Reluctant Cowgirl



The mustang and I had a great lesson last week. Unfortunately summing up and building on that work has taken a back seat to  a mysterious donkey ailment.

Donkey started acting off awhile ago. But I am a terrible donkey guardian who lives in rural America where vets are notoriously not great at ‘my donkey is acting weird’ because they’re mostly dealing with ‘my cows that I make my living off of are dying’ or whatever. It’s not like how it is in horse country, or, you know, where people have lots of money and different priorities (and there are oodles of vets to choose from). Anyway. She started laying down more than usual and just acting…uncomfortable. Eating fine, pooping fine, drinking fine. Grumpy and slightly depressed? Sure. But she’s a donkey. The Eeyore character is not a lie.

I got a vet to come out finally, because I was beside myself and couldn’t concentrate on anything else but what a terrible human I was for allowing my donkey to sort of suffer, or whatever was going on. The vet said she wasn’t colicking (duh), she wasn’t foundered (maybe?) but her pulse was sky-high so she was definitely in pain. He gave her an injection of Banamine and then proceeded to talk to my SO about elk hunting for 30 minutes (this is what vets are like out here).

A week later I’m not giving her Banamine anymore, she’s confined to a large makeshift “stall” with lots of soft bedding and no contact with the naughty mule (did I mention she started acting off when he arrived on the scene?) and I’m not sure how much she’s improved. She’s definitely lying down less, but now she alternately lifts her feet as if they are the source of her discomfort. I mostly drape myself over her withers dramatically and tell her she’s a good princess and please get to feeling better and or figure out how to communicate to me exactly what’s wrong so I can fix it. So far this approach has not yielded any helpful results.


Sad donkey in sad donkey jail.

I’m not entirely sure what to do next but I have the feeling it will involve getting a different vet involved. We haven’t known this girl long, but she’s weaseled her way into my heart and I want more than anything for her to be comfortable and happy. I hope we can get her back to that place.

Author: jess

I love my dogs and equines and good food, drink and music. I believe that the world is a better place because of bad Sandra Bullock movies, Hank Williams, and honeybees. I used to think I would never live in the middle of nowhere eight hours from the ocean or own a horse as an adult, but now both are true, so I may be an unreliable narrator.

2 thoughts on “#Longearproblems

  1. She’s cute. I hope you can figure it out.

    • Thanks. Bloodwork says it’s a glucose issue – Cushings or EMD or the like. So there’s probably founder involved. She’s not bouncing back very well thus far but we will try to speak to a specialist this week before making any drastic decisions.

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