Nope not me… Mammoth Donkey boys Merlin and Luc… the calmest driving donkeys from both teams. This is really not fair as the other two can not be driven together! Here is Luc and Merlin waiting for their evening meds. Click on all the photos to bring them up to full size.
Luc started limping Thursday the 19th, just about the timeI was getting ready for work. Did a quick check and thought maybe there was some swelling below his knee. When I arrived home, Luc was laying in the donkey sick bed. Merlin’s favorite place to be when he is not feeling good. When Luc got up I noticed he could not move. I went rushing out to check and his entire near side front leg was HOT… not warm but the hottest I have ever felt! Of course this is out in the pasture away from cold water. Stringing hose together I was able to get to him and he really seemed to enjoy the icy cold water running down his heated leg. I didn’t even grab a halter just wanted to get that leg cooled off as quick as possible. Here is Luc slowly making his way to Feed Jail for his evening meds.
In the mean time I noticed Merlin limping into water. He has just recovered from a really nasty abscess that blew a horizontal line across the entire top of his hoof on the back side. I meant to wrap it before the rains and cold weather arrived but it just didn’t happen. After I cooled Luc’s leg I went to check on Merlin.
The hoof crack was filled with mud, there was no heat but he was clearly miserable. I pulled the water hoses up to Merlin and cleaned his front near side hoof thoroughly. Then I poured 7% Iodine into the crack and packed it in Ichthammol, the black drawing salve, and wrapped the hoof. This is Merlin is on his way to feed jail.
By now Luc had made it up to where I was working on Merlin. I was able to hose Luc’s leg until it was just slightly warm with minimal swelling. It wasn’t until the next morning I found a silver dollar size lump on the inside of his lower leg that was fluid filled and very tender. My best guess is Luc was bit or stung and had a huge reaction to something he came into contact with, maybe even play time with Galahad. The lump was gone by the next evening but Luc was still limping. Of course it could always be an abscess, I never rule that out but as of now the hoof and coronary band feel fine and all the swelling and heat are gone.
For five days Luc and Merlin have been receiving a packet each of Uniprim which is excellent for bacterial infections, and Phenylbutazone for pain and inflammation, mixed together in apple sauce. Many hugs and treats follows their daily doctoring for being so good about taking their meds. That first evening was a tough one on me too, they were hurting and I felt so bad for both of them.
I am happy to say that both are recuperating. Merlin is ahead of Luc in being able to get around soundly and both are off meds now. It’s going to be a little bit before they will be back driving. The farrier is due Thursday and once that happens I think we will be able to sneak in a few short drives next week with Merlin and Marshall before their big 4th of July five day layoff. I don’t want to rush it with either one of them. We’ll go for some one on one evening walks to determine if they are ready to get back into harness. Hopefully our next post is all about driving happy healthy Mammoth Donkeys!