I don’t have a whole lot of media for this post, because taking pictures of a donkey in splints is only so much fun…so if you’re just wanting to see cute donkey pictures, check back later. 😉
Let’s start with the good news. Remy has been able to balance and stand in his splints! Every time I went to feed him yesterday I found him standing up, which is nice for many reasons, one of them being that he’s not laying in his own pee anymore. Small victories you guys.
Other good news! We rewrapped Remy’s legs last night (one of the splints was getting a little loose and trying to rotate) and found a couple of small sores on his legs, but considering that the one splint was trying to wiggle around, that didn’t surprise us. We rebandaged to allow less movement and hopefully keep the sores from getting bigger, but guess what?! His legs are SO much closer to normal now. You remember what they looked like originally:
I’d guess that we started with legs around a 120 degree angle and now we’re probably between 160 degrees and 170. With 180 being straight if you’re like me and have abolished geometry knowledge from your sleep deprived brain and need to google image search protractors to be able to articulate what you’re saying…
But yes, HUGE improvement.
The bad news is that with his new splints he’s back to being unable to walk. He’s not back to a blank slate though, he just needs to figure out how to navigate the new, slightly tighter splints. I’m honestly not worried about this since he managed to stand so much yesterday. I think he’ll figure it out again in time.
The more frustrating part of it all is that Emma has been very unwilling to feed him since Friday. At first I tried tying her in the stall and holding him to nurse, but then she started swinging her leg at him. When untied the worst thing she does is walk off when I’m holding him up to nurse. This is obviously frustrating af because I’m trying to hold the baby and hold her still at the same time. Luckily Emma is a whore for butt scratches, so we’ve gotten to this point by giving her all the butt scratches in the world while Remy nurses. This works about 70% of the time. The other 30% of the time I’m skin twitching her with one hand and holding him with the other or kicking the wall of the stall and cursing.
You may remember that Remy needs to eat, at least, every three hours. So, since I’m still working my full time job, that means I take 30 minutes or so every three hours to go and wrestle a 350lb (estimate of Emma’s weight? lolz) donkey to stand to be nursed while holding a 25lb donkey in the opposite hand. I change clothes in the horse trailer before this so I’m less likely to smell like donkey when I return to work, and so that I don’t sweat through my work clothes. We were blessed with some 70-something degree days this week, which has been wonderful to keep me from sweating as much. Unfortunately tomorrow will bring the return of 80 degree days, so our respite from the heat is limited.
Anyway, a big change is coming today that will make things much easier. I’ve ordered milk replacer. Emma has been the biggest nuisance in this whole situation and has been biting Remy whenever he tries to nurse (yesterday when he was standing) without me holding him. She’s DONE with him. She also just casually walked up to him yesterday when he was sleeping, pinned her ears and went to biting on him. So I’m over that whole situation.
I just really want to be able to control how much Remy is eating so that I won’t worry that he isn’t getting enough. He’s had his first meal from the milk replacer and it went well. Luckily, I taught him how to drink from a bowl back during the weekend when his mother was being a sow.
The dosage seemed hard for me to figure out since he’s far from the size of the baby this product is intended for, and, instead of trying to do math on my sleep deprived brain, I called the 1-800 number on the bucket. Buckeye is pretty awesome because they have a nutritionist on staff to answer questions and she gave me a water to formula ratio and had me dilute it further than the typical horse dose because she said the mini donkeys don’t have as many needs nutritionally as a baby horse. Uh, sure. She would know more than I would. So I followed her directions and made a pretty large batch of milk. I’ll probably keep the ratio the same next time but make less milk, we’ll see how long this bottle lasts me. Refrigerated it lasts for 24 hours, so we shall see!
As for Remy’s opinion, he slurped it right up. My vet told me to feed him 2 ounces a meal, 8 times a day, so I put in a little extra to allow for spillage and he left a little in the bottom of the bowl, so I’d say he had his full 2 ounces. Feeding him out of the bowl proved to be much less frustrating (once he stopped flailing) than wrangling Emma and holding him.
So, progress in multiple departments. I’m not sure currently what to do with Emma. I feel like he needs someone with him, but I don’t know whether I should try another donkey or leave her? Her biting may cease once I’m not poking her constantly. I’m also not sure if I want to let her dry up or if I should keep offering him the opportunity to nurse off of her. Just in case she magically likes him again once he can walk? Should I try to graft him onto Chloe once her baby is here if he’s walking? The questions are as numerous as the answers, but all I know is where I’ll be every three hours from now on…until I’m not. 😉