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Donkey with liver failure and sores
 Moderated by: DrDeb  
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Joined: Wed Aug 31st, 2016
Posts: 1
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 Posted: Wed Aug 31st, 2016 06:18 pm
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Dr. Deb I read a post here where you had explained that "greasy heel and scratches are due to eating plants that are toxic to the liver and/or create a photo reaction burn."
My donkey has sores that appear as skin peeling and leave raw areas in varying places throughout his body. At first I thought that they were pressure sores, then they appeared in areas that would not recieve pressure. He became extremely weak, stiff and unsteady on his feet. It was obvious that it was painful for him to move. He has a history of foundering, so he was pulled off of the pasture where he was allowed to graze in the daytime only.
He has been receiving A supplement for "horses prone to founder" and a loose, free choice salt/mineral supplement recommended by my vet.
His lab values show liver failure with RBCs low at 5.28 .
Sadly, I lost a cow showing liver failure a few years back. Now I am strongly suspecting something could be toxic in my pastures. Though I have had several vets take a look and didn't think so........
He has been receiving Bute and a vitamin/ mineral supplement along with hay and a tiny amount of low carb grain. New sores develope almost daily and he is still pretty painful upon moving. It has been several weeks now and I am very close to putting him down.
I am wondering if you have any suggestions/ideas for me........
As a side note, we are extremely Selenium deficient here. (Have experienced cattle problems.) The loose mineral is high Selenium. Horse has tested in range, but have not tested donkey.
Thank you in advance for any advice on this matter.

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Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Posts: 3307
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 Posted: Wed Aug 31st, 2016 07:50 pm
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Brangus, I'm very sorry about the donkey. Do put him down as soon as his quality of life is no longer good.

You do need to survey your pasturage, as well as your hay. Begin by obtaining a copy of "Poison Plants in the Pasture" from our main website at, click on "bookstore" and then "books on CD". The PP book contains excellent pictures of a wide variety of plants, so that it will be easy for you to learn how to identify them on sight. It's indexed/bookmarked too, so that you can focus on (1) liver-toxic plants and (2) those most likely to occur in your area of the world. -- Dr. Deb

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