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December 30, 2004

Make Your Own Donkey Sunglasses

So what do you do if you need to protect your donkey's eyes from bright sunlight? Here's how I solved that problem.

KristieJorgensen.jpgAbout two weeks ago one of my donkeys developed an eye problem. One of his eyes was really tearing a lot and was obviously irritated and bothering him. So I scheduled an appointment with my vet to have him checked right away.

The vet checked for a corneal ulcer, but didn't find any. He didn't see anything specific that seemed to be causing the problem. So he sent me home with an Aspirin power (to go in my donkey's feed), an antibacterial eye ointment, and another ointment to dilate his eye.

My donkey was a very good patient. He stood very still and didn't give me any trouble when I put the ointments in his eye. He didn't particularly like the powder in his feed though.

While I had him on the Atropine dilator ointment, I needed to protect that eye from bright sunlight during the day. So I made homemade "sunglasses" for my donkey.

First I found a fly mask that fit my donkey well. Then I cut a patch of soft cloth to go over his eye. If I am only shading one eye, I prefer soft dark colored flannel. Dark colored cloth doesn't seem to let through as much light as white or real light colors.

If I had to shade both eyes at the same time, I think I'd try to use a loose mesh type of material in a darker color to reduce the sunlight but still allow the donkey to be able to see. With only one eye covered, my donkey was still able to get around his pen fine, and didn't act bothered in the least.

For my mammoth size donkey, I made the flannel patch about 7 or 8 inches square. Then I stitched the patch into the flymask with a needle and thread. It doesn't have to be fancy - just enough stitching to hold the patch in place.

Once it was finished, all I had to do was just put the mask on my donkey and his eye had great protection from the sun!

After a week on his meds, he is doing much better. I took Andy back into the vet on Monday to have a check-up, and the vet said he looked great, and could stop taking the medicines. I left the mask on Andy a few more days until the Atropine wore off, and now he is back to normal again.

So if you ever need to temporarily protect your donkey's eyes from the sun, try making your own donkey "sunglasses"!

Just remember, eye problems are nothing to mess around with. If your donkey or mule develops an eye problem, contact your vet right away. Often times eye infections or injuries will heal quite quickly when treated promptly, but procrastination can cost you an eye, so don't put it off!

Kristie Jorgensen

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at December 30, 2004 09:06 PM