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Rufus' Uninvited Guests

It was February 15th, the day after Valentine's Day. I was spending the afternoon in the paddock hanging out with Rufus and the horses after their dinner feed. The weather was warm enough to remove blankets and I was giving Rufus a full body scratch. It was his favourite activity next to eating. Because he did not have access to a blanket or a shelter before I got him he had spots on his body that looked quite like rain rot. Or, at least that is what I thought. Upon closer inspection one of these spots started to move! LICE! Poor Rufus was infested with lice. Can this creature catch a break? It was a Thursday night and the local shop closed at 6:00. I wasn't about to let Rufus spend the night with these uninvited guests! My youngest son had a Beaver Scouts meeting that night so before I dropped him off I made sure to get the lice powder that would help evict Rufus' friends.

It was dark when I got home. Armed with gloves, a face mask, and a head light I set to powdering up the donkey like a sugar coated doughnut. In addition to the powder I gave him oral ivermectin.

Upon discovering the lice I consulted Mr. Google who informed me that there are two types of lice. Chewing lice live off of the dander and cells shed from the animal and biting lice do just that, bite and suck blood! I was sure Rufus had the biting lice so the ivermectin would help rid of them.

The powder would only kill the adult and nymph lice and not harm the eggs until they hatched. This meant that I would have to repeat the process at the two week mark.

Two weeks quickly rolled by and I gave Rufus a thorough look over. I was hoping to see less critters making a home in his thick coat. I was happy to see that I didn't spot any lice over his topline. Looking closer at his belly and sides there were lots! Ugh! I decided to powder him as much as I could and with my darling husband's help I shaved, as best as I could, the underbelly of a VERY reluctant donkey. I was feeling very defeated as the powder would not stick to his under belly where all of the lice were living.

Another two weeks rolled by and with the advice of my vet, I made the powder into a paste! I'll have to update you on the progress as his third treatment was on Thursday.

The horses I check on a regular basis and happily report they are critter free. I am grateful that I never share equipment and brushes.

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