Colic or not?
Hi there. I'm hoping someone out there can help me. I have a 9 yr old gelding that I have had since he was 2. He has been hauled quite a bit in the past with no problems, until this year. About a month ago, I hauled him to a friends house to move some cattle. I didn't ride him hard or anything, we were there overnight and I fed him some hay that he had never had before. The next day when I got home and unloaded him, he started acting up, his muscles on his back got very tight and he was sweating and extremely uncomfortable. I had the vet out and he said it was a classic case of colic. Fine. Now, any time I haul him, it happens to some degree. It hasn't got as bad as the first time, but it still happens. The other day he did it again and it definitely wasn't anything he ate because he didn't eat anything when I was using him. If anyone has any suggestions please help me. Thanks.
I have no experience with colic, so I'm not sure if dehydration from a hot trip can contribute to colic. Maybe you could try adding some electrolytes to his water on days you plan on hauling him? I've also read that probiotics can help get a horse's flora & fauna back into balance after a bout of colic.
Colic is a generic term for any stomach/ intestinal upset in a horse. As for your horse specifically, he may be stress-colicking, which basically just means something about being hauled upsets him. May not be anything you can do anything about; however, you can try prevention:
I feed both my mares a half-scoop (regular feed scoop size, so probably about 4-5 cups) of red wheat bran with what I call a "glug" (probably about 1/2-3/4 cup) of vegetable oil twice a week. The bran has to be wet, about oatmeal consistency is usually what I go for. Then I mix in the oil and a few pieces of carrot or apple or a handful of sweet feed to make it enticing. This is a good way to keep things moving through their tracts and is part of a colic cure as well. I would try this a few hours before you trailer him and see if it helps.
It sounds more like tying up to me. Build up of lactic acid in the muscles which locks the up and makes them stiff through the back and rump. If it;s sever the horse can't walk.
The first time he colicked made perfect sense. Was he colicking in the trailer? Or after you got him out? I bet it was very stressful for him to not only be colicking, but to be in a small space and bouncing around down a road. The trailer is now a bad experience for him. Maybe he is getting in just fine now, but the whole process is probably stressing him out and upsetting his stomach. The person who suggested dehydration is also a valid point. While you can't really give them water before they get in, and it's pretty warm out, you can give them some soaked grain in the morning and hose them off before you load them. And you can also stop and take water breaks if it's going to be long haul. Also offer him water when you get to where you're going.
I'd also like to add that it is never a good idea to so abruptly give any horse a new food. It's also a good idea to always have a bucket for water, and at least a few flakes of hay, even if you are only going twenty minutes away for a few hours on the trail. You NEVER know what can happen, and it's important to make sure your horse is covered. And you too, of course. =]
Actually, a friend of mine suggested that too. How do you fix it?
I meant the tying up.
Tying up ---
Azoturia is poorly understood , and usually happens after exersize in fit horses.
Prevention is better than cure , hard feed restriction after work helps as does diet supplements .
The next time you have a vet visit , have a blood test taken and look for a deficency of sodium , potassium and or calcium as this is linked to the problem .
Also restrict the ammount of work you do after a day off - start working slowly spend at least 30 mins doing slow work before anything fast.
Talk to your vet as there are drugs avialiable that can help in recurrent cases.
Selennium deficiency was the culprit in my case, we started the horses on a selennium supplement and never happened again.
It can also happen when unfit horses are worked too hard, an excess of lactic acid is created and doesn't dissapate as normal.
It sounds more likely to me than colic in this case, but definately get a vets opinion.
Have you ever heard of Lasix? I was told that if he is tied up and can't make his water, if I give him a shot of Lasix, he'll pass his water and be all right. Anybody else heard of this?
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