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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was grooming my 20 y/o quarter horse this morning, and when I ran the curry comb over his lower ribs and abdomen only on the left side he pinned his ears back and swung his head around towards me. I palpated this area with my hand using moderate pressure, and again it caused him distress. Of course my first thought is possible colic, but he is showing no other signs or symptoms at all. This is my first horse, so I honestly don't know much about the progression of colic. Could it be an early sign? Or without any other symptoms, could he have a bruised rib?
 

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Does the area feel hard or appear distended? I'd keep a close eye on him, I can't think of much other than early colic. Is he turned out with other horses? He could have gotten a rough kick in that area as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
His abdomen does not appear to be distended or hard. He is turned out with another horse and she is quite aggressive sometimes. She bit him HARD twice in one day but not since then. I have seen them both kick at each other, so yeah there is a good chance it could be that. Yet, that will heal with some rest. If it is colic, how long before I could expect other symptoms? Days or weeks? Like I said, I don't really know anything about the progression of it.
 

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One of my horses just had a dose of bad impaction colic, 2 days after the initial colic he had to have the vet out again because he was very much not himself. He had pain on his off side which the vet said was due to a gas build up in his tummy.
 

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Is he having any trouble or lack of interest eating or drinking? Is he kicking or biting at his side? Antsy or trying to lay down? Any behavior changes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No, none of these things. He gets fed every morning and today he ate just as happily as he usually does. No rolling, no worrying his side. If he had not seemed so obviously bothered by me touching him in that area, then I would never have suspected anything might be wrong. I watched him for a long time after I turned him out and he was perfectly normal. This is why I posted because he isn't showing any other symptoms.
 

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it sounds to me like one of two things - either he has ulcers and has become reactive due to the pain, or he has a rib out of place chiropractically. the latter is less common so my gut says it's more than likely the first one. for immediate relief you can give him 60ccs of pepto, however long term he should be on an ulcer supp. ulcer guard or gastro guard are great to get bad ulcers under control fast, and while pricey, will definitely have the best results in the shortest amount of time.

once the ulcers are under control, maintenance with ulcer supps can help prevent future ulcer flare-ups causing distress or pain. especially with the weather changes lately, a lot of horses are showing more obvious signs of ulcers than usual, and i can't recommend enough starting with the gastro or ulcer guard and then moving to a supplement for maintenance. there are a few diff supps, some are very very affordable. equisupps.com is who i use and i tend to see great results with my two TBs who tend to have ulcer problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ulcers? In that case, could ulcers also cause reflux or gagging? Sometimes he will open his mouth wide as if to yawn, stick his tongue out and then it sounds like he is possibly refluxing food or liquid into his throat then swallowing it back down again. He isn't coughing or choking when he does this. He will do it maybe 3 or 4 times in a row before he stops each time. It seems like when we humans burp something up into our throats after a big meal or something, but he doesn't actually burp. When I first noticed it, he was only doing it when I rode him. We would ride for about 10-15 min and then he would start doing it over and over again. But yesterday I noticed him doing it in the pasture.
 
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