Colic - The Horse Forum
  • 6 Post By tinyliny
  • 1 Post By WildestDandelion
  • 1 Post By walkinthewalk
  • 3 Post By SteadyOn
  • 2 Post By SilverMaple
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  • 2 Post By DreamerR
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post #1 of 10 Old 11-21-2019, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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Yesterday i got out to the barn and rode for probably 30 minutes, brought Chase back to the barn and then turned him out. Everything was normal. I Fed him his dinner and he ate it and then went back to grazing. When i left that night everything was fine.

When i got home i fell right asleep at 8 pm and little did i know how terribly this night was going to go. At 9 my barn owner got home and noticed Chase laying down. She got out of the car and went to take another look at him. She went to go into the pasture but he stood right up and acted otherwise normal (grazing and whatnot) so she figured he was just rolling (as he normally does) and went back inside.

At 11 she just had a really bad feeling about him so she got out of bed and went back out to check on him and he was laying down again and moaning. She called me 5 times but my ringer was off. She then called my mother but her ringer was off as well and we were both asleep. She called the vet out and managed to reach my dad. Her, my dad, and the vet were out at the barn with my boy until 2 in the morning. Vet administered some shots and my dad stayed out with him hand walking and keeping an eye on him until 4 this morning.

When i woke up this morning and learned of what had happened i freaked out. Thank the lord for my bo and dad for being so attentive when it was really my job to be there. I only wish i was awake at the time so i could’ve helped.

This morning i am missing school so i can sit out with Chase all day today. For peace of mind for me and to make sure chase is 100% ok.

I was wondering what i should be keeping an eye out for and what i should and shouldn’t do for him. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 10 Old 11-21-2019, 02:30 PM
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So sorry this happended to you. It's very stressful.

Didn't the vet give you some instructions as to what to watch for, and how to feed/water, or not?

I'd have Chase in a place where you can monitor how many times he is pooping a day. And, the vet may have said to not feed him anything for a while. It sounds like this was not a truly severe colic, so, just watching him and counting his poos might be enough for now. Make sure he has clean water, and try to keep an awareness of how much he is drinking. When the weather gets cold, horses often drink less and this can lead to colic.
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post #3 of 10 Old 11-21-2019, 03:13 PM
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When my gelding had colic we were told to stable him for 24 hours and then ease back into his 24/7 pasture over 4 days. Starting with 4 hours the first day and then moving up the day after. Also watching for poos.
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post #4 of 10 Old 11-21-2019, 06:02 PM
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Count manure piles and what they look like. This is one of the big reasons why I like my horses put up at night -- I can count manure piles and their consistency.

I have read (and I don't know where I read it) that sometimes a "simple" gas colic can be a precursor to impaction colic.

We all agree no feeds of any sort. However, when my heart horse colicked around 2011 or 12 , the vet wanted me to put him in the run-in stall so he could eat grass. This horse was metabolic but as all good horses do, he colicked well after dark, so all night grazing wouldn't hurt him:). The vet said the grass was better for him than hay.

An FYI sidebar: This horse was in his 20's and had never colicked before, but this was the beginning of nine consecutive colics in one year. It ended up he had hanging lipomas and they were the cause of his colics.

I've dealt with mild colic in three horses -- always at night, so they were already stalled for the night. In every case the horse immediately stopped chewing, put its head down, started circling its stall, and I ran up to the house for Banamine. After the first episode, I learned not to give any feedpan stuff for 24 hours. Just turned them out to eat grass.
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A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #5 of 10 Old 11-21-2019, 06:29 PM
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Watch for him curling his upper lip, too, if that's unusual behaviour for him. That's one of the first signs of colic in one of the horse's where I ride, whenever she has an episode. I hadn't seen that as a symptom before, but quickly learned that it's a thing with some of them. It looks just like the Flehmen response that they use to smell, but without sticking their heads up in the air to "test the wind," so to speak.
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post #6 of 10 Old 11-21-2019, 06:41 PM
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My friend's TB mare does that, too. When she curls her lip, she's hurting. Hers is usually tied to ulcers, too. She gets a round of omeprazole when she starts her mild colicky thing and that usually takes care of it for several months, then one little thing will stress her out and she's back to it again.
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post #7 of 10 Old 11-21-2019, 06:52 PM
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This is all from information I've read or discussed with my vet over the years.

