Horse Health

A Case of Colic Ushers in a Quick Dose of Reality

by R.T. Fitch ~ author/volunteer president of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

A page torn from the diary of one who lives with horses…

“It’s feel good Sunday and today we share with you a little bit of our life and an experience that all who care for horses have lived through, it is the stuff which binds us.  Nuff Said. Keep the faith”!” ~ R.T.

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Moose and R.T.

Moose and R.T.

Funny how easy it is to lose sight of your center and what is truly important in life.  Terry and I live, eat and sleep amongst our equine, canine and feline charges but while picking up the sword for the health, well-being and future security of our American horses, both domestic and wild, the line began to get a bit fuzzy over what and who actually drew us into that fight in the first place and why we were there.

I received a quick kick in the pants and a steaming hot mug of reality this past week when my saddle buddy, Moose, (a young, Belgian draft/TB cross gelding) succumbed to a screaming case of colic during our recent southeast Texas cold snap.  Just such a cold spell took the life of my former trail partner, Ethan, some 5 years ago and the reality of the danger of sub-tropical horses not drinking during cold weather came galloping onto our small ranch this past Thursday.

Observed lying down in the back pasture by my wife, Terry, I quickly responded and immediately called out to Moose when I jumped the back fence.  He promptly jumped up and I thought all was well until I reached him and found him pawing the ground with a front hoof and kicking at his stomach with a back.  I waved Terry off and asked her to run to the barn to get his halter and a lead rope while I kept him on his feet by forcing him to back up and kept him busy.

With all of my traveling I have never been present when one of our equine companions has suffered from digestive tract distress, not even when it came to the loss of Ethan; it has always been the steady and calming hand of my bride who has seen the animals through and I am here to tell you that I was a basket case, I couldn’t lose Moose.

Terry arrived with the gear and I immediately haltered him up and lead him to another pasture, away from the other boys, while Terry dashed off to the fridge to get a tube of Banamine paste.  I made the mistake of turning around to close the gate to the paddock when the lack of forward movement gave Moose the time he needed to go down on me.  He was in the sand but bless his heart he got right back up when I asked him to as it would have been exceedingly difficult to attempt to lift a draft horse that is very close to kissing that 2,000 lbs mark.

I kept him moving while Terry brought the medication out and I promptly injected the tube’s contents into his mouth.  Of course, he would not swallow and all my verbal coaxing and neck rubbing was doing no good but the little horse medic, Terry, stuck both of her fingers into each side of his mouth and tickled his tongue until he swallowed.  A decade and a half of caring for a Brazilian horse who would not swallow wormer has made her a pro at eliciting a swallow reflex.

My nerves were jangled, big time, as we walked in circles around the paddock.  Moose, at first, wanted to buckle his back legs and lie down but Terry followed behind us with a loose lead rope in hand and would not allow him to back down on me.  We walked while Moose would grind his teeth in pain.

Hearing Moose in distress by grinding his teeth cut me to the quick as I am only used to hearing him hum when he gets into a good trot and feels good about himself.  Yes, this is true.  When Moose is all collected and balanced he feels so proud and is so pleased with how he looks he actually hums.  This is an option that we did not know we would experience when we brought him home this past summer but it is a highlight that brings a smile to all who see and hear him; grinding teeth brought no pleasure.

We walked in the cold drizzle but I did not notice the cold temperatures as I kept asking Terry worried questions,

“How does he look, should we call the vet, are you worried, should I be worried?”

And the consistent reply was a calm,

“Not yet, just keep walking.”

Around and around we went, some laps it felt like we were making headway and then the next time around he would want to crash…I was a basket case.

But after about 40 minutes the grinding of the teeth disappeared and the walk up hill in the paddock was now about the same speed as the walk down.  I could tell that when we walked down Moose would put it in neutral and coast but at the onset he was having great difficulty stepping on the clutch and getting himself back into first gear to get up the hill, now it appeared that he had slipped his tranny into automatic and I became cautiously optimistic.

“Is he getting better?”, I asked Terry.

