Tuesday, May 22, 2018

George finally believes I'm not trying to poison him

George has seasonal allergies which make both of us miserable all summer long.
Last year, they got so bad by the end of August that I had to put him on medication,
which caused him to founder, which meant he had to be confined for several months,
which made both of us miserable all fall. This year, I was determined to get ahead
of the problems and worked with our vet to develop a treatment plan.

The cornerstone of the plan is this stuff, Platinum Skin & Allergy:
One teaspoon a day and maybe he won't suffer.

I gave it to George for the first time 45 days ago.
Since then, he has been convinced that I'm trying to poison him.
You think I'm kidding. I'm not.
 I don't know what the powder tastes like, but I do know that it smells very fishy 
and nothing I've tried masks the odor and makes it palatable to a very smart ass.

Here are some of the ways I've tried to get it into him:
- sprinkled on top of hay pellets
- mixed with molasses and sprinkled on top of hay pellets
- mixed with molasses and crushed peppermints and sprinkled on top of hay pellets
- hidden in a Fig Newton
- hidden in a fruit roll-up
- hidden in a piece of bread spread with jam
- hidden in homemade oat/applesauce treats
- hidden in homemade oat/molasses treats
- mixed with applesauce and squirted into his mouth using a syringe
- mixed with molasses and squirted into his mouth using a syringe
- and on and on and on.

I should note here that Alan, who does not have allergies,
scarfed up every powder-laced tasty treat that George spit out on the ground.

Each failed attempt was followed by a day or two of rest so that George wouldn't
become defensive and suspicious. Since burros are born defensive and suspicious,
the breaks did nothing but prolong our agony.

Finally, remembering that dealing with a burro is akin to dealing with a perpetual toddler, 
I changed my approach. Just like when my parents wouldn't let me
leave the kitchen table until I ate all my vegetables,
George would have to stay in a stall, by himself, until he finished his poison-laced pellets. 

And guess what...it's working!
For six days in a row, George has eaten all of his pellets.

I mix the poison powder with a bit of apple butter, then add that mixture to soaked hay pellets.
Yesterday, I added another foreign substance to the recipe, spirulina, 
which should also help his allergies.

Sir, your breakfast is ready.

I learned the hard way to place the soaked pellets directly into the hay tub.
(The first day we tried this, George merrily flipped his breakfast bowl out of the tub, 
dumping all the pricey ingredients into the dirt.)

Watching him eat makes me ridiculously happy
and cautiously optimistic that we'll have an itch-free summer.


  1. You do tell a great story! Now ... George DID have a little to do with it. ;)

  2. AAAAaaak! My first comment got cut short! You really tell a great story. A belly chuckle tale. I'm sure George would agree ... by the fall. ;)

  3. have you tried banana? My rabbits (who are more like burro's than you might think) take almost anything mixed wit banana...
    good luck with the itchies!
    Elsewhere from Amsterdam

  4. I'm guessing that since the apple and peppermint flavors were not strong enough to hide the odd smell/flavor, that watermelon would not work either.

    poor George. All those interesting flavors are not helping the medicine go down.
    M in NC

  5. Really hope it works!! /Gretchen

  6. Glad he is cooperating! When Redford had to take antibiotics (giant awful tablets) I went through basically the same list as you and finally one day in desperation just tossed them into his feed tub with his wet OTBC cubes. He ate them like they were candy! I stopped trying to hide/mask things for the donkeys and they seem to take better to simply being served what they need to eat. Hope George has an itch-free summer. I use chondroitin, spirulina, and fresh ground flax for itchy equines. Start early in the itchy season and keep it up through the summer. It’s extremely effective.

  7. Yay! So glad he's finally eating it. I feel your pain. Why does the good stuff always have to taste so bad (and cost so much)?

  8. Oh the things we do for our furbabies!! Hope this works for an itch free season.

  9. My horse has been on that for about 5 or 6 years. Yes, it's very expensive and you don't want them to miss a crumb of it. I've also had my guy on allergy injections. He's been doing great for 4 years but this year....ugh....terrible hives again. I live with allergies myself so I know these things will pass. In the meantime, we just do what we can.

  10. Wouldn't life be grand for all animal owners if we could do what we do for Marigold kitty's arthritis? We put one small white pill on a paper plate with two kitty treats, and when she eats the pill FIRST then we give her more treats that are also good for fiber in her diet! I've been through all the types of things you have to give meds to various animals. The funniest was giving Inky dog Pepto-Bismol from a turkey baster. "The Incident of the Pink Walls"!

  11. Oh, what lengths we will go to for our 4-leggeds!

  12. An American in Tokyo5/22/18, 7:38 PM

    I have lots and lots of allergies, so I understand!
    I hope George gets the idea that the fishy stuff is good for him soon!
    Fingers crossed!

  13. Michelle from Vancouver5/22/18, 8:02 PM

    Maybe some watermelon as a treat ?

  14. We had to give our large dog pepto bismol and gator aid when she got food poison from something in the yard. She had pink lather all over her face by the time we were finished. Maybe you should just put the spoon of stuff in the back of George's mouth and then give him a treat to push it down or some water.

  15. So glad he is finally eating the itch prevention medicine. He is a good boy and no more stubborn than the rest of us. Most of the time he cooperates well.

  16. understand perfectly how happy you feel when he is finally eating it! same with cat here! so I dont feel so alone any more! thanks (does this treatment of platinum/spirulina work for humans 'cause I also have allergies?)

  17. Alex? isn't it a name for a boy?

    1. Technically, yes, but I don't think she'll mind.