How long before a horse shows signs of colic or founder?

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How long before a horse shows signs of colic or founder?

This is a discussion on How long before a horse shows signs of colic or founder? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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  • 1 Post By Taffy Clayton
  • 1 Post By deserthorsewoman
  • 1 Post By tlkng1

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    07-20-2013, 11:47 AM
How long before a horse shows signs of colic or founder?

Last night we had a wicked thunder storm and sometime during the night a big tree came down which took out part of my fence. My 2 horses got out and at some point got into the the little grain shed and consumed/destroyed about 25 lbs of grain. I don't know exactly how much each horse ate. I didnt notice they were gone until this morning. I went looking for them only to discover my road which links to the main road was washed out in places. I didnt find them but by the time I got back home they were standing like angels by the gate. Neither horse was sweaty or appeared sick. They bucked and ran around the paddock like colts for a few minutes after I let them in and then they settled down in the shade to relax and doze. Neither horse is on grass and I don't know how much of that they got either. I watched them for about an hour while I repaired the fence and they seem normal. My question is how long would it be before symptoms of founder or colic showed up? The horses are both a little overweight (thats why they were on a dry lot) and they are 12 and 19 yrs of age. I can't get a vet out for at least a day maybe 2 because of the washout. Is there anything I should be doing??? I am so worried about them!!!
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    07-20-2013, 12:07 PM
Green Broke
Keep them in the dry lot to walk around some, no grain for 48 hours, grass hay sporadically, (half rations spread out over the full day day one full hay ration spread out on day two). Plenty of fresh water.
Watch closely for any signs of distress or disinterest in food, monitor their urine and manure output.
    07-20-2013, 12:28 PM
I had a friend's horse get into a bag of Omolene and eat half of it overnight( not my place, very " light" stall construction. When discovered he was longed for about an hour, was full of energy, Dan the entire hour, lol, then only a handful of his usual alfalfa and lord of straw, another longing session later in the day. He was fine.
So, no grain, for hay only grass hay, and yes, unless you have slowfeeders, in small portions throughout the day, and exercise.
Watch for typical colic signs, up and down repeatedly, looking and kicking at belly etc.
Call you vet, warning him that you might have an emergency, tell him what happened, so you can work out some kind of plan.
Feel their feet for heat, feel for the digital pulse.
Don't let them go without food, which could cause insulin spikes, which have to be avoided.
    07-20-2013, 12:43 PM
Thanks I will go lunge them a bit and check for heat in their feet and check their digital pulses. They have fresh water and are being given just small amounts of hay.
    07-20-2013, 12:46 PM
Green Broke
If you lounge, I would suggest light lounging, walking and trotting. I would not go out and work them into a lather.
deserthorsewoman likes this.
    07-20-2013, 12:51 PM
Oops, typos..ran, not " Dan", lots of straw, not " lord".... won't let me edit.
The horse I mentioned wasn't made to run. He did it himself, just to clear that up.
Steady trotting is fine.
natisha likes this.
    07-20-2013, 12:58 PM
I would say that if they haven't colicked yet they probably won't...I would imagine that would appear pretty quickly, within a few hours anyway. As for foundering, I just did a quick search on the incubation period and the few articles I read all indicated that damage can begin to occur within 48 hours even if horse isn't showing signs of discomfort.

Here is an article that may indicates steps to take after a horse binges on grain to help mitigate possible founder....

Preventing Colic and Laminitis After a Horse Overeats | Equinews
GreenBackJack likes this.
    07-20-2013, 07:23 PM
So far ojn signs of colic and no helt in legs or fast pulse. They seem perfectly fine but I am keeping a very close watch on them for the next few days. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions.
    07-22-2013, 02:31 PM
Ok well it has been more than 48 hours and no signs of founder so I think they are going to be ok. Thank you again to everyone who responded.
deserthorsewoman likes this.

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