6 Horses in 5 Months... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-24-2012, 07:07 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Clovis, CA
Posts: 675
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6 Horses in 5 Months...

Our barn is seemingly cursed. Within the last 5 months, 6 of the horses at our barn had to be put down for one reason or another.

1. Ariel (colic)
2. Dylan (heart failure-expected)
3. Dodger (TO injury)
4. Jester (cancer, though they wouldn't have known if he hadn't colicked)
5. Arie (colic)
6. Whinny (founder/coffin bone rotation/general lameness)

And if you count Andy, who had moved away from our barn end of summer but also colicked and flipped his colon rolling within these few months, 7.

It's just freaking depressing. 70 or so horses at our barn and nearly 10% passed away in such a short time period. Two of them were in the last two WEEKS!!! After having Whinny put down at 8am yesterday I just can't stop worrying. I know it's silly, but it's not like all of those horses were old... I guess things just kind of happen and maybe in a way it's lucky that I'm going through this with other horse owners before it happens to me but I sure as heck won't be sleeping much tonight. It's already after 4am here...
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-24-2012, 08:41 AM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Michigan
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That does seem like a lot. Lets hope that streak is over!!!

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post #3 of 8 Old 03-24-2012, 09:36 AM
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Awful lot of colic; have you guys checked the hay?
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post #4 of 8 Old 03-24-2012, 11:12 AM
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I would also check HOW the horses are fed! I was at a barn once and within four months six horses coliced, including my old pony who died from it. The stable fed the horses on the ground and they were picking up sand with their hay.

The stable owners, after they found out this was the cause of the horses getting sick (and mine dying), put in pasture feeders for all the horses. They also highly suggested that all boarders feed wheat bran periodicaly to flush out the horses.

There were no other cases of colic at that stable.

I just checked what state you are in... CA is KNOWN for sand colic. That is where the above stable was. I would hightly suggest some sort of sand flush for all horses on a routine basis.
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post #5 of 8 Old 03-24-2012, 11:58 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: North Carolina
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Sounds like they must be ingesting sand. All horses (ESPECIALLY in California) need to get SandClear or another psyllium supplement once a month, for however long that specific product specifies. Some horses need to have a vet put a tube down their throat to get out all the initial sand, but you prevent that by feeding psyllium.

I'm very sorry for your losses!! :(

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post #6 of 8 Old 03-24-2012, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Clovis, CA
Posts: 675
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Yeah I was thinking about that too, but all of the horses that colicked live in stalls with rubber mats and bedding. At that point, I think the only worry of sand colic is with CA grown alfalfa or the horses with their own paddocks (who from what I've seen typically get SandClear or similar). There isn't any feed allowed in turnouts or the arenas, so I'm at a loss there. Could it still be an issue, even when the horse's access to dirt is irregular and not prolonged? The last thing I need is MY horse colicking if I could've prevented it. He's currently on 2 alfalfa, 2 Avena (oat mix) per day plus a small amount of grain with his Strongid CX2.

We've checked out the hay. While we've had issues with some horses not liking the taste of the last batch of grass hay, (stuff was CRAP!) it checked out in the way of mold or mildew. As soon as they got better grass hay all of the horses started eating it again without issue. I also know quite a few people who have boarded here for over a decade and haven't seen anywhere near this concentration of death. Strange...
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-24-2012, 03:22 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Considering colic is the #1 all-time leading cause of horse death, the number there doesn't really surprise me.

Sometimes things just come in one big group, just like at our house. We lost 3 horses in 5 months. 2 of them were old and it was their time, the other was young but developed a rare inflammation in his intestines and had to be put down. It had been years before that the last time we lost a horse.

Just to be on the safe side, I would double check everything; feeding practices, safety of the turnout paddock, safety of the stall, etc. Beyond that, there just isn't much to be done.
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post #8 of 8 Old 03-24-2012, 11:29 PM
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Just as a precaution, it won't hurt to feed a sand cleaning product. The worse that would happen is that it goes right through and does nothing. At best, it flushes out some bad stuff.

My horses, who are on dirt without sand, still get a round of sand clear twice a year.

Or - it really could just be a really bad string of bad luck!
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