“Just keep walking and talking, if his belly ache goes away you are going to be a real hero to him so don’t let him down.” Terry said, “And by the way, welcome to my world.”

I turned to look back at Terry and she was smiling, with that smile my nerves began to calm and I could also hear Moose’s respirations beginning to slow, but we kept walking.

We continued to walk and as we did I began to move away from just being a lead to asking Moose to do a few things for me as we continued to move forward…a little more to the right, then the left, then a squeeze against the fence and he was paying attention to my cues so my mood brightened.

After another thirty minutes or so the equine angel behind us said,

“Why don’t you lead him over to the water trough just to see if he will take a drink.”

“You can lead a horse to water but…”, I replied.

“I know, I know but just try so that we can see how he behaves when he stops moving.”

So we walked up to the water trough, I looked down at it, Moose looked at me and we just stood, nothing happened.

“Take his lead rope off”, ordered Terry.

I obliged.

“Now go back to walking just like you were without saying a word to him or issuing him a command.” Terry said.

Again, I did as I was told and turned to my left and began walking the path we had been walking for the past 90 minutes only to note that Moose fell right in on my right side with his left shoulder only a few inches from me, and we walked, a lot.

No lead, no commands, just the bond of friendship because his pain had gone away…we walked together while Terry sat on the steps of the observation gazebo in the center of the paddock.

Finally I tightened my circle to the left and found my way to Terry with Moose at my side.  I sat down on the steps while Moose planted his front hooves at our feet and lowered his head between our heads and he started to hum, or maybe it was more of a purr.

With half-lidded eyes he enjoyed us stroking his head and before long, he was off in horsy La-La Land dreaming of showing off his trot and discovering new trails with friends yet to be met.  He was okay.

Without saying a word, we left him there and walked towards the house where we turned before entering the garage to observe that he had not moved an inch since our departure.

“You are his buddy, now.”, Terry whispered.

“I love him, too.” I responded, “and I love you.  Funny, from impending disaster good has arisen to re-ground me on why we do what we do.  It’s all about them and for the grace and beauty that they bring into our lives.”

“You needed that kick in the ass, you know.” Terry giggled.

“Stop it, I love it, it hurts so good.”, I quipped back and with that we walked hand in hand into the house knowing that our equine children had brought us back to the core of our reality and that both love and life had come full circle.

The “Force of the Horse” is alive and well in our hearts and souls.

Life is good.

54 replies »

  1. Well, I was wondering when you were going to write! I love you guys! Terry , you’re such a good Mom 🙂 Sweet family and a very lovely story. I’m glad this is a “feel good” Sunday story and thanks for the cheery teary eye this am. Bless you all! And P.S. Still not giving up hope!

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  2. Been there, only with a 400 pound pony and not a monster horse. Since then I always keep a bottle of ECR in the barn nearby. Haven’t had to use it yet fortunately. Hope I never open it….

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  3. Glad it worked out for you RT. Been there a few times. The last time was with our recently adopted Pryor Horse, just 4 weeks ago. Now that was a big challenge! But luckily he has become pretty tame, so tame in fact we were able to inject some bantamine. We keep the injectable kind on hand, it acts faster than the paste. I really can not think of much in life that is as scary and gives us such a helpless feeling.

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    • Be careful of injecting bananmine. It should NEVER be injected IM. I know the bottle says its okay. But if you’ve ever seen the gas gangrene that can occur you will never again use IM.

      For more check out Beauty’s Haven in Florida. Teresa wrote about this several months ago and then I think it was The Horse did a story the following week. The pics are horrid. Definitely rated X. Big long slices down the neck to release the gas. And they have to keep them open to get air in so as to kill all the bacteria.

      I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know a whole hell of a lot. But I do a fair amount of reading.

      Just glad Moose is feeling better.

