My older horse has this same issue, coliced 3 times in a week last spring and usually once a month on a regular basis since then. Luckily it never got bad enough to head to the vet school but we had him on ulcer guard, ulcer supplements even had him scoped and found nothing. Weather seemed to have a lot to do with it, and he also has a hind suspensory injury that was bothering him which may have causes stress. We put him on a new supplement for hind gut health as the vet suggested it may be hind gut ulcers... ever since hes been on it we havent had any colic spells ::KNOCK ON WOOD:: I can get the name of it for you, but ulcers can cause these frequent colic spells that would be my first guess.
What does grey have to do w/ it?
Possibility of melanomas where you can't see them (i.e. in the GI system somewhere causing issues...)
Water change or different
Sorry for not posting sooner; finals week is hectic!
I honestly never thought of ulcers but with all of you guys chiming in, that's definitely something to look into! Thank you!!!
We'll definitely be upping his fitness level! We really need to get a saddle for him, but I bought every piece of tack my family's other horse has and dont feel to inclined to do so with this pony too ;]. Lunging and lots more turn out is definitely in his future.
No, he's not grey. He's bay.
Once again, thanks to all of you guys :)!!
You might consider adding a 1/2 cup- 1 cup of Omega Horseshine daily.
It has numerous health benefits including possible colic prevention.
I too am jumping on the ulcer bandwagon. He reads like a textbook case for an equine with ulcers. There's a lot in his known past that could induce high levels of stress and potentially cause ulcers to develop:
1) He's imported. The flight along with moving to a new climate with different hay and grain could have been very stressful for him.
2) Extensive show record. Statistically the more a horse travels and shows, the higher their odds of developing ulcers.
3) Was previously boarded with zero turnout. Statistically, stalled horses are at higher risk of developing ulcers.
4) Was previously stalled with another, more dominant pony that did the bulk of the eating. I would venture this made his daily graining (likely 2 times every single day) very stressful for him.
5) Now lives alone. Even though his previous stall buddy may have made life tough at times, switching from a 24/7 buddy to no buddy at all could be a tough transition for the pony.
And those are just the things known about him. There could certainly be more in his past. If he's a more laid back type, it's entirely possible that none of these factors got to him very much and he doesn't have ulcers at all. Or if he's an anxious type, it's possible he does.
Side note, alfalfa is very good/soothing for affected tummies. I would keep him on the soaked alfalfa.
You sound very caring and are certainly doing your homework ;) for the little guy. Best of luck to your family figuring it out!
I don't remember if someone had answered your hay net question but I would definitely invest in a small hole haynet.
All the horses here have them. In the winter I feed up to 2% body weight in hay(providing they will eat it). At night, the horses are getting 15-18# of hay in their haynets. The nice thing is that in the morning, there is usually still a little bit of hay left over. I know that they have the option of eating hay whenever they like, so it should cut down on the ulcer risk.
There is very little wastage with the small hole haynets and it takes the horses much longer to finish their hay, so it mimics their natural grazing patterns.
To me, this screams Ulcers, but that being said .. i've also seen them mis diagnosed as well. Regardless, I would get him scoped to know for sure.
I appologize if some of these have already been answered or asked ..
- Do you now what kind of colic he's suffering from? (impaction, gas, etc)
- Have you pulled a fecal sample and taken it to your Vet?
- Have you contacted the previous owners or barn manager to find out exactly what his routine was, right down to the brand of feed and when he got exercise?
- This may have been said, but by "he doesn't get as much turn out a he should", exactly how much time does he spend outside (roughly)?
The more obvious things have been pointed out .. change in pressure, worms, stress, dietary change, etc but perhaps in answering some of the questions above it may help us point you in a general direction of which you can approach your vet to try and get to the bottom of the chronic colicing... it's never fun!
I would take the beet pulp away and see what happens. While I know a lot of people on this board are big fans of beet pulp, there are horses and ponies that just don't do well on it and are prone to colic when on it. (Do a search and you will find many people that have horses that will colic on beet pulp). Many horses do fine on it, but since this is the only feed that is different, why not remove it and see what happens? There were two horses at my last barn that noone could figure out why they kept colicing, we moved to a new barn that had the same hay supplier and they had the same lifestyle except that barn did not feed beet pulp and poof! no more colics. Some horses just do not do well on it.
I am not a vet but do have first-hand experience that might be helpful to share. My first horse had one colic surgery under his belt when I bought him. He had several mild episodes before the impaction that required a second surgery. Afterwards, the vet recommended oats and alfalfa hay which has pretty much kept him colic-free except for the rare episode of gas colic. He's 10 yrs down the road so now gets soaked Purina Senior and soaked alfalfa cubes. I think the soaking really helps get additional water in their system so impactions aren't as likely to occur.
If you can't get a handle on things with diet changes and/or ulcer treatment, here's another tidbit to consider. There used to be a horse at the barn where I boarded that would colic on a monthly basis. One weekend we were at a show and he had an episode bad enough to require surgery. When they opened him up, they found clumps of fabric and plastic. He must have been eating his clothes or possibly pieces of plastic that had migrated into his turnout area. Something to consider if all else fails . . .
Alright I'll try to answer questions as best I can!
Vet did a fecal and didn't find anything [I wasn't there, this is what I was told].
Right now he's only getting water, electrolytes, gatorade [obviously not all at the same time lol] and soaked alfalfa. He's getting about a handful of beetpulp just to get him to eat the electrolytes and whatnot [still waiting on the senior to get here! Might be faster just to go to the feed barn myself tbh...]
The vet believes he might have a stone[s] in his stomach. Any experience with this?
1. They've all been impaction colics.
Originally Posted by Tempi.Change
2. Yup, she said it was all normal/she couldn't find anything.
3. My sister worked there while the pony was there and knows pretty much exactly how he was treated. We're still in contact with his previous owner and he never colicked with her. He got ridden a couple times a week, but was not a good fit for the children in the lesson program and was essentially ignored most of the time, or so I was told. I do not know his previous feed off the top of my head but I can ask my sister.
4. He usualllllly gets turned out 6 or so times a week for about 30 mins. If I'm the one there then he gets turned out with my horse. If not, he gets turned out alone. His stall is more of a corral and is roughly 14ft x 24ft so he does have room to move around [obviously bigger WOULD be better, but there's not much I can do about that..]
Once again, thanks you guys! We'll definitely be trying the no beetpulp idea and checking out the ulcer possibility [as well as adding more turnout/exercise and the senior food]!
Another thought for hiding his meds is soaking alfalfa/timothy cubes - that will also get water in him, and since he's getting alfalfa already it *shouldn't* cause any problems. Or, if you can get them, hay pellets or alfalfa pellets, well soaked. Our guys seem to like these better than beet pulp.
Hope you figure it out soon - sounds like your vet is covering bases.
Alfalfa = enteroliths. Has he had x-rays done?
These would be enteroliths or fecaliths. Enteroliths form around a foreign body in the gI tract such as a piece of metal, bailing twine, etc. It is believed that alfalfa can contribute to their formation. Horses can have.a single formation or even multiple.... or pull out an old haynet from their colon with all sorts of little entroliths on it. Occasionally you can find them by rectal palpation but I would recommend radiographs to try and locate them. They also will not always show up on radiographs which is a bit irritating.
Originally Posted by Jarrn
If it is an enterolith formation, surgery is often needed to remove them but the prognosis is generally good. They can range in size from golfball to over 50lbs...depends on the horse.