Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cast Donkey ~ How do You pick them up?

I looked out the window and noticed that Eddie the little gelding donkey was laying down next to the feeder.
I didn't think much of it as Sundance had done it yesterday and soaked up some sunshine while she snoozed.
The day before Sundance's older sister had lay in the loose hay also for a bit.

My hubby left to go get some round bales of hay with his hay hauler. I promised that after I'd done some things inside the house that I'd go out and check everyone and also fill the water tanks.

I went over to check on Eddie to see why he hadn't gotten up when I came outside. After some tugging and pushing, I went and got a halter and lead rope.
I rolled him, I swatted him with a whip...to no avail. That donkey was NOT getting up.

He'd also been down for a while. I noticed that he...okay, this is gross, had seemed not to have passed any manure. This could be a problem...a gut ache?
I reached down and used my hand to clear him of manure and he passed a fair amount of gas.

Okay. Maybe a bellyache? He certainly didn't act as if he was coliced.

Well it was obvious that I couldn't get him up without help.

Then an old muleskinner's words came to me. The fella had a mule stuck in muck and she refused to get up. He said he'd been riding her, got into some swampy stuff and she laid right down and refused to get up. He said he'd tugged, pushed, swatted...nothing worked. Then he decided to do what he'd done to his cows when they wouldn't get up.
Grabbed the nose and shut off the wind. Cows will struggle to their feet when their wind is blocked. His mule did too.

Now that sounds awful cruel, but I decided Eddie would just get weaker. I clamped my hand over his nose. His eyes grew wide as he found he couldn't breath. Suddenly his legs were going every which way flaying like mad. He lunged to his feet and fell directly on his nose, gasping.

He was too weak to stand on his own.

Hubby pulled in and we designed a sling out of 2 western cinches. We used the skid steer to pull him to his feet and hold him there.

After about 5 minutes of gassing and passing, Eddie seemed to gain his balance. He was shaky but could stand.
He made his way across the paddock to the water tank and took a drink, then made his way back to the hay bale and began to eat.

...as if nothing had ever happened.

Surely if we'd have let him lay there, he would not be out there this morning in the moon light munching away and braying when I open the back door.

I do love having the animals in paddocks close enough to the house in the winter so that I can see them!
For good reason!

1 comment:

mj said...

On waking early this morning my thoughts drifted to you and Eddie. I was hoping that all turned out well for the little guy. It was so good to learn that he was up and eating! Also I had never heard of the suffocation technique to try and arouse a downed critter. Very interesting! Sounds like your doctoring kicked in when it was most needed and again I'm really happy to hear that he seems to be taking the whole ordeal as if it never even happened. Happy New Year Eddie!