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      • Don’t think he said he injected it per se. Think it was injected (squirted) into mouth via syringe???
        >>>I kept him moving while Terry brought the medication out and I promptly injected the tube’s contents into his mouth. Of course, he would not swallow and all my verbal coaxing and neck rubbing was doing no good but the little horse medic, Terry, stuck both of her fingers into each side of his mouth and tickled his tongue until he swallowed. A decade and a half of caring for a Brazilian horse who would not swallow wormer has made her a pro at eliciting a swallow reflex<<<

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      • We don’t inject it at the neck. If it is a case of life and death, I choose the life. Trying to get paste into a horse that has been only out of the wild for 3 months, good luck. We did what we found was the best answer. Our vet has given us detailed instructions on how and where. As with anything, there will always be side effects at times.

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      • Even in the rump is not good. I don’t know what the answers are but I do know from what I’ve read I wouldn’t go anywhere near IM. Don’t know if you can go IV but if you can that might be a better choice.

        I’ll try to find the links so you can read and see what I’m talking about.

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  4. I’ll never forget the first time my Dash went down. I had not invested in Banamine yet but fortunately had a pocket full of peppermints. He got up, stood looking at the mints and sniffing but didn’t take them until he felt he was ready. Then he got 2 or 3…we walked some…then he sauntered off to his feed bucket and ate his dinner like nothing had ever happened. Scared hell out of me.

    Now I know when I adopt another horse I need two things…Banamine and my own Terry! 😉

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  5. Been there, done that. SO glad Moose is okay! It is terrifying, knowing what COULD happen. All’s well that ends well, I guess. Give Moose a hug for me!

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  6. Living in Arizona, and owning several horses, some not really handled often since they are PMU rescues out of ND, colic scares the daylights out of me and now my first reaction is to grab the phone and call the vet immediately. Sand colic is deadly, and yes, a change, sudden and drastic can push your horse into a sudden bout of upset tummy, but just in case it is something more severe, I believe in getting the vet involved as soon as is possible.
    I am so happy that you were able to relieve his pain but I’d be on the cautious side about not calling the vet right away. I know in Texas you don’t have the amount of sand and lack of good grazing grass that most of horse owners in Arizona, but it never hurts to be sure when it is a good partner that you love and feel their pain.

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  7. I’m so glad Moose is OK. In cold weather here in KY we give our horses warm water . We use a big muck tub with a water heater in it and also carry hot water from the house. Horses love warm water when it’s cold and will drink more. We extra hay also.
    I lost Rose over 3 years ago to what the local vet thought was just colic. It was a lipoma that caused an obstruction and by the time I got her to Lexington it was too late.

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  8. I’ve done that walk many times; and when y win you feel like everything is alright wit the world. The one I couldn’t save still haunts me. Hobo wasn’t even my horse. He was living in retirement to keep Merlin company. They adored each other and Hobo was still fit and fun to ride. When the massive Colic came I had just got back from the hospital. I had fallen off Merlin over a log jump and speared my arm on a tree limb. I was supposed to keep my arm elevated and lay down; but how do you do that when you have a sweating horse who is clearly in danger. It was obviously colic and my Vet came over and spent nearly all night with me and him massaging his coronary band and using all her holistic homeopathic technics plus the Banamine and the mineral oil tubing. She said that if he wasn’t any better by morning I should call her and she would have to put him down. Hobo was near 30 when this happened. She left me with a slew of injectable medications; and told me to keep him calm and do whatever I needed to do. Once the sun rose it was obvious that he was not getting better. He was sweating p a storm and started going into convulsions. He was still standing on his feet when I injected every one of those tranquilizing medications into him and watched as he slowly dropped to the ground. I held his head till there was not heartbeat or respiration and closed his eyes. This was one of the hardest things I have had to do in my life. My Vet showed up and found me sobbing against the barn wall. She looked in on him and told me I had done what I needed to do. We buried him our property; but first I let Merlin see him and give him a last goodbye. He needed to know what had happened to his buddy. Merlin started to whiney for hours and every whiney sounded like, “Hoboooooooooo. Merlin got anew companion when we rescued our Baskir Curly Stormy. They adore each other and we still have Hobo’s shoes and his stall name plate on a little shrine in the barn. I can’t read a story about Colic with a good or bad ending without remembering that awful episode. Sorry if this isn’t exactly a feel good comment, on Fell Good Sunday. I had to get it out. R.T and Terry, I am so happy for all of you that Moose made it. I still mourn the horse that didn’t.

