Harry and Sally look like ponies but are hinnies. While a mule has a horse mom and a donkey dad, hinnies have a donkey mom and a horse dad - or pony. Because their mom is a donkey and they therefore grow up in a donkey environment they have the same or at least very similar diet requirements to donkeys: low sugar and starch.
Donkeys as much a hinnies get easily obese and with obesity comes a whole list of other issues like diabetes and foundering. Foundering is a very serious hoof disease originating in laminitis, inflammation in the hoof which can lead to the hoof wall separating from the coffin bone. This is extremely painful and only in some cases and with immense effort treatable. Most equines with founder get out down.
Sally has shown issues with laminitis on and off and was therefore put on a strict diet, rogethwr with her brother Harry and the two donkeys. But then at the end of last winter I noticed that Harry was losing weight while everyone else had quite the belly. When the dentist came it turned out that Harry has extremely bad teeth - or actually almost no teeth - in the back where they would be chewing their food. The dentist explained that where he does still have teeth there is almost nothing left of the tooth and condition of his teeth is typical for serious lack of nutrition especially in younger years.
So I've been chopping hay for him and he also gets special horse feed twice a day as I'm trying to put some weight on him again.
On one hand there's Sally who cannot has to be restricted on her feed due to going lame otherwise, on the other hand there's Harry who cannot get enough calories which obviously puts me in a pickle when I cannot separate them beyond a short feeding period as they are really bonded, yet their diet requirements couldn't be more opposite.
As long as the donkeys were still here they shared a pasture with Sally and kept her company when Harry would go stay with Rocky for single days or half days, but I can't leave Sally all by herself, she will freak out and pace the pasture dividing fence line
And now, to make matters worse, Harry almost stopped eating and the dentist says he needs to have a tooth pulled for which a vet needs to assist for sedation. I've been trying to get a vet out for two days. Our regular vet is unavailable until the second half of January. The other vet we use for our cats and dogs still hasn't called me back.
Poor little Harry 🥰❤️🩹