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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 30, 2003
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    VA
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    Xpress went in for colic surgery last night after not responding to IV fluids, tubing and pain meds every 15 minutes for hours. It was a long night and it's still all a blur, but from what I recall the vet said it was a large impaction and that he had a torsion but not a twist.?? The surgery went well, and he woke up from it safely. But he was so miserable, shaking and sweating.
    I'm so worried about his recovery and cannot lose him. I can't imagine losing a second horse in (almost exactly) a year. If something happens I think I'll give up riding and will probably need to be committed to a mental hospital.
    For those who haven't heard my story, Xpress is my second horse...I got my first horse (after 20 years or so) last summer and he passed away after two months from unknown causes. I got Xpress a few months after that, this past December and this is his second colic, it's the first one requiring surgery. He's an OTTB and on the thin side already, so the required 30 days of hay/grass only are going to be terrible for him.
    Does anyone have any positive stories of colic surgery recovery? Suggestions for the recovery phase...Vet says 30 days stall rest (hand grazing and hay), then 30 days partial turnout in roundpen with gradual introduction of feed, and then 30 days turnout in pasture with feed normal and no riding. He stocks up badly when kept in for more than 12 hours so this will be a big problem.

    Oh.. and top it all off, I'm starting a new job on Tuesday. How much and what kind of after care should I expect? I'll have to teach my non-horsey husband how to do any morning care because I'll have to be at work by 7am. I'm thinking I'll wrap his legs at night and then have my husband unwrap the legs in the morning, leaving them unwrapped for the daytime.???

    -----------------------------

    http://community.webshots.com/user/xpresssmom

    [This message was edited by VTHokie on Nov. 03, 2003 at 04:17 PM.]

    [This message was edited by VTHokie on Nov. 06, 2003 at 05:56 PM.]

    [This message was edited by VTHokie on Nov. 09, 2003 at 10:27 PM.]

    [This message was edited by VTHokie on Nov. 11, 2003 at 03:53 PM.]

    [This message was edited by VTHokie on Nov. 14, 2003 at 05:52 PM.]

    [This message was edited by VTHokie on Nov. 15, 2003 at 05:12 PM.]

    [This message was edited by VTHokie on Dec. 02, 2003 at 06:38 PM.]

    [This message was edited by VTHokie on Dec. 02, 2003 at 11:26 PM.]
    Proud Owner of BBM Xpress (OTTB)http://community.webshots.com/user/xpresssmom



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 30, 2003
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    1,552

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    Xpress went in for colic surgery last night after not responding to IV fluids, tubing and pain meds every 15 minutes for hours. It was a long night and it's still all a blur, but from what I recall the vet said it was a large impaction and that he had a torsion but not a twist.?? The surgery went well, and he woke up from it safely. But he was so miserable, shaking and sweating.
    I'm so worried about his recovery and cannot lose him. I can't imagine losing a second horse in (almost exactly) a year. If something happens I think I'll give up riding and will probably need to be committed to a mental hospital.
    For those who haven't heard my story, Xpress is my second horse...I got my first horse (after 20 years or so) last summer and he passed away after two months from unknown causes. I got Xpress a few months after that, this past December and this is his second colic, it's the first one requiring surgery. He's an OTTB and on the thin side already, so the required 30 days of hay/grass only are going to be terrible for him.
    Does anyone have any positive stories of colic surgery recovery? Suggestions for the recovery phase...Vet says 30 days stall rest (hand grazing and hay), then 30 days partial turnout in roundpen with gradual introduction of feed, and then 30 days turnout in pasture with feed normal and no riding. He stocks up badly when kept in for more than 12 hours so this will be a big problem.

    Oh.. and top it all off, I'm starting a new job on Tuesday. How much and what kind of after care should I expect? I'll have to teach my non-horsey husband how to do any morning care because I'll have to be at work by 7am. I'm thinking I'll wrap his legs at night and then have my husband unwrap the legs in the morning, leaving them unwrapped for the daytime.???