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    • Tears and a heartfelt horse hug. Bless you for rescuing another horse in Hobo’s honor. He is not gone…he lives on in the love you continue to give those in need and those still here.

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  9. Someone donated an appoloosa to us for our equine thearpy program. When we picked him up…everybody at the barn he left hated him and was so glad to see him go. When we got him to our barn… we found out he cribbed…but he was the sweetest thing. And like you R.T. .I can communicate with animals, they talk to me. He told me his back hurt, and it didnt feel good when they rode him. They kept him locked up in the barn. At our barn he bonded with our other appoloosa Dhan Jhau, they are out in the pasture all day, and only put up at night. I renamed him Cochise, and explained to him how important his work with the special needs children was going to be. After some chiropractic work, foot work , and getting the right fitting saddle , he rode like a dream. He also told me he used to be a parade horse.
    We started him on regular lessons. All the kids would choose him. They fell in love with him. He did the special needs kids within a week. He was awesome. Then his back went out again, and we didn’t use him for awhile. We wanted to give him some time to adjust again. He didn’t understand this. He was used to them riding him no matter what. He got scared he would be given away again. He got sick and colicked. We bonded, right away, its so funny, they know when you talk horse. I felt him go down, and was on my way to the barn when I got the call. He couldn’t believe I came. We gave him meds, he couldn’t get back up, yet. I got a chair, held his head in my lap, and told him, with tears in my eyes, if it was time for him to go, we understood. I would be there for him. But I told him we needed him. He had important work to do, and if he was up to it, we sure would be honoured if he would stay and help us. He had tears in his eyes, and he nuzzled me. He couldn’t believe someone loved him. We walked and talked all day.
    During the holidays, lessons slow down and we only need 2 horses. So we decided to let him have some time off. We took him and Annie ( another unrideable horse, given to us ) out to an 89 acre hay farm. I explained to him he was at the horse spa…giggling. To enjoy himself. We let them out of the trailer, and they took off running. He was soaked from nerves, scared he was being dumped. They took off running. He ran back up to me, and looked at me and said, ” is it ok …? ” They were so happy. He is 18, but he looked so young and proud again. When we went out to visit him. We wormed them and took off their cribbing straps. They came running up to us. They were glad to see us. But they were happy to be horses again. They even made friends with the 3 donkeys.
    Behind every good man … is an awesome woman. Terry , I met you at Applebee’s, and I felt the bond between you and R.T. and how you believe in each other. You both are very lucky to have found your soulmate. I bought several of your books for my horse friends for Christmas. They were a big hit. Thank you. Oh… and the horse in my pic with me is my Moose .

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    • Horse lovers should run the country. We’d fix things in no time. We understand dedication, honor, true caring, the need for freedom and are willing to do the work to make things right, without all the political BS. Wishing many quality years for Cochise and his buddy!

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  10. Been there, and done that…more than a few times save for that 3+ times were my fault; didn’t do the teeth, didn’t put in the tank heaters and didn’t realize the impact of Bermuda grass on my equines with forage change.

    They all survived and made me kick myself in the butt….BECAUSE OF ME, THE HUMAN THAT FAILED. Yep, poop happens with equines, but….

    Glad the horse has made it.

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  11. I guess we’ve all been there before. My boy colicked bad twice at the barn where we boarded at first. The help there was a bit casual at times. After we moved to another barn, the horses had warm water in the winter – which helped keep the horses drinking. Thats so important in the winter. He had several episodes of colic over the years – always had a great vet who came…most times we really didnt know the reason. Did keep a tube of Banamine in my locker – which came in handy.
    He was special – hes been gone for 10 years now & still miss him. Luckily, I was able to have him buried at the farm where he lived – and I planted a pear tree on his grave – he absolutely loved pears!
    Would chew & then stick his tongue out & blow bubbles!!!!!!!!!! Can you tell he was special???
    So happy that your Moose came out of this ok. But it sure does wake you up, huh?

