Why is my Donkey Limping?

It’s a scary thing when I see a donkey limping here on my farm. The first thing that pops in my mind is a hoof issue, but that’s not always the case. There can be several reasons why your donkey is limping.

7 Possible Reasons My Donkey is Limping

  1. Look for any wounds or bite marks. 
  2. First check hooves and clean out any rocks, look for an object wedged in the hoof that could be the cause.
  3. Check for thrush. Advanced cases of thrush can cause limping
  4. Check for cracks or pieces of hoof missing. White line disease can cause limping.
  5. Feel the hoof for heat and check digital pulse. A diet change, such as to much green grass, could be causing inflammation and laminitis.
  6. I try to determine if it’s an abscess that has not come to the surface yet. Once the abscess burst they typically start walking normal immediately. I check for increased digital pulse on affected hoof, does the hoof feel warm to the touch, and sensitive to hoof testers. ( a farrier once showed me to lightly tap on the hoof surface which can help you tell if there is a particular area that’s more sensitive. This may be where the abscess will come to surface)
  7. Check the leg and knee joint area for swelling and tenderness. Donkeys can twist joints and pull muscles when they are running or playing.

Possible Treatments for my Limping Donkey

If I can not determine the cause, I will call my vet. Depending on the cause, I may call my vet or farrier, anyway! 

Once I figure out what the cause is and decide there is no need to call a vet or farrier, I make a plan to treat the problem.

For thrush I either use my DIY which is available in my essential oil book. Click the pic to check it out:

essential oils for equine book

When I have a severe case of thrush I use this though, Tomorrow, it was recommended to me by 2 vets and a farrier when I had a rescue that had one of the worst cases I’ve ever seen. It worked like a charm and I’ve used it since when I’ve got in rescue donkeys with extremely bad thrush. 

For white line issues, I either treat with B Gone White Line, or call my farrier to come out. If there is inflammation and I think it’s laminitis, I try to determine the cause and address it.

For a suspected abscess, I pack it with a poultice and wrap it to try to draw it out faster. If there is a slight swelling around a tendon or the knee joint I also wrap with a poultice to reduce the swelling and relive the pain. My favorite product for swelling and drawing out abscess? If I don’t have one of my own on hand, its this one Durvet Equine Poultice 

It’s awesome, inexpensive, and I always have it on hand and in my first aid kit.

Donkey Limping on Front Leg

Recently I noticed one donkey limping on his front leg. It was Rocketman. His hooves are in good condition and he’s not on rich pasture grasses. I went through the possible causes and it was clear that he had some slight swelling and tenderness around his knee area. After using the above poultice, it was back to good in 2 days.

Here’s a video showing how a wrap up a swollen leg area. It’s very easy. I used +R targeting game to get him to accept the poultice and vet warp before we started.

Donkey Care, Donkey Training and More…

I hope you have found this article helpful if you should ever find yourself with a limping donkey. For more care tips, training help and inspiration in general sign up for the DLL!

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