Avoiding the big C and the big F... - Page 3

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Avoiding the big C and the big F...

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    09-08-2011, 01:06 PM
For colic I've always thought of it as most animals, when their stomach disagrees with something, has something it can not handle it vomits it out. Horses on the other hand do not have that capability and what ever is bothering their stomach stays there.

As far as I know the main reason for a cause of death from Colic is when the horse constantly rolls to escape the pain, then they twist their intestines, and after that they have to be euthanized. Or from the original problem.

Just like people are more or less susceptible to colds because of their different immune systems, horses are more or less prone to getting colic or founder. All three horses I have owned have never colicked, I have done free pasture with feedings, stalled with only hay feedings. Fed only alfalfa and grain, had horses that had a lot of exercise in various amounts of weather and horses that have been on stall rest for months. None of them colicked because they are not as prone to it.

While on the other hand I had a neighbor that bought a horse knowing it had colicked a few times in the past. The horse was fine until the owner stopped riding and fed too much hay, and we had a heat streak. The horse became obese, colicked and by the time the owner found it the horse had been down for hours and had twisted an intestine. The horse was sadly euthanized. But the process that took to getting to that point took well over 7 months, and all extreme possibilities.

I know very little about founder other than it is from over feeding rich food and causes extreme lamness. But I have never seen a horse that had foundered. Its less common than colic.
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    09-08-2011, 08:25 PM
Originally Posted by Heelsdown    
I worked for a veterinarian for a few years so I know a lot about dog and cat health. But horse health is very different. The closest I can see is somewhat of a relation between colic in horses and gastric torsion in dogs, but still they are different.
Yes they are similar except that in a GDV it is the stomach that twists and in horses it is usually the small or large intestines and they can be twitsed around themselves, strangulated by a hanging piece of fat (lipoma), traped in a tight area that they are not supposed to be in (a small hole in the mesentary or through a hernia). These are surgical emergencies and there are things to look for to see if it is a bad colic like this or just a gas colic or mild impaction that may work itself out without surgery. Have a stethoscope and get used to your horses normal vital signs. Call your vet immediately if:
The heart rate is 80-100bpm (or higher)
The gums start to look red instead of pink and the CRT is longer than 3 secs
You have given banamine and it has not made the horse more comfortable

All of those are major warning signs that things are bad and will probably need veterinary intervention.

One quick note on Banamine, do not give it in the muscle even though the bottle says you can only IV. It can cause a gangrenous necrosis of the muscle tissue, very nasty! Also always make a note of the time that you gave it and the amount so that you can be precise if your vet asks.
    09-08-2011, 11:39 PM
One quick note on Banamine, do not give it in the muscle even though the bottle says you can only IV.
Wow about the muscle. So it can only be give IV? I'm going to hope that hitting a vein on a horse is a bit easier than a dog? Lol I can do it, but it can take a few tries. I imagine on a horse that is uncomfortable and moving around, hitting a vein can't be the easiest thing in the world.

Fed only alfalfa and grain
So alfalfa hay is okay if the horse is getting plenty of exercise? I've read that grass hay is best for horses. Is alfalfa a type of grass hay?

I know how much critters like bunnies and guinea pigs love alfalfa cubes so I would think horses would love alfalfa hay. The smell of alfalfa is like aromatherapy for me. I just love it.

Great info on founder and colic. I feel like I understand the two so much better now as I understand that lamintitis can lead to founder or it can not.

When I have a horse, it will be mostly just pleasure. I won't be doing any competing and no jumping. So I'm not concerned as much about founder from the horse being overworked or overstressed. But the over eating part scared me.
Accidents happen to easily and I just really feel for these owners whose horses accidentally got into a bag of grain or they didn't realize that hay had mold and they ended up with sick or dead horses. It's so sad and something that can happen to anyone.

I have to say after reading about these two, I realize how much the ability to throw up benefits us! How much could be prevented if horses could only puke like a dog could.
    09-09-2011, 04:09 AM
Originally Posted by Heelsdown    
Wow about the muscle. So it can only be give IV? I'm going to hope that hitting a vein on a horse is a bit easier than a dog? Lol I can do it, but it can take a few tries. I imagine on a horse that is uncomfortable and moving around, hitting a vein can't be the easiest thing in the world.
Actually once you have been taught correctly how to do it, horses are the easiest species to do IV injections on. Obviously if they won't stand still it gets a bit harder but they have a jugular like a garden hose and it's very superficial.

