The donkey with a personality


Pumpkin's First Shelter

In October 2004, ground of the shelter was covered with 9 rubber stall mats to prevent dirt getting into hooves and causing abscess, plywood was attached to the bottom of the fence to keep Rosebud Shavings, later replaced by Dorris Shavings with better price and consistent product, inside and make her life a bit more comfortable. Pumpkin feels better, hooves look better (they are harder and grow slower), she lays down less and walks faster.

Pumpkin's Daily Treatment

1/2 scoop of Aspirin Powder (to prevent spread of uveitis into healthy left eye) and 1 gram of Bute Powder (to ease her hoof pain).

Actual amount of aspirin and bute powders, she eats, is in fact much smaller because she never completely finish her meal. It doesn't help that powder is apple flavored and mixed with a handful of her favorite Equine Senior Feed by Purina. It's impossible to explain Pumpkin what's good for her... Just keep trying...

Solution has been found: Replacement of Equine Senior Feed by Purina with sugar free Natural Glo® Stabilized Rice Bran which is a powder, so it's completely blended with both aspirin and bute. Pumpkin loves it!

Despite a short period of time of this treatment, it seems to work fine because water discharge from the right eye has significantly decreased. Starting in April 2007, I've been giving Pumpkin every day about two handfuls of LMF Low Non-Structural Carbohydrate Complete feed (I would prefer Stage1 to Complete but it wasn't available at that time), so Pumpkin can have some kind of treat.

New Paradigm Ranch supposed to go out of business in August 10th, 2011 but it took another year before NPR definitely closed at the beginning of October 2012, became a bank acquired property and then finally sold in December 2012. There was no other place for Pumpkin I knew about and could afford at this time. It looked like the only solution was to put her in sleep on July 29th, 2011. But God has decided otherwise. Thanks to Dr. Brian Peck, DVM, Pumpkin found her new home. She shares barn with two goats -- Stella and Stanley. Canuck Ranch is owned by former NHL goaltender and cowboy Dr. Clint Malarchuk and his wife Joanie.

Christmas 2012

Joanie made lovely christmas decoration of barn for Pumpkin and me this year and also a door sign for Pumpkin's stall (see the photo on Home page). It's a real piece of art. Thank you very much.


Pumpkin's arthritic fetlock joints (especially the left one which started first) look really bad. You can clearly see the swelling on the front of the joints. Her toes are facing more and more outward instead of stright forward how it should normally be (see the pictures below). She frequently flexing her fetlock joints because she loosing a control of them and probably tries to ease the pain. I'm afraid that the joins could become permanently locked if they overshot, with Pumpkin walking on the front of her near fore fetlock joints. Then there would be only one way to help her..

June 2015

Pictures posted below show Pumpkin's left front hoof after recovery (?) from long lasting abscess that was going on and off for months. The stress lines are clearly visible and the whole hoof makes shrinking or collapsing impression. It is hard to say if a complete recovery is possible at all, what was the cause of this (poor blood supply or abscess going on and off for longer time?) and why the right front foot is not affected by similar abscess because both front feet are foundered. Anyway, Pumpkin still greets me with her bray when I come to see her, wants to eat and gets around. Usually she needs my help to get up from her "bed" which is a hole in dirt outside of her stall. All this is the most important to me! I know that there is not much more I can do to save her hooves...

The End of the Pumpkin's Story on 02/04/2016

My beloved Pumpkin died suddenly on Thursday, February 4th, 2016 before noon. I came that day early to visit her, just a couple minutes before 1:00pm, and found her already dead in her stall. I regret that I didn't come early in the morning to spend with Pumpkin her last hours alive. The day before she was stressed out, very much confused, and for the first time ever she refused her favorite treat Hilton Herballs.

She had a big problem to stand and walk on her left front foot last couple of days before she died but not because of abscess or sore fetlock joint. It looked to me like her left shoulder was dislocated. The leg was moved an inch or so back. Maybe she fell down when she was trying to get up from her "bed" and injured her leg. I had to hold her around her neck to prevent Pumpkin from falling on her way back to the stall. When I released her, she immediately fell on the ground, urinated and defecated.

She was used from her younger years to spend all time outside because she had never had any shelter before I became her owner. Even on the ranch, where she had a shelter, she preferred to sleep outside in any kind of weather. An old habit is hard to break...

December 2016 and January 2017 were two extremely wet months in Nevada. There was a lot of rainy and windy days here without any snow. Just rain and more rain... I used to bring her, like every winter, about 3 gallons of hot water daily to keep her warm. She loved it and always drank it all. She left all her regular cold water supply untouched in her last days and waited for my arrival. Her hot breath was not so hot any more couple of days before she died. I'm pretty much sure that cause of her death was pneumonia that stopped her heart for ever. Donkeys, unlike horses, don't have a water proof coat...

This is the end of Pumpkin's story. She was buried on the ranch. I miss Pumpkin terribly but on the other hand I'm glad that her suffer is over and I didn't have to call a vet to put her in sleep. I wouldn't be able to arrange it. I'm glad that God made the decision instead of me.

Pumpkin will live in my mind for ever as a wonderful friend of almost seventeen years. I bonded with her the same way she did with me. Sweet sleep my girl until we cross  The Rainbow Bridge together...

"Smrt jednoho dva rozdělí,
smrt druhého navždy zas je stmelí"

(Death divides the two at the beginning,
just to reunite them at the end)

Clik the text to magnify it and read it

Desktop Site