    -----------------------------

    http://community.webshots.com/user/xpresssmom

    [This message was edited by VTHokie on Nov. 03, 2003 at 04:17 PM.]

    [This message was edited by VTHokie on Nov. 06, 2003 at 05:56 PM.]

    [This message was edited by VTHokie on Nov. 09, 2003 at 10:27 PM.]

    [This message was edited by VTHokie on Nov. 11, 2003 at 03:53 PM.]

    [This message was edited by VTHokie on Nov. 14, 2003 at 05:52 PM.]

    [This message was edited by VTHokie on Nov. 15, 2003 at 05:12 PM.]

    [This message was edited by VTHokie on Dec. 02, 2003 at 06:38 PM.]

    [This message was edited by VTHokie on Dec. 02, 2003 at 11:26 PM.]
    Proud Owner of BBM Xpress (OTTB)http://community.webshots.com/user/xpresssmom



  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 26, 2003
    Location
    ocala, Fl
    Posts
    618

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    Jingles for you from FLA, Sounds like a long night you had. Been there done that too. Try to breath and keep good thoughts going to your boyhttp://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c.../icon_wink.gif He will need them. He should be in the Hospital for about a week. So you can go to your new job and know he will be in good hands. Training your Hubby should be easy he really should only be hand walked for about 2 weeks or untill the vets say he can go into a small paddock. Jingling hard for you and your best friendhttp://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...icon_smile.gif



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 4, 2003
    Location
    Zone 2
    Posts
    741

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    Jingles and {{{HUGS}}} My pony had colic surgury and he went a full week then he started to die in the inside so we had to put him down. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...icon_frown.gif I hope things go better for your horse.... I'll be thinking good thoughts http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...icon_smile.gif

    *Tiffany*

    *founder of the TB/QH clique*
    Tiffany

    *Beanie Bop*



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 26, 2001
    Location
    Oxford PA
    Posts
    10,337

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    Mary's Faith had colic surgery at New Bolton in May of 2002. Recovery was SO painful for ME. I HATED seeing her so miserable. However, her recovery was relatively uneventful & she has recovered fully. She foxchased last winter (one time for FIVE HOURS) & was as full of herself when she came home as when she left (& this mare is 17). She competed 3rd level recognized dressage this summer & trucked some young people around cross country at schoolings.

    I don't know why the vet is recommending hay--obviously opinions differ because Mary was NOT ALLOWED to have hay. She lived on 4 feedings of senior pellets a day for quite a while. We slept in the barn so she could be fed at exactly 6 hour intervals. She does stock up if she's in but we gave her a double stall so she wasn't too bad--I don't think we ever bandaged.

    Turnout started with about 6 panels + gate of the round pen. Then we added a panel every day & finally stretched the round pen out along the fence to make an even bigger space. Then we temporarily fenced one end of the pasture & finally into the pasture with the others.

    Jingles from here for a recovery as successful as Mary's.

    www.rougelandfarm.com Home of TB stallion Alae Rouge, sire of our filly Rose, ribbon-winner on the line at Dressage at Devon.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 30, 2003
    Location
    VA
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    Thank you, will the incision area need special cleaning and medicating? I'm really worried about infection. I'm very diligent about caring for even small cuts, so you can imagine how much of a wreck I'll be.
    The vet called and estimates that Xpress will be released from the hospital by Wednesday if he begins hand grazing tonight.

