Colic Questions - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 10-31-2010, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Colic Questions

So my horse coliced today, most likely from the extreme weather changes we have had, it went from mid-high 70's down to mid-low 50's. Anyway, he was compacted this morning, so the vet tubed him, put what he said was about "two buckets worth of water" into his stomach and laxitives. It about four hours to want to eat and poop, so we thought it would be ok, although he still hadn't drank anything he was eating and pooping. I get a call a few hours later from my trainer that he is in a lot of pain, isn't pooping again, won't eat or drink and is laying down and biting at his stomach, he called the vet again. I get another call that he is nibbling his hay but still isn't drinking, the vet thinks he is still compacted and if he isn't drinking by tomorrow he is going to the clinic for an IV so he doesn't get dehydrated. Sorry for the novel, but it leads to my question, is it common for a horse to go up and down with colic? Be eating and pooping, then be in pain again? I trust my trainer, I don't really know the vet but everyone at the farm seems to trust him, I haven't really needed him until now. Any horse that I have seen colic once they poop they are usually fine, you just need to moniter what they eat and their stress level for a while to make sure they don't get sick again, what I was taught, I have never seen a horse go so back in forth within hours. Just wondering what your experiences have been, anything similar?
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post #2 of 21 Old 11-01-2010, 01:38 AM
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Colic is a VERY serious problem with a horse and something that needs to be managed over time.. not something that can be fixed quickly.. I know when my horse coliced she experienced the same thing your horse did, that is until I walked her.. and walked her... and walked her. All the while I stopped at a bucket of water and let her take some water... then more walking. If your horse is locked in his/her stall then they are just going to keep having problems as your not allowing whatever is blocking him up to move through.

Also, listen to the horses guts.. they should always have sounds coming from their guts, if there's no sounds (like when you have gas bubbles moving in your belly but much louder) then the horse isn't over the colic. Get him/her walking until you notice more gut sounds and make sure you keep him/her drinking. I'd really limit how much they ate until this was taken care of.. especially grain as that can just make it worse.

Please remember though that I'm not a vet just speaking from personal experience and you should always consult your vet before attempting any self care.
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post #3 of 21 Old 11-01-2010, 07:16 AM Thread Starter
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We had him walking all day, should have mentioned that, and he wasn't allowed grain. We offered him water, he just wasn't interested. We would walk him for an hour or more try putting him in his stall to poop, he usually won't outside for some reason, then walk again. We put him on the trailer to see if it would get him to poop and he did, he looked a lot better and ate some grass, still didn't want water, he wouldn't eat his bran mash either. I was wondering if it's normal for them to poop and look better then get blocked up again and be in pain. I don't have much first hand experience with colic thankfully, so I was just wondering. Waiting to hear if he has drank anything or is going to get an IV still.
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post #4 of 21 Old 11-01-2010, 07:23 AM
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How is he doing?

It is not uncommon that some manure might come out but them still have some really dry manure in there causing a problem. Was the manure that came out a full pile worth or just a few balls?

When the vet puts all that moisture into their system via tubing, they frequently do not drink from their bucket for a while. Their bodies have the moisture it thinks it needs.

Wondering, does he willingly eat bran mash when he is feeling well? Some horses do not like it, that is why I ask.
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post #5 of 21 Old 11-01-2010, 07:27 AM Thread Starter
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As of last night he was really uncomfortable again, biting at his side and rolling, waiting to hear from my trainer this morning. He had a full manure pile. I have only given him bran mash once and he loved it. He was very back and forth about eating yesterday, which I can understand if his stomach hurt. Thanks for the responses guys!
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post #6 of 21 Old 11-01-2010, 07:31 AM
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Do not feed him mash/grain. Let him eat some grass if he wants or a bit of hay. At least for a couple of days. Do you think he is dehydrated? Grab the skin on his neck and see if it bounces back or if it takes a bit to go back. It is very common that a horse gets that impacted. Thus a reason to not feed them much. Grass is good as it is mostly water and easier to digest. But again don't let him eat a lot! Walking is best gets his system up and working. Chewing also gets his system moving. So walk, let him munch on grass, walk etc... Do you have a salt block for him? Let him lick that or give him some salt from your home. Might encourage him to drink. Good luck and update us.
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post #7 of 21 Old 11-01-2010, 07:33 AM
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You need to get some bute!
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post #8 of 21 Old 11-01-2010, 07:41 AM
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I have a horse who colics all the time. I don't let him eat at all for 12-24 hours after a colic. Sometimes he will feel better but still need some time for his system to clear out. Of course I never with hold water. The next day I put him out in a pasture with no hay, and allow him to eat grass. The day after that we start back on hay, and not till the fourth day does he get grain again.

My during colic routine is fifteen minutes of walking followed by fifteen minutes of stall rest. If he is really thrashing around in the stall then we skip the stall rest. But if he'll stand or lay down quietly then it's good for him to get some rest time. If after two hours of this if he is not looking better I'll call the vet in.

Thats just what I have found works well for my horse. Your horse might be different.

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post #9 of 21 Old 11-01-2010, 08:00 AM
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First, are you sure it is the tempurature change? And not another type of colic. 20 degrees isnt a massive change. Here in Fl... It can be mid 70s during the day and drop to the 30s and 40s at night.

When I have a horse colic, I pull them off all feed and coastal hay. They get a 10cc does IV of banamine. Then I use an old turkey baster and give them about a gallon of mineral oil (in their mouth like wormer.... takes sometime, but cheaper than a vet). And I walk them till I have stomach noise. They dont get anything to eat till they poop and oil comes out in the poop (that shows that there is no impaction or twist). Then they go on straight alfalfa for about 3 days. Then I gradually start feeding grain again (about a 1/4 of a scoop the first day per feeding, 1/2 scoop the second and so on.) And I keep a very close eye... if I think they may roll they are out walking again.

And before anyone says anything.... if a vet needs called, I will call them. But I have been around plenty colicing horses in my life. And can pull them through most of the time on my own. If I think for one second I cant, they are in the trailer goin to my vet.

Many people have sighed for the 'good old days' and regretted the 'passing of the horse,' but today, when only those who like horses own them, it is a far better time for horses. ~C.W. Anderson
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post #10 of 21 Old 11-01-2010, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by mbender View Post
You need to get some bute!
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Why? To me, bute would aggravate colic.
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