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muumi 08-03-2012 11:50 AM

Colic rage.
 
sigh.

I am feeling quite sorry for myself.

My adopted filly... maybe you will remember her from previous threads:
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8141/7...578941d3_z.jpg

Anyway, as I was saying, my adopted filly has been having some real problems lately. To summarise, a month ago she colicked, and the vet determined it was an impaction, so she was rushed to a clinic, treated, spent three nights, and then came home, feeling much better.

However, on Tuesday I get a call: she is colicking again. I rush home and get the vet to rush over, and she seems in a bad way. We don't want to even leave it for a night, she is immediately taken to the clinic to be given IV fluids, where she still remains. I forget the details, but the vet on call explained exactly where the impaction sat, and that these colics are the ones that usually need surgery. Luckily we caught it early. So early that the vet said he actually never sees the colic at this point, people always bring them in when it is further progressed (read: too late to avoid surgery), so that was our saving grace.

The thing is, these two colics could be unrelated and just extremely unlucky, but there are suspicions emerging that there may in fact be something about this horse that makes her prone to impactions of this nature. My vet said it could be one of many things... but I really cannot even remember all the things I was told... I think I was a zombie on fear, worry, and adrenaline for most of Tuesday and Wednesday.

It could perhaps have something to do with malnutrition as a baby, or not. But that would fit. In a way.

Anyway, I just received a call from the vet at the clinic. They are thinking that perhaps if there is some physical problem and inclination towards impactions, or suspicions thereof, that I should keep her on "chopped" grass forever. I'm not sure what you would call this, but I mean when the hay is chopped up into little bits a couple inches long and fed that way. Is it called chaff? Sorry for being so clueless, I don't have the English.

Regardless, it seems that it could become a possibility that this horse should never again be fed long stem hay, just chopped hay. This is terrifying to me. Has anyone had a similar experience? I mean, just the cost of that must be staggering. And what about grazing? Would she be allowed to?

I will talk to my vet about this when she calls, but I just needed to say it all 'out loud', and get it off my chest.

Sad face.

Speed Racer 08-03-2012 11:56 AM

Sorry to hear this, muumi.

In 34 years of owning horses I've only ever had one who impaction colicked, and it was only one time and resolved without surgery. I've never encountered one who impaction colicked twice within a month.

Hang in there, and hopefully the vet can help calm your fears somewhat.

muumi 08-03-2012 12:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Speed Racer (Post 1628843)
In 34 years of owning horses I've only ever had one who impaction colicked, and it was only one time and resolved without surgery. I've never encountered one who impaction colicked twice within a month.

How's that for perspective?!

Thanks for your reply Speed, these are my first colics ever, and I feel like I've been dealt a lifetime's worth at once.

Speed Racer 08-03-2012 12:09 PM

I do agree that there might have been something that happened to her as a baby that could make her prone to impactions, but I'd think it would have shown up before now.

You should feel as if you've dealt with a lifetime's worth of impaction colics, because realistically you have.

Colic is scary at the best of times, but impaction colic scares me more than gas colic. Gas colic will usually resolve itself in a matter of hours, if you can keep the horse from causing torsion by rolling. My Arab gelding used to be prone to gas colic, but that seems to have gone away now that he's older.

muumi 08-03-2012 12:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Speed Racer (Post 1628856)
I do agree that there might have been something that happened to her as a baby that could make her prone to impactions, but I'd think it would have shown up before now.

Yes, that makes sense to me too.

It seems like I could potentially never know exactly the reason. But, if the vets are thinking of keeping her off long stem hay forever, then perhaps they think it its diet related in some way (?)

I don't really understand much of the whole thing yet, so I'm going to have to ask them to repeat it to me again when they call me later. I've got a thousand questions.

natisha 08-03-2012 01:35 PM

Your filly could have some intestinal scarring causing decreased gut mobility from a heavy worm load before you got her or maybe even hindgut ulcers. She could 'outgrow' it.
I wish the best for both of you.
She's beautiful.

muumi 08-03-2012 02:17 PM

Thanks Natisha for your good wishes.

What you are saying is resonating with me as to what one of the vets explained to me earlier. That there may be thickening or narrowing of a part of the gut due to repetitive stress or injury. They haven't found anything like that on the ultrasounds so far, yet.
I keep thinking why this presented itself only in the last month when I've had her for a few, and maybe its a simple solution: its winter here now, and both colics occured during a cold snap. So maybe she wasn't drinking as much as she would have in the summer, and this caused the food to become impacted.
And that's why she never colicked in the summer or autumn that I had her...
Posted via Mobile Device

Speed Racer 08-03-2012 02:21 PM

Yes ma'am, she could very well impact because she's not drinking as much water.

That's when my one lone impaction colic happened as well, in the the winter.

mls 08-03-2012 02:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by muumi (Post 1628829)
I should keep her on "chopped" grass forever.

Regardless, it seems that it could become a possibility that this horse should never again be fed long stem hay, just chopped hay. This is terrifying to me. Has anyone had a similar experience? I mean, just the cost of that must be staggering. And what about grazing? Would she be allowed to?

We had a boarders horse that had to have chopped hay for choke issues. A straw chopper is easy to use. We also use it to chop hay for a couple of the horses that have breathing issues. You can buy regular hay and send it through.

NORTEC Products: Straw Chopper

Celeste 08-03-2012 02:30 PM

I have had several horses have impaction colic during the winter. I now keep water that is slightly warmed in front of them and it seems to have helped.

I have seen a horse that was heavily parasitised as a foal that went on to colic often (about 3 X per year) for his 20 years of life. I think that the parasites caused some damage to his gut.
He eventually died suddenly of colic, but this impaction was due to a malignant melanoma which could not have been there long since melanoma causes death quickly.

I have never seen the grazing of green grass cause an impaction. I think that your baby will be able to eat green grass.


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