I went out early this morning to feed the horses. My 18 year old quarterhorse gelding, Lance, wasn't in his stall. I checked and he was out in the paddock and came when I called him. He is usually impatiently waiting for meals. He was totally covered all over with ice as if he'd been rolling in the snow. I didn't think much of it since he is very shaggy and pretty indifferent to cold weather. I did a quick grooming to get it all off before it melted.
Then I noticed he was just standing there. When I tried to get him to go to the food he almost fell over in his stall. Then I realized something was very wrong and colic was the bet.
I got the vet out and he confirmed it. There was no obvious cause but it could have been lots of things. The vet has seen older horses do this in the winter by not drinking enough water. We have water heaters to keep the water unfrozen but its not exactly bath water warm. To him it felt like a regular compaction than something twisted. He gave him a gallon of mineral oil and a gallon of water.
He also gave Lance some meds for pain and such and had us watch him and give him more if he started thrashing. He started alternating standing up and lying down. I got him up a few times. He is obviously hurting but not rolling at all, just very weak.
The vet came back 5 hours later and wasn't too happy. There is virtually no movement in there and there were signs of mucus around the impaction. Lance was also getting dehydrated.
It now gets difficult because my options aren't unlimited. I have neighbors who've spent over $10,000 getting a colicky horse fixed up. I can't do that. I have an uncertain job, 3 kids, 3 horse, 4 dogs and 3 cats.
I chose the cheapest option of tranquilizer shots every 2 hours to see if it can relax him and give him a chance to let the oil meet whatever is causing the problem. There's 24 hours of shots so all I can do now is pray and hope it works. It's going to be a long night. He just stands there now, looking pretty out of it.
I just wonder how other forum members have coped with this.