    -----------------------------

    http://community.webshots.com/user/xpresssmom
    Proud Owner of BBM Xpress (OTTB)http://community.webshots.com/user/xpresssmom



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 7, 2003
    Location
    Mudville, GA ;-)
    Posts
    9,177

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    My daughter's young TB had colic surgery as a weanling! She had an intestinal bypass. We got her as a yearling, so I can't help you with surgery aftercare.
    I can tell you that in the almost 3 years we've had her I've only had to call the vet out for possible colic once (in the early days I was paranoid). She has thrived and is becoming a wonderful little hunter for my daughter.
    I know you'll get lots of 'life after surgery' stories.
    Good luck!!!
    Y'all ain't right!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 27, 2001
    Posts
    425

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    VTHokie,
    Your vet will give you explicit aftercare instructions as far as feeding and incision care. Mostly it is monitoring the incision site for any signs of infecton ( drainage , excessive swelling , etc.) Most likely your guy will have a ton of skin staples along his ventral midline. Usually all that is needed is checking the area twice a day, wiping off with 4x4 gauze sponge with vets choice of antibiotic solution.Infections may require a few staples to be removed and a culture and sensitivity run to see what antibiotic is best. When the bowel is opened (as it was most likely for your guy to remove the impacted feed material ), the chance of infection is a little bit higher. That being said ., my horse had 2 colic surgeries within 24 hours for a impacted cecum, had 75% of his cecum removed during the second surgery and never got an infection.That was 6 years ago and he has never looked back (and I count my blessings every day) Watching horses come out of general anesthesia is horrible. Especially when its your own!Been there , done that twice!!!
    Properly feeding him when he comes home will be of most importance. His gut motility must be back up and running properly before he gets to eat much roughage (hay)- will probably start out with handfuls .Grass is easier to digest, so if he can handle that hand grazing , then that is a good sign.Your vet should give guidelines on dishcarge and if you have any questions , dont forget to ask!!
    Suture line needs to heal before any big exercise - don't want to end up with a hernia! Ay infection will delay healing time , hence turnout and exercise.
    Best of luck!!
    Luv2Jump



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr. 30, 2003
    Location
    VA
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    Luv2Jump - Thanks! I spoke to the barn owner/manager and she and the staff will help with the hand grazing and care along with my husband. I haven't worked since I moved down here in April and it's killing me to think that I'll have to be gone now when he needs me the most. But I know he'll be in good hands and I'll be going straight to the barn everyday after work for sure.

    Evalee - Yes, the hay does sound like it could be an unusual recommendation for the immmediate feedings. I will confirm what exactly he should eat when I visit him tomorrow. I was at the hospital with him until 5 o'clock this morning so I may have misunderstood some things.

    Thanks everyone and keep the advice coming. I'd love to be able to go to the vet tomorrow with all of the ideas and let them determine which are the best for Xpress's specific circumstances.

    Based on another thread, I'm going to see if Probiotics are recommended, considering the impaction, antibotics from surgery, and the impending weight loss. Anyone recommend a specific brand, best quality?

    -----------------------------

    http://community.webshots.com/user/xpresssmom
    Proud Owner of BBM Xpress (OTTB)http://community.webshots.com/user/xpresssmom



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 3, 2003
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    114

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    I have a 24 year old arab that had colic surgery about 5 years ago and is doing great!!! My horse was in the hospital for 2 weeks so when he came home they had already taken his staples out so I didn't have to do any cleaning of his insision. He had to stay in his stall with hand walking only for 2 weeks and then he could go out in small turnout. Could slowly start riding him again in 3 months. They were feeding him grain and hay before I brought him home. With my horse it wasn't an impaction though. His recovery went great. I hope you have the same outcome I had. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 5, 2002
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    Michigan (Next to Hell... seriously!)
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    Let's see... THIS I have experience with! http://chronicleforums.com/images/cu...milies/yes.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/cu...s/winkgrin.gif

    My Holsteiner mare had colic surgery in Feb. 2001 for a "simple" gas pocket. No torsion, no twist, no impaction, no resection of intestine, textbook recovery. She was admitted to MSU on a Sunday afternoon, surgery done that afternoon, and released Friday morning. 30 days stall rest with handwalking 2x a day, all the grass hay she could eat, no grain until after day 30, turnout began after day 30, and I was actually allowed to start riding (nothing much... mostly walking) after day 45. She was showing again in early May. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...on_biggrin.gif

