My 25 yo TWH has been with me since a coming 3 yo. He's never had so much as a tummy twinge until March, 2012.
Between March and October 3rd of 2012, he colicked nine times
The regular vet tubed him the first time and stayed until ten that night. The emergency vet tubed him on Sunday afternoon (within a few weeks of the first colic).
Thankfully I am retired and can stay home full time. The other seven times I watched him like a hawk and was able to get Banamine in him as soon as he dropped<---which was literally like a lead balloon
He was diagnosed with Equine Metabolic Syndrome in 2007 for starters; that has been hard on his entire system.
The vet diagnosed this horse as having hind gut ulcers and possibly strangulating lipomas in the GI tract, further to the tumors that have been mentioned. To know for sure about the lipomas would require trucking this horse four hours to UT Knoxville and the vet did not want to do that.
Here's what has completely stopped him from colicking (nothing since October 3, 2012 as I knock on my head).
1. I changed his diet which was already grain-free. Get your horse off any sort of grain and soy products ASAP.
1.1 Giv him his feed pan stuff a minimum of three times daily; four would be better, if you can manage. These types of horses just cannot send too much food thru their digestive system at one time.
1.2 Even though he has metabolic issues, SO FAR, he is able to handle Tuttles Liquid 747 vit/min supplement. The carrier is molasses and I may have to change vitamins when Spring gets here, but for now it's working and the vet said to "go with it" for now.
It only takes one ounce daily.
1.3 Give him equine pelleted rice bran as the vit/min carrier. I know folks will say "beet pulp beet pulp beet pulp" but I should've saved the article that said beet pulp is not ideal under certain circumstances. Chronic/repeated colic and hind gut ulcers is one.
He doesn't need anything else but an ounce of a Liquid vitamin (NOT Red Cell) and some rice bran - essentially an Old People's diet.
But you could add some Omega-3 Horseshine if you'd like; NOT flax seed NOT BOSS, Omega-3 Horseshine. If he colics with it, take it away. My horse does great on 1/2 cup twice daily.
1.4 My horse is now a hard keeper and eventhough metabolic, can handle one pound daily of mushed up timothy/alfalfa cubes. He needs the protein and amino acids from the alfalfa.
1.5 Last and far from least, put your horse on Succeed if you can possibly afford it. SUCCEED Digestive Conditioning Program Equine Supplement
This stuff smells like cookie dough and my horse eats either in meal form or he will try and grab the tube out of my hand. Taste great and works - what a concept
I can't say enough about this expensive stuff ($90/month
The vet was here for another horse December 18th. Free-of-charge, he re-examined all my horses because they're up there in years and all have an "issue".
The vet told me to keep my colicy horse on the Succeed because it seems to be doing its job. Also to keep feeding his feed pan stuff three times a day, even though it's only rice bran and some timothy/alfalfa cubes in the AM because he is now a hard keeper.
1.6 Plenty of quality grass hay and if hay is in short supply buy straight timothy pellets as a filler. You could measure out one dry pound and soak them a little bit to get more moisture into his gut. These horses need a lot of moisture in their digestive system. I wet everything that goes into the feed pan, each and every time.
Just feed one pound at a time as it seems my horse cannot handle much more than 1 - 1-1/2 pounds of something in his feed pan, at one time.
It's not as complex as it sounds - I am sorry I'm not good at explaining things.
The bottom line is feed him more often but little amounts, get him off anything grain and soy, lots of good hay, and Succeed, even it's only to get him thru the winter months. Do not deworm this horse without doing fecals
and let the vet recommend what to use. Naturally the horse I am talking about is my only horse that shed enough to need wormed. The vet told me to wait until our cold & fickle weather levels out to worm him and to use pure Ivermectin. Worming happens next week if the weatherman is correct.
I hope this helps and best of luck getting him squared away