Why is my donkey so lumpy?

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Why is my donkey so lumpy?

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  • Donkeys getting large lumps
  • Donkey overweight

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    08-03-2012, 10:07 PM
Why is my donkey so lumpy?

My grandma's 8 year old donkey is really lumpy.... She says it's because she's fat but I've never seen a fat horse that was lumpy. Is that what is causing it or could there be something wrong with her. She doesn't get worked much; mostly she just keeps my grandma's horse company.
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    08-03-2012, 10:09 PM
Green Broke
Pictures would be very helpful - "lumpy" doesn't really give us much to go on as to the size, location, nature, etc of the "lumps" you are talking about. IS she overweight?
palominolover likes this.
    08-03-2012, 10:21 PM
Super Moderator
Yes, a pic would help, but donkies do accumulate fat "pads." They lay up fat in specific places and it can make them appear lumpy, as opposed to overall plump like a horse.
    08-03-2012, 10:37 PM
I can't figure out how to post a picture of her on here from my phone... There just lumps vertically across her back. There big like the size of a grapefruit but less circular all along her sides and on her rump. They're hard, not squishy. She is overweight because all she does is hang out in her corral and eat but it just looks weird. It probably is just that she's really fat....
    08-04-2012, 06:04 AM
Donkeys are even more susceptible to problems due to cushy management & environment - that is, to obesity, insulin resistance, cushings, laminitis & such. They have evolved to do well in an even more arid, harsh environment than horses & my thinking is that donks really NEED the type of environment & management that horses want.

What you're seeing are fat pads due to long term obesity which has caused insulin resistance or 'Equine Metabolic Syndrome'. Effectively just about the same 'lifestyle disease' as type 2 diabetes in people(muffin top, anyone?) This donk is now at extra high risk of laminitis - assuming he's not already foundered - and other health issues, especially if not carefully managed & got healthy. Please suggest to your mother to do some research on the serious health problems that are caused by allowing animals to get into this state.
themacpack and Trinity3205 like this.
    08-04-2012, 05:23 PM
Super Moderator
It is called adipose tissue or adipose fat. It develops from chronic obesity and is a symptom of Insulin Resistance.

It, indeed, is associated with founder or a increased danger of severe founder.

Once it is there, it usually stays and the risk factor stays. I would sure keep the donkey off of good grass and would not let it even get a sniff of grain. You might visit www.safegrass.org and see what the sugar content of different grasses is and its connection to founder on horses, ponies and donkeys.
loosie likes this.
    08-10-2012, 10:11 AM
Thank you guys for your response. I'll look more into those things. She has been acting weird lately, too (kind of like she's depressed) so we thought maybe she wasn't getting enough nutrients and stuff so we started feeding her grain. (apparently not a good idea) I'll stop giving her that...
Also here are two pictures of her but from what you guys are saying I think it is just fat.
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    08-10-2012, 10:15 AM
Cherie, what should I be feeding her? Just regular grass (my grandma feeds bermuda grass) with no grain and no alfalfa or anything? Just grass. They are also in a corral so they can't graze.
    08-10-2012, 07:22 PM
Wow! I thought I've seen 'lumpy' but haven't seen it that... ripply! Please DO NOT feed her anything that even looks like grain, apples, even 'good' grass or hay! I'd be feeding her on soaked & drained hay(to leach out a lot of the sugars) with a good nutritional supp. I'd also be looking up an equine vet asap & consider an equine nutritionist. Her 'depression' is very likely because she's in pain, probably with laminitis. Donks IME tend to be even more stoic than horses & when they are lame or showing obvious pain you know it's very serious.

In the meantime... ecirhorse.com safergrass.org & hoofrehab.com will give you some more info.
barrelbeginner likes this.
    08-11-2012, 02:10 AM
Wow! That's weird, could it be tomurs? Hope not. :(

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