I'm surprised the horse is a week post surgery and home, and still only getting a handful of feed and many small meals? By the time mine came home from the hospital after six days, the only restrictions were to keep her on a few weeks of stall rest, eating a pelleted senior feed at normal meal times, and always with hay in front of her. I was really pleasantly shocked at how little followup care was required once we got her home. Having been through it, it seems odd that they'd send one home from the hospital still needing so much monitoring and followup care.
There really isn't "care" per se, other than keeping him on a feeding schedule, and monitoring his temp, manure output, and giving him gastrogard...
The waiting and watching is self imposed, as I said, I wouldn't be able to live with myself if he colics again and there wasn't someone here to get him help.
And last night he didn't pass manure, or want to eat any hay until about 7am
The discharge instructions say that over a period of 14 days we can gradually increase his feed to a "normal ration for a stall resting horse"...he is 30 days stall rest with hand grazing, then add 10-15 minutes of handwalking twice a day, if all is well after 60 days he can gradually return to regular work.
I agree with everyone else about you winning barn owner of the year award!
But make sure you enlist the help of the owner too if she's around! Being a recent graduate, I know we do better on little sleep than the rest of the population. Set her up in the grooms quarters, then leave your cell on by your bed so she can call you if anything happens. That way you can get more rest, but still be there if needed.
You have a whole barn to take care of, so make sure you take care of yourself too!
Good for you, Rocky! And I understand the overly cautious routine...I do the same.
A while back I spent almost 6 *weeks* sleeping in my barn overnights...in winter. Invested on a serious sleeping bag made for arctic weather, LOL! In my case it was colitis...but we didn't know that at the time.
It's a tough decision to not stay overnight...you just obsess constantly that something will happen 5 minutes after you turn off the lights and leave and by morning things will be either critical or worse. So it's not like you'll get any sleep in the house either.
Best of luck for you and the horse!
You jump in the saddle,
Hold onto the bridle!
Jump in the line!
My horse is home one week now from his colic surgery. We saw continued improvement each day. You don't want the horse to eat too much at first. As long as horse looks good, is drinking, is interested in grain, and is pooping, you should be ok. My horse was more interested in eating grass than hay, so we spend a lot of time hand grazing.
Do NOT let yourself get run down. I tried so hard to do everything right for my guy that now I've ended up with bronchitis. Pretty hard to give quality care with a fever and cough. As long as horse continues to look better each day, get some rest.
Forever. Horses that have had colic surgery are prone to colic badly again. And there is the worry of adhesion. In my experience, the first 90 days are the most critical after surgery. Again, IMO and not a medical statement.
Mmm... I disagree.
Hickstead had colic surgery years before his death and, as far as I know, was never affected by it again. My horse had colic surgery in 07 and has never had an issue since then. I know some horses who did have subsequent colics, but I actually know more who did not.
Horse is doing fairly well. More interested in grass than any of the hays that I have offered him....
Drinking, eating his pitifully small handful of grain, and starting to be more like his extroverted self...
I got very little sleep Sat night, as we hosted an academy show today. (our lesson students and 3 other trainer friends brought kids too) I thought about canceling, but I had lots of volunteer help lined up and my DH, who often says "Why can't we board goldfish"...managed to step in to and make my day much easier....not to mention that these events are financially necessary, and the kids look forward to it all summer long....
The horse's owner is here, I am going to take a nap, and if he is feeling as well as he has been....I am going home to sleep in my own house tonight....I just have to have someone on board to give him gastrogard tomorrow am, then I can sleep for a while....the only "must do" thing for me is getting the payroll checks here on time...1pm...
Thanks so much for your kind words and stories...I am still keeping my fingers crossed that this all turns out okay and we get a healthy, usable, horse for this kid.