I got home and went out to feed a little earlier than usual. He didn't give me his usual head up, nickering greating and he wasn't interested in eating his grain or hay. I was already thinking "colic" but then he went to lay down and was kicking at his belly as he went down. So I got him up, walked him around, palpated his belly/flanks and he was REALLY sensitive. Pinned his ears and swung his head back at me. Not a bite threat or anything, just a "ouch that hurts" signal. Check his vitals, pulse is normal, CRT normal, mucous membranes normal. Argh, but I don't like the localized sensitivity, not hungry attidude, the belly kicking, and he barely had any gut sounds. So I call the vet. She agrees with me and tells me I can come get some Banamine or she can come out now. Told me that usually Banamine will clear this up pretty well. I go get the Banamine give it to him and go in to eat and let it kick in.
I came back out and he seems to be in a better mood. Much more cheerful anyways and nibbling at the hay. All the vitals are still good, so I call the vet and let her know. My boyfriend came over (we had a dinner date at my friend's house that I missed) for a bit and I told him that I'd check on Soda one last time and maybe come over. I go out to check him and he's looking like crap again. Now his belly looks really weird (it's dark so I can't see that well) and he's really tight/tense. Call the vet, she says to give him a little more Banamine (we light dosed him the first time, she didn't quite believe me when I said he was about 1200lbs) and give it some time.
So I dose him and start walking. We watched some coyotes running around in the neighboring feild. He lipped at some snow and hay, but didn't really change. I ended up calling the vet at this point. I didn't like the way his belly/flanks looked or how tight they were. We'd talking about bloating in class but I'd never actually seen it on the outside of a horse, so I started worrying that he was bloating. If that was the problem it was really bad news.
When the vet gets there she immediately puts my bloating worries to rest (apparently it's extremely visible in the flank region, you won't mistake it for anything else). After getting him into the light (don't know why I didn't think of this before ) we determine that he's just flexing all of his belly muscles so that's why he looks "weird" and is so tight (I'm feeling like a complete moron now). Vitals are still good and guts sounds are a little better now. I'm thinking that I'm just a total moron, but she says since she's here she might as well suit up and make sure he isn't twisted or have a major impaction.
She gets in there and starts pulling poop out right away, it was really hard and dry and there was a good bit of it. After that she decided to tube him and give some mineral oil and water. He took it really well (he was sedated of course) but still didn't need a twitch or anything. She told me that it was probably good that I called her as these can turn into something that needs to go in pretty quickly if the horse isn't eating or drinking. The impaction just gets worse and worse until they need to be over-hydrated to loosen everything up. And I don't have the cash right now for a $1000 university vet bill. So I felt better about having her out.
He's doing better this morning. Still quite, but nickered when he saw me and was eating a little bit. Even drank some water, though I think it was more to humor me than anything else. She told me we gave him enough water that he probably wouldn't feel like drinking until today sometime. I'll go check on him a little later, but it seems like he's going to be fine.
It's funny though. I've spent the last couple of years trying to not get attached to him. I don't have a lot of money and the job situation isn't good, so I've always said "if I have to sell him....." This whole situation (as minor as it may seem) just made me realize that he really is my "dearling" and a big part of my heart. **** I love that horse. And it just killed me to think that I wouldn't have the power to save him if it was the worse.
Anyways, thanks for reading my long, poorly written story. I just needed to get that all out.