    2nd surgery was Sept. 15, 2003... we're closing in on our 60 day mark at the middle of this month. She was hauled up late morning/early afternoon on a Monday, surgery done that afternoon, and released on Friday morning. This surgery was all foaling related from her early May 2003 colt. She had a 270 degree torsion of her bowel (basically it flipped over), gas pocket, mild impaction at site of torsion, all intestine was still incredibly healthy so no resection was needed, and the surgeons got to realize what a big appetite my mare has when they dumped the undigested (or half digested???) grain out of her. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...on_redface.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/cu...milies/lol.gif

    Your surgeon will write a complete summary of aftercare instructions along with giving you contact numbers to get in touch with them in case of any questions of problems. Stomach staples come out 14-16 days post-op. In both of my cases they did not have me clean the area with anything. All that is needed is to keep an eye on it for any swelling increase and any seeping from the site. My mare was sent home with a lower white blood count so I had to take her temp 2x a day. If you wanted to monitor your guy's temp... that will help you with keeping an eye out for any infection as well.

    Both surgeries my mare was allowed grass hay... pretty much all that she could eat. Both times I slowly introduced a bit of alfalfa mix after week 2. This was as long as my mare was doing well with the grass hay. She was also allowed a 1/4 scoop of Equine Senior after this 2nd surgery 2x a day. The surgeon actually started her on that on day 2 post op. I think it all depends on what kind of colic surgery was done and how extensive it was. I've got one more week before I can start getting on my mare again undersaddle and doing 30 days of walk work. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...on_biggrin.gif After her 90 day mark we are cleared to start reconditioning work again! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...on_biggrin.gif

    I DID start turnout a bit earlier after both surgeries. My mare doesn't cope well with stallrest and she actually gets herself into the position of injuring herself MORE in the stall than if I were to turn her out for small periods of time. Both times, the vets okay'd this situation. So you may want to ask about that if you think your guy may get panic attacks at all.

    Good luck! Feel free to PT me if you want! http://chronicleforums.com/images/cu...milies/yes.gif

    *Member of the bad shoulder clique* (open surgery was 1-6-03)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~
    Bay colt by Lacoste 5-6-03
    Chevy weaned at 4.5 months
    Next to me at 4.5 months
    Trying to be Superman at 4 months
    *bad shoulder clique * Member of "OMGiH, I loff my Mare" Clique! * Proud owner of a CANTER Cutie!
    My Horses; COMH Page; My Blog



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 10, 2001
    Location
    nj
    Posts
    8,767

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    lots of jingles from nj!
    have no personal experience to share. but from what i've seen in the past seems to me that coming out of anasthesia is the really dangerous part. and he's past that so from now on everything will be fine. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...icon_smile.gif
    lots of luck!!!

    "It appears we are being transformed from an information
    society to an informant society." Rep. Dennis Kucinich
    http://www.eponashoe.com/
    TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 30, 2003
    Location
    VA
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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by onetempies:
    She had a 270 degree torsion of her bowel (basically it flipped over), gas pocket, mild impaction at site of torsion, all intestine was still incredibly healthy so no resection was needed, and the surgeons got to realize what a big appetite my mare has when they dumped the undigested (or half digested???) grain out of her. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...on_redface.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/cu...milies/lol.gif [QUOTE]

    Yes, they said Xpress had the "complete flip" also. And his temperature, color, etc. have remained very good throughout despite the extreme pain he exhibited. They said the impaction was very large and followed up by alot of gas.

    [QUOTE] So you may want to ask about that if you think your guy may get panic attacks at all.[QUOTE]

    He actually panics if he is outside and there are no other horses with him. But usually seems to like being inside just fine (although I'm sure he'll become a handfull in no time!) We are going to put him in a large foaling stall, probably at night and then in his regular stall during the day since it is near the door and has lots of light.

