back from whatever was wrong with him.  We still haven't got the results back for his valley fever numbers.  We're hoping they are going down.  The vet thinks he might have had a pancrentitis attack.  (I know that isn't spelled right, but my spell checker doesn't care)   Or perhaps something to do with his valley fever.  Hopefully we'll find out something tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Yesterday morning chores were going smoothly, donkeys went in their pens and the dogs were running around doing dog stuff.  I got done with my part of the chores, came in the house and about 10 minutes later John comes in and says Saddik is sick.  Went out and Doug was with him in the driveway as he was throwing up for about the 4th time.  He was sitting with his eyes closed and trembling.  Talk about a quick turn.  

We watched him for a few minutes and other than throwing up some more, nothing changed.  Came in called the local vet, who wasn't there for the day, so went to my backup in Tucson, Adobe Vet Center.  They said bring  him in, which although he wasn't feeling well, thrilled him to no end.  He loves to ride in the van.  

The day before I caught him playing with a doll, he found somewhere.  We have no kids in our area that I know of and it looked rather bedraggled like it had been out for awhile.  Although when I saw him, he was shaking it and doing his best to destroy it.  It's arms and legs were held on by wires and there was also staples here and there.  My first thought  was he might have wire or staples in his gut.

Got there, did x-rays, blood work, IV because he was dehydrated from vomiting and he got a shot for nausea.  No foreign objects thank goodness, but when the radiologist read the x-rays he noticed nodules in Saddik's lungs.  He's on treatment for valley fever and that's probably what they are, but don't know if they are active or leftover from before.  I asked her to also check his titer to see if his valley fever numbers are going down.  They've been holding steady for a long time.  The vet said she actually would give a higher dosage of Fluconazole than he has been getting.  When that info comes back she'll call me and probably raise his dosage.

This morning he is bouncing around like a maniac, so I assume he is feeling better, thankfully.  I hate it when my animals don't feel good.  Good news is, all the donkeys are doing well and in fact I'm weaning Cisco and Gus off Previcox.  They are both down to half of what they had to be getting and after a few days, I'll cut it again.  Previcox, to me is a weird medication.  It's a dog and cat medication, and is used a lot for equine although it's never been approved for equine.  But if it is used for equine their dosage is less than used for dogs and cats.  Go figure........!!!!  So far they are both doing good.

Friday, January 15, 2016

We're all tired of the cold

This is Daisy, our matriarch.  She is our oldest jenny at about 33, and she actually is in really good health, except for having to be on Pergolide for Cushings disease.  Other than that she is usually in the A Team herd, lead by Tula.  Tula is actually the head jenny, pretty much in charge of everyone.  But Daisy and Frijolita are almost always with her. 

 Tula never asked to be head jenny and I don't think really enjoys the job, but the others look to her for where they should go and when.  Drives her crazy when it's time to go into the pens to eat, when some of them go in "HER" pen, usually it's one of the geldings.  John and her have worked out a routine, if someone follows her into the pen, when she sees John in the area, she will run out of the pen and the offending donkey follows her.  She will make a big wide circle and once John is close to the pen, she will sprint to the pen.  She knows John will close the gate before her unwelcome suitor figures out what happened.  This has been going on for years, and the other donkeys have never figured it out.  But Tula and John have.  LOL

Right now it's cool enough Daisy is probably enjoying all that hair.  This spring when it get warm I'll body clip her and Quilla who also has Cushings, even with the medication they have too much hair to be comfortable in our 100 degree summer temperatures.  

I had to build a fire this afternoon in the wood stove.  It was down to 61 degrees in the great room.  I usually don't start a fire, just because it's chilly.  John cuts the wood and I don't want to waste it, I can always put on a heavier sweat shirt.  But he came in for lunch and whined about how cold it was in the house.  So I didn't have to make the decision..............LOL

Everyone is doing good right now, I think we all enjoy the lack of health issues in the winter, I know I appreciate not having to doctor and I'm sure they like not having itches and sores not to mention irritating flies.  But it won't be that long until spring........!!!! Which reminds me, I need to order fly masks, from Renee at Colorful Equine. 

Monday, January 11, 2016


Well yesterday we loaded up corral panels, halters, leads, butt ropes and animal crackers and headed out for adventure with wild donkeys.  The area they live in is rather "rustic", at least the roads are, up in the hills east of where we live.  There were patches of snow along the highway to get there, and once we turned off the highway, the dirt road was really rough.  It was about 4 or 5 miles in, with some real interesting hills to climb.  Would be great for sledding, but not really fun dragging a trailer.  About halfway in a SUV came up behind us, so we pulled off the road, so they could go around us.  They pulled up and the woman said, "I'm Beth", which is who we were going to see.  So we followed them home.  Pulled in and the 1st thing we noticed was they were minis..........What?  



Chloe came right up to us and wanted treats.   After talking with Beth, I realized real quick that treats are how she communicates with them.  The 1st clue was the extra weight they are carrying.  It didn't take long to figure out the people really love these donkeys, but didn't know anything about how to feed them or take care of them.  

