I didn't want to step on "Icrazyaboutu's" thread on Bart. I am so very very sorry things turned out this way
I do want to share my own experience in the hopes this might help someone else.
In 53 years of horse ownership, I have only experienced mild colics 3 or 4 times.
I almost lost my heart horse of 22 years (the horse in my avatar who is now coming 25) to a major colic in March.
It was a blessing the vet was able to get here within the hour and that was at 7:00 PM.
He did the following:
1. Tubed with mineral oil, probiotics and I don't know what else.
2. Gave Duke a shot of some kind of pain killer.
3. Had his high school age son hold an IV drip in Duke's neck.
4. Acupunctured Duke above the coronet band to help with pain.
5. Instructed me to give Duke a double dose of Banamine at 10:00 PM.
5.1 It was ok to let Duke lay down "deer style" but laying flat out was a no-no.
6. Called me at 10:30 that night & again at 7:00 AM to check on Duke.
I could have easily lost a horse who had never had so much as a tummy twinge in his entire 24 years.
Duke took nearly 10 days to snap out of that and still wasn't up to speed.
When the vet came for issues on a different horse, he noted Duke still didn't look himself and drew more blood for more tests.
That was in early May; before those tests results were back, Duke colicked again.
The emergency vet came out that morning. She stated Duke may very well be dealing with ulcers, specifically hind-gut ulcers, as opposed to gastric ulcers.
There is a new method of testing for hind gut ulcers that is very simple for the owner<---gather a stool sample. Duke tested positive for hind gut ulcers.
Before the emergency vet left, she gave me a tube of EquiOtic and suggested I follow that with Succeed, another paste form of microbials.
Duke looks and acts like his old self for the first time in a long time. Succeed is $90/mo but he will stay on this stuff at least thru the summer.
That is because he has Equine Metabolic Syndrome which, evidently, has played more havoc with him than I realized. Duke has never been anything but a trail horse and is the alpha dominant in my herd of four.
Not a lot of outside stress to merit hind gut ulcers, so it has to be the EMS.
I said all that to say:
1. The treatment Duke received is what one should expect from their vet. I didn't know what to expect because I'd never dealt with this sort of thing. I am lucky lucky lucky to have such a first class vet in my county.
2. As I look back in that ever-popular "hind sight", I can see that Duke was gradually starting to not feel well. He kept trying to tell me but I wasn't smart enough to get it figured out.
Whether it's gastric stomach ulcers or hind-gut ulcers, they are much more common than many of us would think. Even if the horse doesn't really do a lot of stressful work. Sometimes what goes in the feed pan can bring on ulcers.
Pay attention to your horse. It's the subtle little things that raise half an eyebrow and then you quickly dismiss it that might be the things leading up to a major health event.
This is where it is important to have a good working relationship with a vet. Knowing when to call them and when not to, goes a long way in getting them to actually pay attention to you.
The next thing is to pray you do have a vet that knows precisely how to treat your horse for the emergency at hand.
I don't expect my vet to know a lot when it comes to the metabolic issues two of my horses are living with but I do expect him (or the ER vet) to know precisely what to do when there's a colic, a choke, or someone needs stitched.
I put this on the forum only to help raise awareness, based on my own limited but horrible experience, in the hopes it will help someone in some way.
Having a responsive vet is the next crucial piece of the puzzle which can be very difficult if one lives many miles from the nearest vet and that vet might know more about cows than horses