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  12. why? do people still walk a colicy horse nonstop? … it does nothing people… stop buying into that myth… all you get is a more sore, colicy, tired horse.. you go walk around nonstop when your colicy… to let them walk slow.. for a minute here and there is sufficient enough.

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    • It keeps them off the ground and prevents them from rolling and twisting their gut. That is how we lost Ethan, he rolled all night while we slept and was so twisted and ruined that even the Vet staff at Texas A&M could not save him. I refuse to allow a repeat of that pain and suffering…that is why you would have found me out in the pasture checking on the guys after midnight the last several nights.

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      • Not to mention the calming effect it has on us.. Been through it a few times with mine. The earlier it is observed and treated the better the outcome. I agree with heated water during the cold snaps. And i agree with calling the vet depending on the severity. Watch the geldings as they don’t show signs as readily as the mares do. I’ve heard of trailering recently but I’ll stick to walking them and keeping them on their feet. PMU rescue is what brought me back to horses and Chia, my PMU mare, is the cause of my going into rescue…all her fault bless her heart. I’ve trained the kids who were all here how to spot early signs of colic and they are pretty good. I keep banamine handy. So far so good. We also learned to watch the gums. If they get pale, we call the vet. What you and Terri did was great. It’s best to work as a team. Congrats on your save and best wishes to you and your Moose. Keep on walking.

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      • The only time you let a colicky horse lie down is he if is quiet. A rolling thrashing horse is a danger to all. You aren’t walking them at a race walk. Just fast enough to keep them from even thinking about going down.

        RT was super lucky. Me? I would’ve been calling the vet and walking the horse.

        I knew a foal years ago who colicked. He was the summer camp favorite. Sweet. Just a charming adorable foal. The morning he colicked we knew it was bad. We milked the mare and tried to get him to nurse from a bottle. No way would he take it.

        Off to the vet’s. We were told that night that he had twisted an intestine. It was awful. Such a sad learning experience as a young teen. But it was an important lesson in horsemanship. I still think about that youngster some 40 years later.

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      • All the answers to why you walk a Colicky horse are correct in my book; and every vet I have consulted agrees. Keeping them from thrashing and rolling might be the saving grace between a good outcome and a twisted gut. Some horses do well with surgery for a twist; but its mucho expensive; and if walking for a while restarts the gut and keeps them from rolling I think it’s certainly worth the time. Have you ever noticed that when you take a walk it wakes up your digestive system. You start to get hungry and sometimes you pass gas. This walking is good for your health. It is equally good for the horse who needs to pass gas. Colick is usually caused by either gas that can’t be passed or an impacted intestine. Either way, walking can help with the gas and or impaction. Once a horse starts acting more normal, passes gas and possibly stool he is usually out of the woods. Gut motility is the outcome you want to reach by walking. Banamine helps relieve the pain which in turn makes the walking more bearable for the horse. I haven’t found anything that makes this experience more bearable for the owner, except hearing those first gut sounds and a good nights sleep.

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      • It is such a scary situation, once you have experienced it with one of your horses… You lose sleep worrying……Walking them around is one of the best things to do… If something happens in the middle of the night, we are powerless to know.. I have many friends who are paranoid about colic and have installed cameras in the barn…. so so sorry about Eli.. Have re-read your book many times….you & Terry loved him so………..

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    • I think a trailer ride or walking them in unknown area is best. Causes them to get a little excited…increases activity in digestive tract and distracts from pain. Vet even said…chewing on a little grass, gets digestive juices moving. But number one cause of colic is lack of water/hydration. Electro-lytes…probiotics…warmer water….keep them drinking.

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  13. Thank you for a beautiful story. I am glad to hear that you and Moose have better days ahead. Also, for those of us who have been fortunate, thus far, not to have had our horses colic, this is a helpful guide both on how to recognize the signs and how to treat. When I turn my horses out, I usually stop by the water trough for a few minutes, offer a drink, and offer a treat before turning my horses out. Thanks for sharing your hard won wisdom.

