My Horse Has Colic!

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My Horse Has Colic!

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  • What to do when my horse has colic
  • What can i do for my colic horse

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    01-15-2009, 06:43 PM
My Horse Has Colic!

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.

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    01-15-2009, 07:04 PM
Have you tried exercising him? If it's too cold (or icey) out, can you just walk him up and down the aisle way?

When my gelding coliced back in June, that's what we did in the afternoon. He had coliced at 2am and the vet was out there shortly. He also had an impaction, though the vet did not oil him, but flushed everything out up to the impaction and took everything out on the other side of the impaction.

To encourage him to drink, we got his favorite treat (its an uncle jimmy's hanging ball) soaked it in a pale of water and offered that to him, as well as regular water. We also walked/trotted him in the arena. We did it in 20 min intervals. (20 min exercise, 20 min rest... because it was hot out) On one of the rest periods, he pooped!

Also, if you have access to a trailer, I would suggest loading him up in the trailer. Trailer rides are always bound to make a horse go.

I hope he makes a full recovery
    01-15-2009, 07:20 PM
Super Moderator
I've also heard of some people loading them on a trailer and taking them for a 30 minute drive. It sometimes will help.

Good luck, this is really hard, especially with the older guys. Mine has colicked a few times on me... It is very very stressful. I feel for you. Is he on a senior feed? I hope he pulls through.
    01-15-2009, 10:10 PM
It's not looking good for Lance. We walked him around a bit this morning but he completely balked and would barely let us get him back to the barn. Now he's quite drugged and unwilling or unable to move. He won't touch food or water. We even tried some apple water since he loves apples. We'll be giving him shots all night and see what tomorrow brings.
    01-16-2009, 12:07 AM
I wish you the best of luck with this horse.
When our have an impaction colic, we (vet and I usually oil them and then walk them for 20-30 mins and wait to see what happens. If they want to lay down and not thrash, we will let them lay, if they want to thrash we will continue to walk them and on the rest breaks we leave them tied so they can not roll around. Do not give up hope yet, I know of a person who had their horse hauled to the vets office after it was diagnosed with impaction colic and it stayed there for 4 days and when they lead it from the barn to the office to have it put to sleep, it pooped right then. There is hope in these cases that they will come out of it. I know in this case they continually kept oiling the horse once or twice a day and walking it for about 30 minutes at a time 5 or 6 times aday since the owner could not afford the surgery and they believe that was what led to the final poop in the end.
    01-16-2009, 02:14 AM
Thanks for all your wishes and prayers.

Lance died at 11:07 tonight. I've never seen anything like this before and hope to never see such again. I went to give him his shot. All day he'd been standing still. When I went in the barn he was different. He had some sort of violent full body spasms. Way beyond shivering with his head down. When I opened his door he went forward, pushing me out of the way. He spun around a few times in the open area of the barn. I had him by the halter to try to lead him back to the stall. He just fell over sideways, kicked a few times and was gone. We were looking at each other during this and I could see his passing in his eyes.

I'm sitting here crying and too wound up to go to bed.

Lance was a good fella. A bit cranky but he knew his stuff and was totally aware of everything around him. I think he'd had some rough times early in his his life but his last owner really cared for him. We tried to give him a good home but right now I'm wondering what I missed. This is way too sudden.

    01-16-2009, 02:23 AM
I know this may be hard to think about so soon, but you may be able to have a autopsy (sp.)? Done to see if they can figure out any reason for him to pass on like he did. Some colleges with a vet program will do it fairly cheap if you donate the body to them or other places will do them but they are a hefty 300-600 dollars for them and no guarantee they can find a definite 100% sure reason for the death.

My heart is with you as I do not know what I would do if I lost one of mine, especially in such a hard way. I wish you all the luck in the world with the rest of your crew and I am sure Luke is much happier now without having to deal with his pain. Good luck and I am so sorry.
    01-16-2009, 08:22 AM
Super Moderator
I'm sorry. That's awful. At least you were w/ him when it happened. He was with someone he trusted. I'm really sorry....
    01-16-2009, 10:46 AM
I am so sorry for your loss. I have also had a horse pass on me from colic, and that is the worst thing ever. I am sure he was happy to have you there while he crossed over, and was not alone while he died.
    01-16-2009, 11:36 AM
So sorry for your loss Steve. Lance is running free and out of pain.

Don't blame yourself,we have one that's prone to colic and no matter how careful we are about feed and water it just happens. You did the best you could.

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