A donkey developed abdominal discomfort and distension together with cardiovascular collapse and gastric reflux 24 to 36 hours after ingesting a large amount of poultry feed. Rectal findings prompted a laparotomy that identified extensive gastric dilation, an empty, atonic small intestine, dry colonic content and an easily corrected caecal displacement. These findings were not consistent with the severity of the signs, which were attributed to endotoxaemia. The donkey was euthanased during recovery. Necropsy revealed acute necrotising pancreatitis with massive gastric dilation and right dorsal colon impaction. The clinicopathological features of acute equine pancreatitis associated with grain overload are discussed.