Not bouncing back after impaction colic - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 11-29-2012, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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Not bouncing back after impaction colic

My 12yr old appendix gelding had a large impaction a week ago with no displacement but he had to go up to the hospital for fluids overnight because of the size of the impaction. He did very well and didnt even need more pain meds...he passed the impaction and mineral oil. However since I brought him home he has been slowly declining wont eat any grain, barely drinking and acts lathargic. He also walks with his tail raised a bit and to the side like he is gassy. He is getting a little dehydrated...I am calling the vet tomorrow but I need peace of mind tonight....why wont he eat or drink? Please help has anyone else had this problem?

Last edited by flyinghooves; 11-29-2012 at 12:24 AM.
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post #2 of 14 Old 11-29-2012, 12:47 AM
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Is it possible to call your vet's emergency line tonight to get an opinion if this should be an emergency call?
I prefer to err on the side of caution with anything to do with colic..


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post #3 of 14 Old 11-29-2012, 01:08 AM
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not to scare you but I agree with justdressageit as our old neighbour had a horse that had really bad colic and the vets had to take a foot out of his intestine so please get him checked. Has he still got the runs?? Or is he doing solid poohs?? We had a gelding who had colic multiple times and he went off his feed and he was a big eater and it was because the oil and the colic had just made him feel off.
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post #4 of 14 Old 11-29-2012, 02:41 AM
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It might be the weather. Just following a major internal upset, he may not feel up to drinking like normal, especially if it is cold and the water is cold. Or if it smells a little off.

He NEEDS fluid though, or the vet will be a must(probably wouldn't be a bad thing anyway). Do what you can to make him drink even a little. Fill up a wormer tube with water and administer like wormer, get some electrolytes, try some Gatorade or applesauce, get him a bucket warmer.... If he is not feeling well, you might have to make him drink. Clean his bucket really well too.

I would ease up on the grain too after a colic bout. Might not be a problem, but I am always leery of it after. It is heavy, compared to grass, and may not sit well with him just yet.
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post #5 of 14 Old 11-29-2012, 03:28 AM
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Sometimes if the nasal tube has irritated the throat they are hesitant to eat or drink. I've had that happen.
My mare came home, looked hungry & thirsty but didn't do either with gusto. I took her right back suspecting a sore throat & a quick scope confirmed it. Some IV pain medication put her right again.
I hope it's something simple like that for your horse too.
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post #6 of 14 Old 11-29-2012, 05:15 AM
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As others have said - this is a vet case now - he may not have passed all the impaction and with being dehydrated the impaction will occur again.

If he were mine I would definitely be calling the vet right now.
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post #7 of 14 Old 11-29-2012, 07:25 AM
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I was long gone in jammie land when the OP posted. I sure hope by now, there is some good news and maybe a visit from the emergency vet that was on-call last night

It can take a horse a very long time to recover from such a serious colic.

I know one lady who actually took vacation and slept with her horse for a week, holding an IV drip much of that time, to save him. She couldn't afford to put him in the hospital so the vet stayed in phone contact with her daily and gave her instructions. It took weeks but the horse fully recovered (that was two or three years ago) and you'd never know, today, he was once knocking at death's door.

My 25 yr old had his first-ever colic attack in late March and it was serious. It took him a good three weeks to come back to where he looked fairly normal.

Get your horse off grain five minutes ago. Grain is hard to digest.

Once the vet said I could start my horse back on supplements (he's metabolic so doesn't get grain) I put him on a liquid vitamin/mineral supplement and rice bran. Rice bran is something that seems to settle well with him and one ounce of Tuttles Liquid 747, mixed in the rice bran, gives him all his vitamins & minerals.

I started him on 8 measured ounces of rice bran twice daily and one ounce of the liquid vitamin once daily.

Good luck, I hope things have turned around and that you feel like updating
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post #8 of 14 Old 11-29-2012, 08:39 AM
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With dehydration you can TRY offering warm water.. but I would be more inclined to get fluids (warm them) and start an IV. I kept fluids around (and still do for my small animals). Sometimes you can offer water with a tablespoon or two of Molasses in it to make it smell more attractive.

I know everyone is not knowledgeable about this (I had to do it so many times with cattle.. it is not really hard if you can get the patient to stand still.. have the IV kit and a few new needles of the right ga.. and you use a twitch and two people). Getting an IV started and running in fluids is really not all that difficult but you do need to work with your vet on this to get the correct type of fluids and understand how much to run in (I can recall running GALLONS into one of my cows.. they are BIG).

Dehydration can and will lead to further complications (and may lead to more colic). IMO dehydration in any animal is an emergency.
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post #9 of 14 Old 11-29-2012, 09:01 AM
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Old Bones was prone to colic and did it multiple times. His las colic, at an advanced age seemed to be fine, but he was slow to recover.But, unfortunately, he had turned septic and had to be euthanized.
I know its morning now, hopefully some good news, but get ahold of your vet as soon as you can.
I would not suggest doing IV's yourself. If all goes well, its great. If there is a mistake, needle piercing thru the vein, needle dislodging from vein, etc diasterous results can occur. Cattle are lots different from horses, they can take mistakes and live, horses not so much.
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post #10 of 14 Old 11-29-2012, 09:20 AM
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Yes wyominggrandma, you do need to know how to do this.. I agree.

And yes, cattle are "more forgiving" though when any of the things you state go wrong it still can lead to a less than positive outcome regardless the species.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
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