Repeat Colic, cause? Symptom of something else? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 18 Old 04-09-2015, 04:18 PM
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Buscopan Injectable Solution for Animal Use -

I give it by mouth per vet's OK. It's fast even given orally. Within 20 minutes you see relief but another dose can be given if needed. It basically stops gut spasms for a very short time then the bowel should go back to normal function including passing lots of gas.

BUT... you have to be really sure it's gas colic & not something else, that's where owner assessment skills are essential.

I used to buy individual doses to keep on hand but since buying a full bottle I've not needed it, not that I'm complaining.
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post #12 of 18 Old 04-09-2015, 04:47 PM
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Not an easy decision but euthanasia may be best. Colic is very painful, we've all heard babies scream from it. I commend the gal for wanting to resolve this but it seems to be a go nowhere situation.

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post #13 of 18 Old 04-09-2015, 05:24 PM
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Deworm for tapes, treat stomach ulcers AND hindgut ulcers and give a good, balanced mineral/vitamin supplement and extra loose salt. If coat doesn't improve with that, I'd test him for Cushings
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post #14 of 18 Old 04-09-2015, 05:54 PM
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I wish I could chime in with some good advice... I've been where your friend is at. My now 10 year old gelding is a chronic colicker and has been over the course of 4 years. He colickes usually 2-3 times a year, with last year being is worst averaging once a month from december 2013 through mid summer 2014. There was once it happened twice in a matter of two weeks. He started in the fall we that we got him as a 4 1/2 year old....previous owner said he never had a history.

Vet after vet we have never been able to find a diagnosis, but rather "Well....try X this time"...only to have him colic a matter of months later. He's has gas colics, impactions, guts flipped over his spleen, other displacements, near half a dozen clinic stays with probably near $15,000 + in hospital bills alone. We've been within hours of surgery more than once. Not to mention the "piddly" emergency house calls.

We treated for ulcers (though never found any), changed his feed more than once by eliminating various things and adding probiotics...ultrasounds, name it, he's had it done. Nothing was ever found.

However, over the years I think we've finally figured out his formula since we've been colic free for nearly a year! He is on a low sugar diet, probiotics, and a slow feeder with constant hay, and regular exercise. We'll be taking him off the spring grass soon and keeping him strictly on the slow feeder hay to see if we can get him through the spring without a colic (something that we've never been able to do).

Anyways...I guess that was an anecdotal story more so than anything. Maybe it will prompt some idea for you though. I always like to chime in on stories like this to tell people that they aren't alone!! I think with undiagnosable horses (yes, I truly believe that is a 'thing') it's almost a matter of trial and error to find the right formula that keeps them on their feet. It sounds to me as though your friend's horse may have some undiagnosed underlying issues that may be contributing too though. I do wish her all the best - repeat colickers are unbelievably stressful!!
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post #15 of 18 Old 04-09-2015, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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I think the Buscopan might actually be the other injection the vet has her keep on hand, she just didn't remember the name of it last time I asked. I know she told me it was some sort of like 'relaxant' to help calm the spasms or something of the like? It does seem to help. It's been gas colic every time so far (with the one displacement with the other owner that was resolved) and we get him up, hand walk him, banamine, the other injection and try to get any mineral oil we can in his mouth. If he seems worse than the norm or it doesn't improve pretty quick it's a vet call.

And yep, he's a full on cribber, air gulp and everything. He's not limited to wood either, he's been on camping/trail trips before and he'll crib on the trailer even.

What different medication do you need to treat for hindgut vs normal ulcers? As well, I know there are various things to 'soothe' regular ulcers, is there anything like that for hindgut ones? I think she currently also has him on like a papaya vitamin that started last week, someone told her that might help some with his digestion, and I've heard aloe vera juice can help the ulcer pain as well? (Any other options out there as well for these?)

I'm probably forgetting something else too but oh well. She's had him on/currently has him on probios as well.

At this point she's basically given him until the end of the summer, trying pretty much anything she can that might potentially help, but if it's not sorted out he'll most likely end up being donated to the vet school to be put down and checked out. I understand there's only so much money you can put into something before you reach your limit, and she competes and he's her only non-competition horse. He had a leg injury as a 5 year old and will never be sound enough for hard or competitive work.

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post #16 of 18 Old 04-09-2015, 06:46 PM
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If the horse is predisposed to colic (he is) and colic is generally due to the environment in which the horse lives (housing/feed/friends/space), no change in the environment means he will very likely keep colicking.

Colic in wild horses is virtually non-existent. It's us humans who have taken them from their true environment and put them in ours.

And, there is a clear connection between the overfeeding of pelleted feeds to yearlings and cribbing as adults. It happens a lot in the QH world and TB world as the horses are started quite early. Not sure if that happened to this horse but, wanted to mention it.

Can he be out 24/7? (sorry if you already mentioned where he lived - I didn't see it).
Does he crib outside and in?

I had a bad cribber who didn't care if she had a cribbing collar on....she would just keep on cribbing. But we stopped it:

Can you get the horse outside 24/7 and have an electric line around the paddock fence? He can't crib if he doesn't have anything to crib on. Put his water in a soft rubber bucket (can't get a grip to crib), put the hay on the ground (no feeder to crib on) and have him test out the electric fence a couple of times. He will stop testing it after a couple of zaps.

My mare had already learned to crib (like other vices, it starts as a stress release habit due to environment and if left, turns into a learned behaviour....then you can't get them to stop) but, the electric fence/nothing to crib on stopped her.
She then started to gain weight because she wasn't spending all her time cribbing.
When I say we stopped it - I mean we stopped her from doing it but did not cure it - she was too far gone. When at a show, as soon as she moved into a stall, she would crib alllllllllll day.
And once home - out in the electrified paddock again.

BTW - brewers yeast (fairly cheap at the Bulk Barn) can help reduce the acid in the hindgut. Two good heaping tablespoons a day. Cheap and cheerful.
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post #17 of 18 Old 04-10-2015, 07:24 AM
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Seems to be a very expensive horse!

What do any bloods say?

Many moons ago I was given a lovely three year old racehorse. He colicked a lot, (learned something from that, if he was put in the horsebox and taken for a bumpy ride, it cleared!) he did not crib at all. We could keep no weight on him and this was in days before the knowledge of ulcers was known.
Bloods showed he had some blood disorder to do with his red blood cells. We tried many treatments to no avail and after a year he was euthanised.

Has this horse had a blood test?

From his coat issue it does sound like he might have Cushings, not shedding and a curly coat can be an indication.
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post #18 of 18 Old 04-10-2015, 08:34 AM
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That is a lot of story condensed into a short space which means that there is not enough detail to give a good picture.

For instance you say there was "no change in diet that should have caused colic" but does that mean that there were changes in diet? And how do you know that any change was not enough to cause colic? What diet is/has he been on? What diagnostics have been done? He has been dewormed many times and with different drugs, but how did those dewormings relate to when colics occurred? Were they before or after colics and if so how long? What is the overall deworming program for the horse?

A very detailed review of medical history, medical findings, diet history, etc would need to be done to really offer much help in sorting out the issue other than to make very general recommendations about diet and management.

Truthfully, there are horses who have things going on that just can't be diagnosed until a necropsy is performed because we just can't visualize everything inside a horse. There are horses that have more nerves and more sensitivity in the GI tract. Cancer can be present. Genetic issues can lead to malfunction of the GI tract. There are really so many possible causes besides just the common causes of colic.
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Cindy D.
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