    GOOD LUCK for your mare's continued recovery, as well. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...icon_smile.gif

    -----------------------------

    http://community.webshots.com/user/xpresssmom
    Proud Owner of BBM Xpress (OTTB)http://community.webshots.com/user/xpresssmom



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2003
    Location
    Palm City, FL
    Posts
    108

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    Good luck with your boy. They do wonderful surgeries these days, and are able to save a lot of animals. I found my friend's mare in bad shape nearly 3 years ago. We got the vet out, and he determined she was surgical. We drove to Wellington and admitted her, and the surgeons took a 25 pound block of concreted sand out of her gut, despite all our best sand colic prevention routines. Sand colic is a real problem down here in Florida, and this mare is very messy with her grain.

    Surgical recovery was uneventful, mostly consisting of us all taking shifts to hand walk her. We also helped keep an eye out for signs of infection in the wound site. She was placed temporarily on alfalfa hay, soaked. When she could handle grain, they put her on Purina's Complete Advantage (a beet pulp high fiber grain for horses with hay allergies). The added fiber was supposed to help ward off another sand colic. We're now nearly 3 years out, and she's had no other incidents.

    Hopefully, your boy will recover well, and soon this will all be behind you. Best of luck in the mean time. It's not a fun position to be in.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2002
    Location
    San Diego
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    Finn went through a 20 foot resection just 6 weeks after I owned him. It was one of the most serious colic surgeries to come back from with a 10% chance the first night, but he did!!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...on_biggrin.gif It was ugly, he was also soaking wet, shaking, barely able to stand, so sorry looking, confused, hated life, but it gets better.

    And recovery is going to be long and arduous. It will test your level of commitment to your horse. It will seem like it will never end, but IT WILL BE OVER WITH EVENTUALLY!

    I had to go out to the barn twice a day (6am & 6pm) everyday for 8 weeks. The first 4 weeks was to medicate & to handwalk. Then just to handwalk. The hand walking alone took up ages!! An hour in the am and an hour in the pm in winter at that!!! Yuck!! I think it really helped him recover nicely though. Then we went into just walking around bareback. Then walking/trotting. Longing. Building up slowly, slowly. No rush.

    To now he's going to a 3-day event this month, also competes dressage (working 2nd level movements, but because I'm such a weeny just showing training.) They can & do come back to have perfectly wonderful working lives.

    The one thing that is left over from his surgery are his hernias. The little bugger got away from me handwalking one night and baled on me! He was galloping for all he was worth. So he popped a few sutures. And that is no big deal either (unless you want to sell your horse.) They don't even know they have hernias, but it is weird to be able to stick my entire thumb up into his stomach.

    A difference between our horses is that Finn went into surgery a big fat warmblood. So he came out of all of it a normal sized horse. Where as you OTTB may take some watching over regarding weight and feed schedules.

    Good luck & god grant you patience!

    ~Bev

    -----------------------
    Finnegans Wake
    1992
    Irish Sport Horse x Hanoverian
    16.1hh
    bay
    -----------------------
    Finnegans Wake
    1992
    Irish Sport Horse x Hanoverian
    16.1hh
    Finn's photo album http://community.webshots.com/user/finnegan24100



  16. #16
    Join Date
    May. 30, 2000
    Location
    MARYLAND
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    Our horse (a TB racehorse) just had colic surgery about a month+ ago. Sounds like the same type of colic (impacted, displaced intestine, no twist) with the same stall rest, hand walking, and turn out instructions. They told us not having to remove any intestin makes the surgery and recovery a lot less complicated with a much better prognosis(sp?).

    Ours came home in a week after surgery and needed no medication at all, just the staples removed after 10 days. We had to start with lots of hay, almost no grain and slowly increase it. He did loose A LOT of wieght, but is putting it back on. He was on stall rest for a month, now hand walking.

    Knock on wood!, Everything has gone great so far. They expect him to return back to normal and continue racing.

    I am sure your horse will be good as new too!!

