Colic prevention for horse?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by lizardz, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. lizardz

    lizardz Songster

    Jul 18, 2007
    Grass Valley, CA
    Just got back from the barn and one of the horses had gotten in and ate about 1/3 bag of sweet cob, and maybe some senior feed (if so, not much). I'm not really sure how long he had been making a snack of it as I must have left the gate unlatched yesterday when I fed. My Sis-in-Law said she just saw him coming out of the barn, so I'm guessing it was today and not that long ago as I can't imagine him leaving once he starts eating.

    So, the question is - is there something I can do at this stage to try to ward off colicing? I would prefer not to call out the vet if possible as money is really tight. The horse is 23 yo, pasture fed with occasional treats of senior feed this time of year. His pulse/resp. were normal just now, but he was more gassy then usual. Listening to his belly w/my ear, I could hear gurguling (sp?). I put him in one of the smaller pastures so I can keep a closer eye on him. Unfortunately, I'm just getting over four days of the flu, so don't have the energy to just hang out to keep a real close eye on him. I think I can muster the energy to go to the feed store if there's something I can buy to give him. So, any suggestions? or just wait it out and see what happens? Thanks for any help.
  2. ams3651

    ams3651 Songster

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    Im no expert but I did have a horse for many years when I was younger and I do remember to walk them. Just nice and calm, it will help the gas to pass.
  3. kbarrett

    kbarrett Songster

    Nov 12, 2007
    In your shoes I would closely monitor the situation. Gut sounds are normal, the worry is when there are no sounds or excessive sounds. Closely watch for signs of discomfort and of course the classic signs such as kicking at the belly, turning to look at the sides and of course rolling. The ones that scare me the most are the stoic ones with a high threshold for pain, makes it more difficult to catch early.
    I've never used anything for "preventing" a possible occurance, I keep Banamine on hand for emergencies, at work we also have anti-thrash which is only used in severe cases along with the Banamine. At this point I'd keep watch, make sure he has access to water. Good luck & I hope both feel better!
  4. bluerose

    bluerose Songster

    Oct 21, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    Walk... but watch for lameness. Feel his feet and if they are warm/hot (warmer than they should be) or throbbing get them in ice water. Stay on soft ground. NO sugars (grass, alfalfa, sweet feed, senior feed, grains of any kind).

    Colic isn't as big of a problem with caloric overload as laminitis is...

    Turnout in a dirt lot with hay spread around all over wouldn't be a bad idea especially if you are feeling under the weather. If all you have is higher-sugar hay (oat especially), soak for 30min or so and rinse before feeding for a few days.

    I reiterate... WATCH HIS FEET... and if he starts being hoofsore or presenting with the 'founder stance' get his feet in ice water.
  5. snugglepup

    snugglepup Songster

    Apr 15, 2007
    Creedmoor, NC
    Yep, I'd be EXTREMELY concerned about founder.

    I'd call the vet, just to give them a heads up on the possible grain founder, they may be able to give you some first aid ideas.
  6. lizardz

    lizardz Songster

    Jul 18, 2007
    Grass Valley, CA
    Thanks, everyone.

    I just got back from checking on him and he seems fine, so far. Was grazing when I walked over and then trotted over to the fence to see what I was going to feed him. Gut sounds still present, P&R the same. Hung out for about 15 minutes observing and he seemed normal. I'll check him again after dinner. Have a call in for the vet, but haven't heard back from him yet. Yes, I'll be sure to watch for founder. Very familar with signs as I have a mustang mare that is very prone to grass founder this time of year. She's locked up in the only area that has no grass this time of year. Don't really want to turn her out as she can founder overnight given the right circumstances, and can't really put him in with her as they don't get on that well.

    I can only hope that he'll be fine. He does seem to have an iron gut - he one time ate about a dozen packages of flour and corn tortillas (my brother has the Mission tortilla route here and left out some out-of-code pkgs.) and it didn't seem to effect him a bit. Hopefully this will be the same. I don't know how long it typically takes colic to set in. It's probably been about three hours since he ate the grain. Anyone have any idea how long before we would know we're in the clear? Thanks, all, for your guidance in this.
  7. UnttouchableRose

    UnttouchableRose Songster

    Mar 12, 2008
    Blountville, TN
    Quote:This pretty much sums it up for me too....

    My mom's at the time 30 y/o gelding got into about 20lbs of medicated goat feed, 40lbs of chicken feed, alfalfa pellets and beet pulp. He ate an ENORMOUS amount. It was a freak accident, but anyway the vet was immediately called and he was tubed and oiled to preven absorption of the feed and was only given water for 2 days when his system seemed to return to normal, he was kept on banamine also. He amazingly didn't founder.

    I would watch his feed and his overall condition more than worrying about colicing.
  8. verthandi

    verthandi Songster

    May 18, 2007
    Laminitis would be more of a concern for me. It could be prevented with early intervention. Good thoughts headed your way that he continues to be normal.
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Oy, that's scary. You asked about how long til you're out of the woods -- probably til sometime tomorrow as far as colic, but I would not be totally sure of having escaped laminitis for another day or two at *least*.

    There *are* things that can be administered by a vet these days to reduce the chance of colic/laminitis (forget whether it's one, the other or both) in the event of a grain overload. However they are not necessarily cheap and not all vets have them around. Used to be vets would oil the horse, I am not clear on how much good that actually did and I think it has fallen out of favor (?)

    Otherwise all you can really do is keep an EAGLE eye on him, flu or no flu, and call the vet out at the first suspicion that anything at all might be wrong. And feed him only soaked hay, no grain no pellets no treats no grazing.

    Good luck, will cross fingers for you,

  10. ChickNLittle

    ChickNLittle Songster

    Mar 22, 2008
    Folkston, Georgia
    My husband has been a trainer for over 25 years. He agrees with what the others are saying. He would be more concerned with founder than colic. He said, the horse really needs to be kept on his feet. Especially since you don't know how much he got into. He needs to be moving around and not laying down. He said to be safe, he would probably run up to the feed store and get a shot of banamine. He said if they are closed already, give him about a 1/2 cup of Corn Oil.

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