Originally Posted by Heelsdown    
So alfalfa hay is okay if the horse is getting plenty of exercise? I've read that grass hay is best for horses. Is alfalfa a type of grass hay?
No Alfalfa is a lugume hay not a grass hay. Alfalfa is lovely in moderation but presents it's own problems when fed alone since it is very high in protein and so it is best fed mixed with a grass hay (such as timothy). Grass hay is not at all dangerous to feed it terms of founder because the grass is mature (less sugar content than young growing grass) and dried (sugar is lost with drying).
If you are only using your future horse for pleasure and you have alot of land then no the horse will probably not need grain. However, depending on where you live you may need to supplement with hay over the winter.
    09-10-2011, 03:38 AM
Thank you for all of that info! Good to know that in the summer months the horse can graze. I'll be sure to watch out for the spring grass.

That is also great to know they have a good jugular! Now that I think about it, it makes sense that hitting their vein isn't too hard. I'd definitely want to know how to give the injection if the occasion came up and I was waiting on the vet.

I'll make a note of giving timothy hay and leave the alfalfa for a treat.

So the cycle with grass seems to be the sugar is high when the grass is first growing in the spring, summer the sugar is lower, if grass is cut and it starting to dry the sugar is higher which is why grass clippings are dangerous, but totally dried grass has low sugar.

Thanks again all.
    09-10-2011, 05:23 AM
Where I live, founder is much more prevalent than colic. Most people I know have had at least one horse/pony who has needed special management to avoid founder.

I have two easy keepers. One I manage by letting her get lean over winter so she goes into spring a good weight, not already fat. The other I need to muzzle. Last year he wore a muzzle 24/7 for about three months to manage his weight.

People I know use yards, soaking hay (grass hay can certainly trigger laminitis in already prone horses), feeding founderguard, muzzling, strip grazing.

Properly managed, it isn't a huge deal. Enough excercise can be the most important part.

Just another perspective!
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    09-10-2011, 05:25 AM
Stressed, short grass or frost effected grass is also high in sugars.
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    09-10-2011, 05:39 AM
Green Broke
This has been very informative and will no doubt hold me in good stead over the next few weeks analising the information given. So, you don't need anymore from me. On that note I will continue to add my humble opinion.

STOP worrying first you have to find your horse. You have the land and feed available so build a smaller paddock 50 yrds square. That is to put him in if he eats to much, but first put the horse in that area or mow it down. This is a holding area he/she can't over eat so you have some control.

When you find the horse that steels your heart, and it will, we can see that coming. Take note of its present living conditions, is it free roaming, is it given suplements, what is the present owner doing for exercise, (I mean for the horse) Note all the information and take the horse home. If the horse has been stabled and you are not going to, then make the adjustments to the horse slowley at first giving it a chance to get used to its new way of living. If its never been turned out to forrage then bring that change in, in stages so he does not over eat.

When my horse Stella arrived she had been wintered with a cover on so I continued that for the remainder of that winter, but not this winter she had to grow hair and be a horse. (she was not happy)

So go and find that horse, make changes to its life habbit slowley and all will be fine. On a final note a horse is like having a teenager in the house. It cause worry, it challenges your intructions and it will try and boss you, on a regular basis. Enjoy, they really do give in return.
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    09-10-2011, 04:38 PM
Thank you Stan. I want the horse to be a pleasure and I don't want to worry about every little thing. There's so much info out there and it feels overwhelming at times, but the more I read, the more I can see that it's not rocket science. It's just knowing what to do and then doing it.

I'm sure eventually it will be second nature and I won't even have to think about it. I'm so glad I'm reading all this stuff now so by the time I find my heart horse, I can just enjoy him/her.

Stressed, short grass or frost effected grass is also high in sugars.
Noted, thanks!

soaking hay (grass hay can certainly trigger laminitis in already prone horses),
What is soaking hay? If a horse has already had laminitis in the past, what is the best kind of hay to give?

Also about beet pulp, I've read you need to soak it first so it doesn't expand in their stomach. Is this more of a treat or is it good to have as part of their diet?
    09-10-2011, 05:24 PM
Green Broke
Soaking hay takes out what little sugars and protiens were left in the hay.

Beet pulp can be used as part of thier diet, infact is preferable to cereal feeds in a lot of cases.

Some types of ponies/horses are more prone to lammi. Welsh section A's tend to be extremely prone to it but the bigger horses (TB's and warmbloods) are less prone.

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