nitrate toxicity                                                     sick donkey

                 From:  Vicki/ladywife <ladywife@b...>
                 Date:  Sun Apr 29, 2001  12:33 am


                 It sounds like Bambi is suffering from a severe nitrate toxicity caused by
                 the digestion of the laying pellets.  They probably had corn meal in them
                 too and are high in protein.  As the laying pellets mixed with the digestive
                 juices in her mouth, then stomach, and then small intestine it began
                 releasing nitrates into her bloodstream. 
                 Her kidneys are stressed trying to  filter and remove the nitrates. 
                 Her feet are  very tender.  Standing on them causes a throbbing pain
                 walking is like getting stabbed in the sole with a knife. 
                 Her fetlock, knees, and hocks are aching.  The longer she stands or lies 
                 around the more damage occurs by fluid building up in her lower legs
                 restricting the circulation to her feet. 

                 The four things you can do to help her is 
            #1 walk her at least 5 minutes an hour.  She is going to object because 
                 it is so painful but walking on soft ground is the only way to increase the 
                 circulation to her feet to remove the buildup of fluids from the soft tissues. 
            #2 is gently massage her front legs moving from pastern upwards to her elbow 
                 like your are pulling on tight, stretchy stockings. This will help breakdown the 
                 fluid in her tissues and stimulate her circulation. 
            #3 make a soft, mucky wet spot she can stand in to help cool her feet
            #4 is get as much water into her as possible to help reduce the toxic buildup of 
                 nitrates in her kidneys.  You can mix 1/4 cup of dark Karo corn syrup or any
                 maple flavor pancake syrup with 4 tablespoons of salt (dissolved in 4 
                 tablespoons of HOT water) and use a syringe (no needle) to squirt it in her
                 mouth as far back on her tongue as you can.  The salt will encourage her to 
                 drink water. 

                 Do not give her Bute or Banamine. 
                 Her  kidneys are already stressed and do not need the added stress of trying
                 to cope with a chemical pain reliever.  Pain is not a bad thing.  It is
                 nature's way of telling her she is ill.  Giving her a chemical (bute) to
                 relieve her pain is a shortcut treatment that can cause more harm than good.

                 Instead of using a pain reliever the time spent walking her allows you to be
                 with her when she needs the comforting of a human and the walking will not
                 kill her or possibly damage her kidneys like the chemical could. 
                 The muscle  weakness and wobbling you see is because her muscles are 
                 being robbed of  energy fuel because her entire body is trying to deal with the
                 nitrate toxicity instead of breaking down whatever she eats into fuel to power
                 her muscles.  She is also being drowned by fluid buildup.  As the toxicity
                 levels rises she will get dull-witted with moments of extreme agitation.
                 Sort of dopey acting and stagger and stumble.  If you can keep her on her
                 feet and keep her moving she does have a good chance for a full recovery.
                 Some donkeys can eat a 50 pound sack of high-protein feed and have no
                 obvious ill effects except for some very stinky farts.  Others can eat a 3
                 lb coffee can of average feed and founder. 

                 Please keep us posted on how Bambi is doing.


                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   mineral oil  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                 Get the vet out there to tube mineral oil into her so you can
                 move those pellets out of her gut as quickly as possible to reduce the
                 damage they are doing to her kidneys. 
                 If she is at risk of gas blockage colic, which she most likely is at
                 this point, ask your vet if you can give her one tablespoon per hour of
                 Maalox for 4 hours, wait 6 hours and repeat it for 4 hours.  Maalox also has
                 a laxative effect too.

                 At 08:11 PM 4/28/01 -0000, you wrote:
                 >Two days ago when I got home from work, I found Bambi, my standard 
                 >jennet had managed to squeeze herself into the chicken coop.  This 
                 >meant she gorged on laying pellets and some hen scratch.
                 >Yesterday I noticed she was hanging her head and a little lethargic, 
                 >but she had a good appetite, but a little slow to move around.  She 
                 >ate her dinner as usual. I felt her all over and she kicked me when I 
                 >reached her belly just in front of her hind legs.  I am thinking, 
                 >okay, maybe she has a good case of gas, because her appetite seems 
                 >Today, she is still quite lethargic, she is lying in the sun, and 
                 >almost wobbly on her legs, like they can't support her.
                 >I have cleaned out her hooves, and she did have a stone or two in 
                 >them, and she ate her breakfast.  I brushed her all over this 
                 >morning, and she didn't mind being touched anywhere. This afternoon, 
                 >she is lying out in the sun with her head down, (I thought she was 
                 >dead!) and when I felt around her body, she got very upset when I 
                 >touch her on her belly just before her hind legs. When she gets up 
                 >she seems very weak, like you feel when you have the flu.
                 >She was just wormed a week or so ago.  Do you think it is because of 
                 >her pigging out?  They have done this before and managed to get 
                 >through it all right with lots of water on hand and straw.
                 >Any suggestions?  I have put a call into my vet, but no answer as yet.
                 >Worried in NW BC

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