I decided to see how much I could get away with, and started rubbing my hands all over Chloe, rubbed her ears and her butt, reached down and picked up her feet.  She seemed to think it was just fine, and I did introduce her to animal crackers, which really cinched our relationship.  After that I couldn't get away from her.  Beth said the donkeys always ran away, if they tried to work with them.  I explained to her that if  you start something with them, you have to finish it, rather than just let them walk away.

Since Momma was laying down I asked John and Chris to get the panels and we'd just build a pen around her.  That idea went out the window when she saw the 2nd panel, she got up and started trying to escape.  But her feet hurt, so she didn't go very far.  

I had already tried to use one of the halters I brought on Chloe and the noseband hung below her mouth, so that wasn't going to work.  I know how to make a halter with a lead rope, but if your victim gets uncooperative it doesn't work very well.  

So John and I went to her, made friendly gestures and she was just fine.  This is before I got it adjusted, but she really was a good girl about the whole idea. 

She was limping on her left front and holding up the left rear when she would stand.  I checked both legs and feet and didn't find anything except a little warmth in the hooves.  Her front hoof has some changes that lead me to believe she has been chronically foundered for sometime. I would imagine the cold, damp nasty weather we've been having has tipped her over the edge.  She let me pick up her feet and I cleaned them, saw nothing out of the ordinary. 

Come to find out these donkeys have roamed the hills and valleys for years.  When I say years I mean years, Chloe was born in the area over 9 years ago and they have never been penned.  Their owner moved away a couple of months ago and Beth had been making sure they had water etc, when the woman wasn't home for months at a time.  So she said she would take care of them when the owner left for good.  She said sometimes they will be gone for days and all the people in the area know them and watch out for them.  She loves them and has been very upset because she lives so far out, none of the area vets will go out there.

Then we discussed treats.  Needless to say they pretty much feed themselves for the most part.  They have access to miles of desert flora and fauna depending on how far they roam.  She gives them grass hay in the winter when it's like it is now,  but not much.  Other than that they are responsible for feeding themselves, and seem to be doing a good job of it.  But Beth has also been giving them whole carrots and whole apples which of course help make the foot problem worse..........YIKES, I can feed 20 donkeys with one apple and they think they really got something...............and only 4 of mine are minis.........!!!  So these little girls have been living a little too high on the hog and Beth promises to take care of the problem.  I left some animal crackers with her, like I said Chloe seemed to think they were really good.  They might not appreciate the change in their diet, but it is for their own good. 

One good thing is they move around so much and the ground is really rocky, so their feet are actually in really good shape except for the distortion in Momma's front foot.  I just hope my WAG (Wild Ass Guess) is in the ball park & she gets better real soon.  Beth has my number.  We also told them how to build a small corral to feed them in, so they have someplace to work with them, if they need to. 

Saturday, January 09, 2016


Well not much snow, but we did get a dusting in amongst our rainy start of the New Year.  I keep saying it's worth it for all the pretty spring flowers we'll have, I hope they don't disappoint me.  Other than that, I think we're all tired of rain and dreary.  The poor donkeys haven't had a chance to dry out for days.  They aren't real wet, but they stay damp.  Rain also highlights areas in the pens that need fill gravel brought in.  I wish there was some way to raised the level of all the pens about 6-8 inches, and roll the gravel, so they wouldn't develop low spots, so much.  Where we drive the golf cart thru pulling the hay cart, is nice and firm, but on both sides of that path, if pretty soft. 

Looks like John and I will be going over to Dos Cabezas tomorrow to evaluate a jenny that's been limping a couple of weeks.  I guess the neighbors moved and left the donkeys with these people.  They've had them a couple of months and can give them carrots, but can't work with them at all.  They are in a large pasture area, which means, she can't be caught...........SIGH...!!  My guess is an abscess, but that's all it is, a guess.  So we'll go down and try to see if we can figure it out.  Hope we don't need binoculars to see her..............LOL   I haven't got a chance to talk to John, he's in Tucson today working on race cars, but we might take enough corral panels to make a small pen and show them how to use it.  Who knows if we got her in a little pen, she might be more cooperative.  If they haven't pushed cooperation, she probably doesn't see any need to be around them, except to get the carrot.  Donkeys figure that out real quick.........LOL

Tuesday, January 05, 2016


That's probably what Penny is thinking too......!!!  She is parked by the courtyard because I had walked in the house without her getting an animal cracker.  John and Doug both carry cookies and all the donkeys know it.  Most of them make sure they are available, if you would like to give them one.  Some of them, like Penny and Justin, believe cookies are a God given right and believe any and everyone has a unending supply.  Unfortunately for them I don't carry cookies and I had just escaped into the house from her insistence that if she "bird dogged" me enough I would give her one. I didn't, much to her disgust.  She actually gets more cookies than the others.  We figure she probably hasn't had a lot of goodies in her former life, BUT, I refuse to be looked at as a PEZ dispenser.  You should see the look of panic Doug and John get on their faces when they run out of cookies, surrounded by donkeys, a long way from the feed room.........LOL

Got about 1/2 inch of rain yesterday and according to the weatherman, this whole week is going to be rainy, off and on.  So far today it is nice and sunny, and they aren't always right.  But I would imagine they will at least be partially right, and I'm sure if and when we get more rain it will be at feeding time......just seems to work out that way usually.