Donkey Wounds do happen! Donkeys are rough and playful. I deal with cuts, bites and scraps on my donkeys all the time. 99.9% of the time a little comfrey salve heals them up in a couple of days. A donkey reputation to be hardy is well earned. They usually have good immune systems and heal easy.
Wounds on a donkey with a less that perfect immune system are no joke. Add that and then my humid summers, which make wounds slow to heal and you can have a problem fast!
Dealing with Donkey Wounds
I noticed a little tiny scrap on one of the mammoth donkeys knee Monday before our trail ride.. it was scabbed over so I thought little about it. The boys are always roughing it up. I dabbed a little salve on it and went on..
About 3 days later, I noticed it had opened up and was bleeding a little. I cleaned it, I’m out of salve (bees wax was on back order!) so I put a different ointment on it. The next day it’s swollen and feels hot!
He’s not lame, doesn’t act like it hurts, of course I’m freaking out. I txt my vet and check into a group I pay to be in with a holistic vet to get some advice.
Moved him to the main barn, so he doesn’t have as much room to roam and no buddies to rough house with.. To much movement might make it worse.
Hock injuries can be really hard to treat if they get infected.
I txt my Vet some pics. She said it looks like cellulitis.. which this donkey has dealt with before from a wound on his ear, twice!
I’m applying copaiba oil and keeping it clean until she can come out.
This wound was draining on its own earlier, but now it stopped and swollen up again.
Vets can’t always come out when you need them. Be prepared
It was a few days before a vet could come out. I couldn’t get my usual vet because she had a sick child, so I called the other vet.
This donkeys knee was more swollen but not lame ,, or sore. Vet wants me to cold hose it but the donkey doesn’t think that’s a good plan told me to keep it wrapped, antibiotics and let him know Monday if its doing any better.
Donkey Wound: After the weekend.
A week later, Looks terrible but Lots more drainage. Doesn’t feel as hot to touch.
He’s still not lame, not sore.. he’s upset being in the barnyard and not out with his buddies but he can see them.. poor guy
His hock is still a little swollen but not nearly as bad..
I just want my big guy to get better…
Unfortunately still not better…
Over 2 weeks now…My Poor guy… his hock still not well and his front right hoof acts like an abscess is coming on. Which totally surprised me because his hoof health has greatly improved and he’s not had a hoof abscess in almost a year since he recovered from his previous owner having him shod and neglected.
Seems like all kinds of stuff is going wrong for this guy.
I can’t seem to get this infection out of his leg is the major concern though… seems insane how this all came about from the tiniest little scab on his knee..
The drawing salve has been pulling pus out and I’m worried maybe there is something in the wound since the other vet that was out didn’t even bother to check..
still no signs of lameness on that leg and the wound isn’t painful.
But… My favorite vet is finally going to make it out today if God’s willing and the creek don’t rise, as we say in the south.
And I sat in on a zoom call this morning with a holistic vet to see if there’s more I can be doing to help his body deal with these issues.
All this and the big guy is just as loving as ever. Braying for dinner.. wanting to be groomed and scratched .. he misses playing though..
Thankfully he allows me to do about anything to him! Good Training pays off in SO many ways!
I’d be devastated to lose him to this nasty infection..
I do think it’s better than it was .. and I’m probably being impatient because these things take time and the wound is in an area that hard to heal.. on top of the heat/humidity.
Thankfully flies haven’t been a bother!!!
Finally my usual vet makes it out to see this wound
Almost a month later: Ok! My usual Vet came and took a culture so we can know a little better what we are dealing with. She cleaned it and put some medicine directly into the wound. Wrapped with drawing salve.
She also dug out his hoof abscess and wrapped with a drawing salve so he should be feeling better on it!
I consulted with the healing barn expert (holistic course/group online) and ordered him some different herbs to try in his food to hopefully boost his immune system.
Since this donkey has had other infections from wounds, my vet recommended he get started on a vitamin E supplement to try and boost his system too.
What Finally Healed
None of the antibiotics worked. The culture came back and there was no unusual bacteria that the antibiotics shouldn’t have taken care of. So I was on my own with essential oils, supplements and herbs.
Here is a PDF from the holistic healing group and the protocol I follow when I have a more serious wound that a dab of salve won’t take care of: