Horse has a history of colic--what to do for shows? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 50 Old 08-24-2013, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Horse has a history of colic--what to do for shows?

As some know, I am leasing-to-own a 16 year old haflinger gelding. When I picked him up he was at his (then current) lessee'a house. She could no longer keep him because he was getting severely beat up by the lead gelding and he wouldn't be aloud into the shelter.

She told me the lead gelding wasnt allowing him into the shelter one time during spring in a bad rain storm. She went out to check them and the Haffie was outside shivering in the cold acting mildly colicy. She gave him banamine and put a rain sheet on him after she towel dried him and all was well.

Well, the day after I got him home he coliced and the vet had to be called. He was fine all day and when he arrived. It was alittle stressful of a trip as it was all highways and we hit a wee bit of stop and go traffic. The trailer doesn't have closing Dutch doors at the top so that was all open. He wasnt acting super freaked out in the trailer, loaded like a dream and all. Was just more so looking like he was wondering where we were off to!

Since then I've been a tad paranoid. I put him and my other gelding on probios for 2 weeks. But, I'm wondering if I should take extra cautionary tips on show days? I have no clue if he's ever been shown and I imagine he may get a tad worked up at the show, then again I could be wrong.

Any opinions?
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post #2 of 50 Old 08-24-2013, 08:07 PM
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We shipped a horse cross country who was 1. A nervous wreck in the trailer and 2. Had several bouts of colic. I believe we started him on gastroguard a few days before the trip and every day on the trailer. He came out fine on the other side of the country!

Side note... Funny story. We always dreaded taking him anywhere cause he was a pain in the neck to load. The 18wheeler trailer came to pick him up to go to his retirement home but couldnt make it onto the property so they had to load him from the side of the busy street. I swear that traitor RAN onto that trailer and NEVER looked back. No head turn or whinny. Nothing.
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post #3 of 50 Old 08-24-2013, 09:56 PM
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I would imagine he may have ulcers more so then colic, he was living in a stressful situation, traveling can be stressful, new environment ect. If a horse is a worrier then ulcers are likely, and the pain can mimic a colic.

My Paso Fino gelding is a worrier always has been and used to get terrible tummy aches when I would ride him alone and acted colicky, I would give him some banamine and then he was fine. Then he got chronic diarrhea, and it smelled just awful. I had the vet did a cbc and everything was fine so the vet guessed ulcers. He gave me gastrex to give him for two weeks it coated his stomach and gave him relief from the pain. He also recommended feeding him alfalfa which is also good for their gut. I also feed beet pulp and no grain. After about two days his stools got better he was eating better and just acted better. So now before I ride him in a show or long trail ride or anything stressful I give him some gastrex and a some alfalfa cubes, with beet pulp. Keeping food in the gut helps keeps stomach acid from sloshing around and causing pain, and since the cubes and beet pulp are soaked in water it gets some extra water in them.

Maybe you could just take him to a local show and just ride around without entering any classes, that way you can kind of gauge his reaction. If he gets to stressed you can do some work to calm him, but not invest in entering a class, and you can always take him home. You will never know unless you try.
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post #4 of 50 Old 08-24-2013, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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It was definitely colic. The vet had to come out and tube him when he coliced with me. I can't vouch truelly for when he coliced with the ex-lessee but he was describing the symptoms he had when he did it with her (cold sweats, lifting top lip, parking out, shifting weight on back legs, efc) and he did everyone of those exact things when he coliced with me.

I put him on probios because his manure looked like one big block and mushy. In less then a week it was looking great.

He isn't much of a worrier. When he is in the trailer he will get alittle ancy and look around but is not bad. He is really low on the totem pole and some days just would rather stay away from the herd then get into a quarrel. So he avoids any arguments others may have with him. But, I wouldn't think he has ulcers. Not that I'm ruling it out but when he coliced with me it was definitely colic.
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post #5 of 50 Old 08-24-2013, 11:07 PM
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I can tell you from experience ulcers cause colic been through it not to terribley long ago with my gelding.
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post #6 of 50 Old 08-25-2013, 09:07 PM
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Did the vet say what typ of colic? Gas, Spasmodic, Impaction?
Did they seem to think it was bought on by stress?

What was the pasture like where he used to live? Was there a lot of sand around?

I have known a few Haffilngers, they are notoriously food orientated. I have seen a couple of them (borderline laminitics in the fatty paddock) sift through a heap of sand to get a blade of grass. Those ponies had Impaction colic regularly even with getting heaps of soaked meadow hay and psyllium husk to help shift the sand. They were fed on rubber matting and were well looked after. The vet's management plans were followed to the letter. The fact that they ware so food orientated was the problem.

The lack of doors on the float shouldn't have contributed. I float horses all the time with the back doors open and have never had a problem or had a case of colic because of it.

If your Haffy is a stresser, you can give him some Rescue Remedy. It is not swabbable and you do not require much for it to have an affect. I use a dropper full on me and my horse before competition.

Gene Kelly ~ Omdurman <3 my boys
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post #7 of 50 Old 08-25-2013, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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It was impaction and vet said was due to the stress of moving, he believes.

His paddock at his old home was dirt/very grazed down grass.

He doesn't seem like a huge stresser maybe a different story once loaded? He didn't seem it to me though when we stopped and checked on him multiple times throughout the trip home. He didn't eat much hay though and only looked alittle stressed when first put on the trailer dispite him practically loading himself on.
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post #8 of 50 Old 08-25-2013, 11:55 PM
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If it was grazed down/dirt then he may have had a bit of sand in him and the stress of moving just tipped him over the edge.

You should be fine taking him out to competitions. If I was in your position I would give him loads of hay to help clear sand out and keep his gut moving and the first few times I would take him to a show and not do anything. Just let him experience the atmosphere and the new noises and smells without the pressure of Gavin to perform. That way if he starts to freak out of goes a bit colicy you only have to focus on him, not on everything else. He should be fine :)
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post #9 of 50 Old 08-26-2013, 12:02 AM
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I'd keep him on probiotics 24/7, that seems to help them digest and utilize their food better, and create less gas. I might also start him on just a little wet beet pulp to keep him hydrated and passing manure, at least until I could sand test and make sure he was clear, since he lived on a dirt lot.

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post #10 of 50 Old 08-26-2013, 01:13 AM
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If he impacted, first thing I would check are his teeth.

Keep him on probios, lots of hay and no oats or grain. Beet pulp is great. I would also do a round of gastro guard to treat any ulcers. And he should have 24/7 access to clean water that is warm in the winter.

Horses do not just impact colic for no reason. It is IMO one of the easiest colics to prevent with good management.
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