Don Quixote – a donkey case study

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When I first started visiting Celestial Farms (a non-profit rescue farm) back in 2014, I fell in love with this dwarf donkey, Don Quixote. As far as the farm knows he was surrender by his owners. Unfortunately his hooves were severely overgrown showing that he was not well taken care of. He also shied away from attention and didn’t enjoy being touched.


overgrown hooves

One of the major challenges facing the farm was finding a farrier that was willing to work on trimming his hooves. He has become more friendly, but still does not like his legs touched at all. You are almost guaranteed to be dodging a kick if you try. After many tries a few farriers have finally started to trimming his hooves, but imagine how it feels when you cut a toe nail too short. After each trim Don Q was experiencing a pain similar to this. To help with this we added MSM (nutritional supplement) to his diet.


I created a blend to massage on his hooves that included the carrier oils; jojoba, tamanu oil and St. John’s wort. I also included the essential oils helichrysum (Helichrysum angustifolium), Roman chamomile (Chamaelum nobile) and ginger (Zingiber officinale). The carrier oils were used to help with moisturizing the hoof and help protect it from any infections. The essential oils were utilized for their anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.


Don Quixote leg shape

Don will always have issues, but we continue to work with a farrier to try and properly shape his hooves. The above blend is generally used for a week after a trimming to help reduce soreness. The other long term effect has been damage to the leg and shoulder area because of his stride being wrong. He will always walk with a limp, but he is much more friendly and always loves it when guests bring treats.


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