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  14. RT.. you lost your other horse, bcz the treatment was not address, and didn’t do preventative steps… don’t let think that not walking that horse caused that… a simple stick, tapping, and stern voice can stop a colic horse from dropping and rolling.. Viktoria is correct, however, some horses do colic from several other things.. I syringe mineral oil/water mix into them immediately, not as much as “vet tubing” i personally think many vets pump too much in… the first thing I do is go to the back and pick up each back leg and work the legs up and down, forward and back… ever seen a farrier get crapped on?… I was a farrier.. rarely did I never get crapped on 🙂 .. stand them on steep grade, rear end up… pick up the front leg and work the front of the horse down… monitor gut sounds with stethoscope… after all that.. I will walk them for about 1 to 2 minutes.. very slow.. big wide turns….. keeping a horse moving… irritates the colic more and prolongs it… and no grain for 2 days after colic.. I worked at the race tracks for years, over 20 yrs ago… they never kept a colic horse moving back then.. caused them too much soreness afterward the colic subsided… I have never lost a horse or neighbors horse to colic with these methods… they almost always snap out of it within 1 hour or less. … now for preventative.. i live in TX too… when the barometer is expected to drop… or cold front come thru.. pour about 3/4 cup in feed for a day or 2 before… if they don’t eat it.. put in some molasses.. and take away all other food.. they’ll eat it eventually… put them on electrolytes… don’t let them free feed on hay for a day before n after the cold front…if the water freezes or gets real cold, haul out hot water to warm the water…

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  15. I’d like some feedback about Shaklee’s Herb-Lax for colic (emergency and/or maintenance). Has anyone ever used it or their other products for conditions mentioned in this article? I used to be a Distributor, but got out of it because I don’t like MLMs. I really like their products for “human uses”, so I’m still a Member ($24 Lifetime) and get a 15% discount on everything. http://www.barefoot-sun.com/2004/08/horse-vitality.html

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  16. preventative measures i just posted work… no need for anything else… healthy weight, aware of barometer drops, electrolytes & mineral oil in feed and limit free feed just before barometer drops, maintain water temp. … hardly any money spent. … always be vigil with early signs of colic, and all the steps i posted will work… i have brought horses out of all colics with those steps, sometimes giving them a shot of bute for the pain if it is a hard colic.

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    • I’m not questioning your expertise. Just wondering if anyone had experience using Shaklee for colic or anything else.

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      • o i know.. i was just reiterating the point, that none of that silly stuff is even necessary to buy and try… i tried that stop colic stuff once.. http://www.stophorsecolic.com/ .. 100 bucks when i tried it… got the same results as syringing half a gallon or a bit more of mineral oil/water mix .. and still had to do the rest of the work… i’m just trying to help people save money and learn… anyone gets a colicy horse.. try what i posted… use a little bute or banimine if you need the extra security… call the vet for extra security, if it takes him 30 -45 minutes to get to you.. you will have the horse improved before he gets there… you will see… *if you have a horse with internal organ failure or twisted intestines… this will not work for those cases.. but nothing will.

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  17. R.T. I’m so glad that Moose survived, and he rewarded you with his love for you for saving him. Nobody can tell me that horses do not know and show love for their owners. About a year ago I was a novice with horses when volunteering at a sanctuary and saw a horse that wanted to go down. I called the owner and his head manager and they wanted the horse to walk. I volunteered after they gave the horse the medication. We walked the arena four or five times. He wanted to go down but I kept him walking until he pooped a couple of times at which time I informed the owner and they said they thought the worst was past. To be safe they then put the horse on the walker for a while. THis was my first education of colic. Another sanctuary now where I have three horses of my own resently had an employee who did not water enought and a beautiful gray Arabian colicked. We couldn’t save her and miss her greatly. This definitely was a learning experience for me and the additional info you and Terry provided above. I hope you have many years with Moose and enjoy his humming. GOd Bless you both for all you do our equines, wild and domestic.

