Eventer Allison Springer’s new mount Lionheart underwent colic surgery on Jan. 13 in Wellington, Fla., after he began showing signs of discomfort in the early morning hours of the same day.
Springer’s groom, Alandra Halem, noticed the 12-year-old Westphalian gelding (Lancer III—Sibrose, Sacramento Son) pawing and acting uncomfortable and decided to call the vet. Once Springer arrived at the barn, the vet tubed the gelding and gave him Banamine, which seemed to help.
“We all thought that was it because it really didn’t look bad at all,” said Springer. “She left, and I was just watching him, and about 15 minutes later when the sedation wore off, he just kept pawing and was thinking about lying down.”
Not wanting to take a chance, Springer, who’s been in Wellington since Jan. 3, took Lionheart to Palm Beach Equine Medical Center where an ultrasound revealed a part of his small intestine was distended.
When medication and fluids didn’t help the impaction, the vets decided that surgery was the best option.
“Right now, it’s just hoping that these next few days are good,” said Springer, Marshall, Va. “It was a very, very small incision, and they didn’t have to take any tissue out because we caught it so quickly. They actually said as long as these initial few days go well, he should recover really well. Right now it’s just a little bit of a waiting game.”
Springer is optimistic about the gelding’s recovery, but admitted they’re not out of the woods just yet.
“I went back late last night, and he looked really good and was happy to see me,” she said. “He’s just one of the sweetest, sweetest horses ever. He’s just like the perfect patient. The vets all love him; he’s such a good boy. I’m really fortunate that my groom is very attentive and noticed the little signs and that we were here in such a wonderful place for the horses.”