Adding to what @tinyliny said about this possibly not being a full on case of colic, if the vet did not specifically say that there was an impaction, then it could have been irritation. My mare had that one time - laying down, not feeling good, looks like colic. There's an easy way to test if your horse has a gut full of dirt or sand: get a clear bag (ziploc works) and scoop at least 5 manure balls into the bag. Fill bag 3/4 full with water and shake it up. Let this rest for an hour. Is there a bunch of grit at the bottom of the bag? If so, share this with your vet. Your horse might need a psyllium treatment, but ONLY if the cause of discomfort is sand/dirt in the gut. You do not want psyllium to cause an impaction or make an impaction worse.

It's a good idea to keep a notebook and pen with you so that you can remember and share information with your vet. Jot down things like your horse's behaviors, anything strange or new, when he poops, poop consistency (well-formed balls vs diarrhea), gut sounds and how often you hear them, breathes per minute, heartbeats per minute, and temperature. If you're not familiar with taking vitals, here's a good guide with a video:

Do you have a stethoscope? Sometimes drugstores or local horse-oriented shops will have them. You can use it to listen for gut noises, or just rest one ear against his lower abdomen while covering the other ear. Roaring, rushing, growling, water-trickling noises ... all good signs. Gut silence is not typically a good sign.

If your horse is in a dirt paddock and steadily loafing around every hour, keep him there. If he's doing anything more than an occasional lazy trot, he needs a smaller enclosure. Keep him standing up as much as possible, and make sure he's walking around a little bit...about every hour should suffice. You can hand walk him in straight lines or large circles in short (~5 minute) intervals. Go easy on him - no tight turns, no quick movements.

If it's cold out, keep him warm with a blanket and/or indoor stall time. Also adding to Tinyliny's post, there's a trick that every horse owner can safely administer to encourage water drinking, including when it's cold out. You can sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of table salt (iodized is fine) over any supplements that a horse gets. Even if you give a salt brick, you can't guarantee that your horse will lick the salt brick. Most horses don't get enough salt in the diet, so a moderate amount of salt is fine. Just not too much at one time.

And even if you don't think you need to, it is always favorable to add water to any dry supplemental feed or grain. Slime factor helps prevent colic situations. Take the total amount of "dry supplements" you feed and add 1/4 to 1/2 of that amount in water. How much you add depends on whether your supplement/grain will absorb the water or not - more if the supplement absorbs lots of water, less if it becomes soup rather quickly. Mushy is okay, 'cookie dough' consistency is okay, even thick oatmeal consistency is okay. Some horses are picky and won't eat it like that. Sometimes my mare won't eat it unless I feed it by hand, but most commonly she'll eat it if I put salt in it or feed it in a shallow, wide dish. You can also try adding a tablespoon of Uckele Cocosun as a topping - I've been told that stuff works like a charm.

Remember that there are some feeds that NEED to be soaked or you're asking for trouble. For example, beet pulp always needs to be soaked overnight - 1 part beet pulp to 4 parts water. Hope all of this information helps you.

No diet, no hoof. No hoof, no horse. No horse is not an option!

Last edited by Feathers7; 11-21-2019 at 06:53 PM. Reason: Paragraph spacing
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post #8 of 10 Old 11-21-2019, 11:46 PM
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'wow! like a university course.
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post #9 of 10 Old 11-22-2019, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
'wow! like a university course.

All tools at the ready! I believe in setting up for success.

Would love to hear back about how Chase is doing, @DreamerR

No diet, no hoof. No hoof, no horse. No horse is not an option!
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post #10 of 10 Old 11-23-2019, 07:41 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Feathers7 View Post
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
'wow! like a university course.

All tools at the ready! I believe in setting up for success. <img style="max-width:100%;" src="" border="0" alt="" title="Cool" class="inlineimg" />

Would love to hear back about how Chase is doing, @DreamerR
He’s doing great! I never got to talk to the vet myself because by the time i got there he had already left but i ended up calling him to get some more info on what happened and he said that for the most part Chase has a very low pain tolerance and is kinda overdramatic because it was such a mild colic his heart rate wasn’t elevated a bit. Haha, better to be safe then sorry!!
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