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  18. Thanks for the feel good Sunday RT, I am so Happy Moose is ok , thanks also for the education Sunday also…….Took a long to read all the posts , through all the tears , I couldnt see the print !!! But I made it through !!!!!! I have not experienced Colic, but I felt I was with everyone here through it……. I am exhausted ……… There is nothing more wonderful then the bond we all have with the Horses, they are Magnificent friends ,,,,,

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  19. Thank goodness that Moose is okay! Any signs of colic… call your vet immediately! Time is critical!! I would rather ship my horse off to an equine clinic & put him on fluids,,, than to take the chance and wait…. Do not wait too long to verify the signs….. Just call… You can save your beloved friend’s life and perhaps avoid surgery (if diagnosed in the early stages) before a critical life and death situation confronts you. Too heartbreaking to describe! Reality check, sorry to sound harsh here, if your beloved equine friend qualifies, buy the insurance….will give you some peace of mind, just in case you have decide to have colic surgery.. So many survive and do well if the symptoms are recognized early enough….. Cannot emphasize enuff…..Do not wait too long for your beloved friend! Thanks for sharing, RT & Terry!!

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  20. There are some folks posting about colic that scare the Hades out of me. As such , I worry about any equines they own. Get with it people or get out of equines.

    Krap happens with equines and it is incumbent upon you to KNOW what you did right and wrong or how good your vet is.

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  21. I feel we were all walking along with you, while the story was unfolding. (-: Terry was comforting you, while you were trying to comfort Moose…what a story! Terry knew just what to do and what to say for both you and Moose…talk about a good head on her shoulders. (-: So happy that Moose pulled out of it okay…he’s quite a beauty! Thanks for sharing…you guys are the greatest!

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  22. I have learned that sand colic can be helped by having the vet tube the horse and pour a gal of mineral oil down it. That loosens up the compaction and allows it to pass out. That’s what was done for my daughters horse when we lived in AZ. The mare go over it and never had it again. I also started giving her hay in a tub to keep it off the ground.

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  23. That brought tears to my eyes. I can tell you and your wife love your hose children and other fur kids. Congrats on saving Moose and the both of you will have a long long of wonderful memories as the years unfold. I love my horse more then words can say so I really understand the intense bond you and Moose have for I have that same intense bond with my horse.

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  24. After losing a retired mule that I turned over to a rescue in AZ, My vet in IL told me about using Metamucil (psyllium seed husks). Vet told me to give a tablespoon once a day for seven days in a row, every month. I bought the genric Walmart brand, orange favor. I put the tablespoon full on top of there grain add a little water. They both love it, mule and donkey. I travel all summer and have been in some very sandy places. Even when I’m home I still give it every month.

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    • I live in SW Florida and have a little 3 year old Paso Fino. My last barn mate had her horse on that regiment and it seemed to work extremely well considering her entire turn out was nothing but sand. I use beet pulp to help bind any sand my horse gets from pasture grass which is slim pickings right now. I tested his poop to see how much sand he was ngesting and it about half of a 1/4 tsp per load. Our vet down here also recommend the metamucil with the same time frame ( 7 days). My question is what about the rest of the month? What’s to stop sand colic or any other kind of colic from starting? My horse is on beet pulp once every three days, i scoop per 2.5 gallons of water soaked over night.

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  25. Oh my, I just saw this! Moose is good! Glad you got him through this. I have had to deal with this alone with horses in my care and it really scared me. Watch that temperature gage!

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  26. R.T., I know this is a late comment, but, I’m so happy for your horse, Moose, & you! This was a beautiful story, thanks for sharing it with us. I think sometimes we all need to get grounded, I’m glad yours had a happy ending. This brings home the realitiy of being a first-time horse owner, as we recently purchased the horse we’d been leasing for the past year, for our teenage daughter for an early Christmas/Sweet 16 upcoming birthday, combination. We love this horse, & I don’t know what we’d do if he got sick, or worse, we lost him! Another boarder at our new stable was not so lucky. One of her 3 horses got bad colic, & had to be put down, exactly 1 week before Christmas. Very sad. And, you have a wonderful, dedicated, horse-loving wife that I’m sure makes you very happy, & very proud! Happy New Year to you & all our friends here.

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