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LennyDVM, Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 548
Experience:  30 years as owner of a mobile practice treating pets, horses, small ruminants and other species.
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I have a donkey that has trouble getting up. If I raise him

Resolved Question:

I have a donkey that has trouble getting up. If I raise him up he seems to stand and walk OK and eats his hay and grain and drinks water. Any Ideas?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  LennyDVM replied 7 years ago.

Chronic arthritis is common in older donkeys. This can cause difficulty getting up particularly if the donkey is overweight. It is most common in older donkeys because they have more wear and tear arthritis. Other joint, muscle or bone injuries can cause similar signs.


Founder of laminitis is another common problem that makes it difficult to get donkeys up. This is common in the spring when the grass is lush and at other times of the year when rain has make the grass particularly fast growing and lush. Generally, the donkey acts like it is walking on eggs and shifting from one front foot to the other. The digital pulse is stronger than normal. This can be felt over the sesamoid bones on both sides toward the back of the fetlock. The feet can feel hotter than unaffected feet.


Some neurologic problems could have a similar presentation.


Treatment depends on the exact cause and a hands on exam by your veterinarian is needed to diagnose the cause in your donkey. Treatment could involve antiinflammatory drugs like butazolidin, limited access to grass......etc.


Let me know if you have follow up questions.


How old is the donkey?

Does he have any problems with chronic lameness?

What type of feed does he get

LennyDVM and other Large Animal Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

The donkey is 7yrs.old and has not had any past problems with lameness.


He gets 4 cups of sweet feed a day plus timothy and grass hay 2 times a day, which he cleans up his feed OK.. He just has a problem getting up.


Thank you

Expert:  LennyDVM replied 7 years ago.

The main causes of trouble getting up are pain and weakness.


The most common cause of pain is arthritis. Giving pain medication for a few days is one way to determine if pain is involved. If the trouble getting up gets better on meds, pain is a factor.


Weakness is often a result of nervous system problems. It can also be caused by mineral deficiency or excess (selenium is an example), some plants, etc.

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