    ~*Adult Pony Rider Clique*~
    www.timberrunponies.com

    [This message was edited by showpony on Nov. 02, 2003 at 09:03 PM.]
    ~*Adult Pony Rider Clique*~
    www.timberrunponies.com



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep. 17, 2003
    Posts
    295

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    So sorry, sending jingles your way.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb. 3, 2002
    Posts
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    My filly is still recovering from a rather large impaction colic. My vet wanted her on the finest stemmed hay I could find, as much as she could eat and some alfalfa, but no grain. I guess it depends on the vet.

    Lawny



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 5, 2002
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    Just because I'm sick and twisted... thought I'd post these for you as a comparison. They're links to my mare's incision site and overall appearance after each surgery.

    2 weeks post-op 1st surgery Feb. 2001

    Showing 2nd & 3rd Level in June 2001

    6 days post-op 2nd surgery 9-2003

    Confo shot 6 days post op 9-2003

    Incision 3 weeks post op 2003

    http://chronicleforums.com/images/cu...milies/lol.gif
    Lopsided/lumpy belly look 3 weeks post op 2003

    Left side is better 3 weeks post op 2003

    Sounds like your guy is/was similar to my mare's surgery. Stall rest sounds like it'll be a bit easier for you than for my mare (rearing is her big thing). Right now... she has been kicked outside 24/7 with access to a 12x24 run in stall and 12' overhang... all in her own paddock. She just needs it mentally right now before she heads back to my trainer's barn in another week to start our 30 days of walk work undersaddle.

    Your first few handwalking outtings may not be a problem that first week. The horses are generally still too sore/tender to do much. But after that 2nd week post-op... be prepared for ANYTHING. I got lucky this 2nd surgery especially since I had to do all my handwalking outside rather than my trainer's indoor arena like in her first surgery in 2001. My mare was pretty much an absolute gem this time... except her piggy instinct to DRAG me all around my grass riding arena to EAT. But she had no major blowups at the end of the leadrope like she did the first surgical recovery.

    Anyway... your first 3 days post op are most critical. Day 3 is generally when changes in blood draws will occur. The clinic should be doing draws daily as well as salmonella cultures daily. If all goes well, by day 3 your guy should be off IVs and allowed 5-10 minute handwalks during your visit. Hopefully you have more areas to handwalk there than I did at MSU... we got to go in the parking lot and even got to watch some TRAINS zoom by. http://chronicleforums.com/images/cu...milies/lol.gif Sass wasn't too sure what to think about that but was intrigued none-the-less. Silly mare. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c.../icon_razz.gif Of course she also grabbed the attention of anybody walking THRU the parking lot, which she soaked right up. The mare got spoiled by all the vets and vet students. Even though she'd threaten to bite her primary vet during each stall visit by him. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...n_rolleyes.gif

    Start thinking of good stall toys too for those 30 days. I got my mare one of those red apples and hung it up. She took out some aggression on that thing AND found out that it's good for itching and massaging the neck. http://chronicleforums.com/images/cu...milies/lol.gif I also kept a plain white salt block in her feed tub. She made great use of that plus it kept her drinking a lot of water.

    Keep us posted on your guy's recovery! http://chronicleforums.com/images/cu...milies/yes.gif

    *Member of the bad shoulder clique* (open surgery was 1-6-03)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~
    Bay colt by Lacoste 5-6-03
    Chevy weaned at 4.5 months
    Next to me at 4.5 months
    Trying to be Superman at 4 months
    *bad shoulder clique * Member of "OMGiH, I loff my Mare" Clique! * Proud owner of a CANTER Cutie!
    My Horses; COMH Page; My Blog



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr. 30, 2003
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    VA
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    Onetempies - Thank you so much for taking the time to write so much. It really is comforting to hear someone else has gone through this successfully.
    I already have a salt block and Jolly ball in his stall, but might add a Lik-It or apple thing too.
    I'm going out to the hospital today (it's a two hour drive and I start work tomorrow, so I won't be able to go out there again until the weekend when he should be leaving.)

    -----------------------------

    http://community.webshots.com/user/xpresssmom
    Proud Owner of BBM Xpress (OTTB)http://community.webshots.com/user/xpresssmom



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