Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Not-So-Happy Camper

Ben added a few more grey hairs to my head this morning because he decided to do this for several hours rather than get up and act like a normal healthy donkey...

I gave him breakfast in bed.  I also switched his pain meds back to banamine rather than the bute that the vet suggested.  

A side note for all donkey owners:  I have found that donkeys seem to respond better to banamine than to bute.  This is anecdotal and you should talk it over with your vet, but I have found it to be true in every instance thus far.  It is also a well documented fact that donkeys metabolize pain meds faster than horses and generally require higher doses at more frequent intervals regardless of which drug you are using.  If you need corroboration of this for your vet, contact the UK Donkey Sanctuary.  They have documentation available for any vet who is willing to read it.  

This has certainly held true for Ben.  Once I got another hefty dose of banamine into him this morning, he decided to get up and rejoin the land of the living.  He is now getting 10 mls of banamine three times a day instead of two.  I will continue this until Monday and talk with the vet again.

I also started Ben on antibiotics this morning because my gut instinct is telling me that this had to have been triggered by an outside event - such as a tick borne disease.  His little quirks about water are long established and should not have been able to cause this.  There is also no earthly reason why a healthy, adult donkey on a strict low-sugar, hay-only diet would suddenly founder in the middle of winter.  There has to be some triggering event, either metabolically or externally.  Ben has shown no metabolic signs and there have been no external events.  That just leaves the eff'ing ticks.

Ben is now about ten hours into antibiotic treatment and he seems to be feeling a bit better, which is strengthening my suspicions.  I think I will know more tomorrow when we hit the 24 hour mark.

I am leaning more and more heavily towards the idea of thermonuclear warfare.



10 comments:

  1. Really glad Ben is feeling better. Good work. I hope it's not the ticks. ­čÉ┤

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  2. Poor Ben! I hate those horrible tick critters! I'm glad you are on the ball as always!

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  3. Unfortunately, another chapter for your book.

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  4. Chickens. Or Guinea hens. Don't they eat ticks? Not that you have time, energy or funds to add to your menagerie. Hopefully Ben will respond quickly to your attentions. You are an excellent equine owner.

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    1. I have chickens and I did have guineas for a while until they got eaten by coyotes. I think I would need hundreds of chickens to make a real dent in the tick population. I have seen no evidence that the few I have make any difference whatsoever.

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  5. I hope it isn't ticks or Lyme. I know Morris and I were miserable when we got infected.
    Stay well Ben!

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  6. I'm sorry he's sick. I'd be worried sick too. I hope the treatment continues to go well. And thanks for the info about Banamine being better. I didn't know that. Do you worry about not having a wash-out period between the two? I've known a few vets who are very strict about that, but the vet hospital here switches them over with no wash-out period.

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    1. I waited until he was due for another dose before switching back to the banamine. I would be more worried about a washout period if this were a chronic or less acute problem. You have to weigh the risks and swapping drugs once during an acute episode seems less of a risk than having him stay down and unresponsive. It is not something I would want to do on a regular basis, but I feel this situation warranted it.

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  7. All fingers strongly crossed here for poor Ben to get well quickly now, and for poor you to identify the culprit beyond doubt. My hope is that it's something you can guard against in future with lesser means than thermonuclear warfare, but if that's what it'll take, I'm with you! May much better, easier times lie ahead, starting today!

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  8. Oh Kris. Is the Vet coming tomorrow?

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