Well one of a barn owners worsts fears happened to me yesterday...
Late afternoon my barn help was feeding and noticed one of the horse's wasn't eating his grain. Toby was a 21 y/o appy gelding and one of the last horse's I was expecting health problems. I was summoned to the barn to check on this horse and noticed that he was starting to sweat when he went down. I heard gut sounds but upon inspecting his gums noticed his mouth was a little bloody and his upper guns were severely irritated. Luckily my vet just happened to be in the area and came to the rescue.
He thought that he may have ingested something poisenous perhaps even chemical the way his gums looked especially since he had pooped a few times. (oh course that just added to my stress because there were still 16 horse's in the same pasture with him. My vet treated him as a colic case.. sedatives, tubed mineral oil and electrolytes and he also palpated his colon. He said it wasn't
The vet had another appointment close by and said he would be back but if he gets uncomfortable and goes down again that he needed to go to the hospital. Well the horse went down when we placed him in a stall with his head hanging out onto the isle way.. Of course boarders arrive to see their horses only to see this scary scene. LOVELY.
We ended up taking him to the hospital where they did an ultrasound, abdominal tap, and several tests. They didn't find anything to concrete but his lactates were elevated so they suspected a piece of dieing bowl somewhere. However, the owner couldn't afford the exploritory/colic surgery especially for a older horse who isn't even broke to ride. They pumped him full of laxitives and IV fluids hoping it was an impaction.
I called this morning and found out they had put him down. They did a brief necropsy and found out that he had a strangulating lipoma.
This was my first death as a barn owner... I feel mildly better knowing it wasn't my fault and nothing I could help but it's still sad.
What about you other BO's? How often does it happen to you?