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School me on Colic. And a story of colic.
This is our first experience with a Colicky horse in the ten years we have owned them.
At first we didn't know he was colicky. When I went to get him to ride his pawed once but I didn't think of it. He stood still when I groomed him - he was untied and stood still.
I was riding bareback for not even ten minutes when he wouldn't go forward and trot as I was asking him to do. He just stopped for a minute and layed down. It was all funny at first because he just layed down and thankfully waited until I got off his back to roll. Our other horse did that once with a saddle on - just because he wanted to roll and his best friend who the thinks he is glued to rolled also.
Anyways - it was all funny until Brisco rolled on on side, closed his eyes and just layed there. My mom and I tried getting him up but he wouldn't budge. I honestly didn't know if he was getting back up because he didn't blink at all. Just layed there with his eyes closed.
I ran and got the halter and carrot stick - and it was a good thing he doesn't like the carrot stick very much because he was on his feet in a heartbeat when I hit the ground really hard with it. Of course I didn't know he only had colic and was okay, but I was crying and freaking out because for all I new he could have just died right there. He got up and also a good thing that the barn owner was there. (He has been riding since he could walk and has trained and rode bucking horses for a living.)
He said that he had colic and had some pain killer with him that day.
I walked him around and he didn't try to lay down or roll, but when we held still as the owner instructed to do for a few minutes to see what he does all he did was stomp his feet and look at his stomach.
None of our horses have colicked before and when he first layed down it was quite scary.
We checked on him today and he is feeling better because he was protecting his food from both the horses - nipping and kicking at them. Not like fighting kicking but just like, hey get your own food and back off...JACK!
So Brisco is feeling better, so that is good.
Brisco is 22 years old and this is his first time with colic.
The BO was talking to my mom when I was walking him and I heard their conversation. the BO said that when older horses start going downhill then they can start to colic a lot.
I don't know exactly what Brisco's case is, but I just want what is best for him. Not going all time religious here, but I didn't ask god to keep him alive for the benefit of me - because if he is in serious pain (which it dind't look like and the BO said he was getting better) then just do what is right for him. I want what is best for my horse - not what is best for me because that isn't fair.
So, I would like to know more about colic, what different medications that can help. I know the signs that the horse may have colic - but feel free to list them anyways in case there are others I don't know of. I know this: Swishing the tail, stomping the feet, pawing, look at his side for a few seconds, long times of laying down, not eating or drinking. And I think head shaking may be one also because Brisco was pointing his nose out and shaking his head. And it is winter - so I know that tail wishing and shaking of the head isn't from the flies.
But just lots of any of the occurring may be symptoms of colic.
I would just like to hear any information you have about colic. For future use as well to maybe help my boy if he gets it again.
I want to raise horses - so this would also be great info for when I graduate and have enough money to do so.
Thanks so much. Any and all info is helpful.
The most common signs of colic are looking at the belly, sometimes picking up the back leg and maybe kicking the belly while looking at the belly, laying and rolling but those aren't the only signs.
The signs of colic can be a pretty wide range of things. Sometimes the horse is just quieter then usual and other times the horse is shaking or doing weird things with his head like raising it up and down. It all depends on the horse.
Generally you treat mild cases of colic with banamine. You make sure they have plenty of water and depending on the type of colic, you take away the feed. Especially the grain. I usually give mine hay because the colic my old guy ends up with is usually sand related and the hay helps push it out.
Colic as bad as what you are describing doesn't usually just go away like you are describing so I would really watch your horse over the next few days.
1) get his teeth floated. 2) give him some psyllium 3) bran once a week , Wet bran , never dry,
I put some oil on my horses bran, corn or soy, along with the water ,
4) take a rubber glove, find a fresh poop, grab a few of the apples that are not in shavings or in dirt, turn your glove inside out, add water , hang. Wait a bit, then see if you can feel any grit or sand in the ends of the fingers. If you feel gritty stuff, have the VET come out and Tube the horse with some oil and check the horse .
5) electroyltes made for horse is good to have on hand, you can actually add this to the bran etc, to get them to drink more water , water makes the poop move.
Also if I was you, and my horse showed that much pain, I would have the Vet out asap.
they can roll and twist a gut.
all of that is exactly what my new BO does for her horses AND mine lol...bran..oil..electrolytes..everything...she also tends to count the er..piles...that they leave..and the consistancy...lol
Learn how to check Brisco's temperature, pulse and respiration. When you first suspect he does not feel well, check all three. Almost always when I call the vet about a sick horse, his first question is what is his temperature. At that point he may advise to medicate or to wait until he is there.
This is the typical plan that we use...
- Always have Banamine on hand.
- Take the horse's temperature and note the horse's behavior, lethargic, pawing/rolling/etc, eating, drinking, passing manure, etc.
A horse that is down and won't get up is always an emergency call to the vet. Thump your horse on the nose if you have to. They hate that and it takes a really sick/feeling bad horse to not get up with a nose thumping.
- We'll give Banamine right away. It is very effective and works quickly.
- Observe the horse for 30 minutes, retake temperature, and note behavior.
- In my experience, this will handle most cases of mild colic. We just keep an eye on them for the next day and don't call the vet.
If the horse does not show marked improvement after 30 minutes, or is getting worse, we make an emergency call to the vet to discuss, and follow the vet's recommendation.
Again, this is just our plan. Talk to your vet about his professional advice. Your vet may want to come out and perform common procedures to "cover" all the bases (e.g. rectal exam, tubing, electrolytes, antibiotics, etc).
Finally, when you create your plan, take into account your vet's availability and reliability and always have the number of a backup vet. We are lucky to have a very good, reliable vet. For an emergency or anything urgent, we call his cell phone directly, and he has never failed to answer his phone, even when out of town or on vacation. If he feels he needs to come out, he will be on the road here immediately even if it means being in the "dog house" with his wife for ruining an evening out together. I know other vets, however, they can be very cranky if you "disturb" them and are reluctant to make farm calls in the evening/night/holidays/bad weather/etc.
Colic symptoms can be incredibly mild - we lost a horse at my work several years ago now, an ancient old Appaloosa pony called Toronto. He was about 35 at the time, we went to feed him one morning and he just wouldn't touch his food. We called the vet out straight away, and she said it didn't look good, what with his age. He was put down that day, an autopsy was performed, and he had twisted his gut totally.
The vet said that the twist was so bad, he probably couldn't feel any pain. Theo only symptom he showed the whole time was being off his food, and just a little depressed. The vet said it was the most severe colic he had ever seen.
Thank you all.
None of our horses eat grain, and our BO did give Brisco some banamine after he checked his digital pulse, checked his teeth and listened to his stomach - not exactly sure what he was looking for there.
We did get some bute - which my mom said is another type of pain reliever that we can give him.
His teeth were floated just this last year - and he has the best teeth out of our three horses.
I've never heard of doing the "glove manuver." But all we have is snow on the ground.
Brisco only layed down twice, and both times we got him up very easily. Wehn we put him in his pasture he dind't try to lay down at all. When we left and got in the truck we can see his pasture form our truck and he sitll didn't try to lay down.
Like I said in my first post as well - he was gaurding his food from ou two other horses, so I think that is a good sign. :)
We are going back today to ride (NOT brisco, I will only walk him around on foot. I will never ride a horse who is colicky.) and I will see how Brisco is doing when I walk him. the BO should be there also, because we are going early because they are having a barrel race at one - and that is usually what time we get done at. So we are leaving early today.
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