My Argentine Brumby horse is starting to become a softie!
After a brief ride where he was very off on the left hind, I turned him back out (he lives outside) and sent a text to my BO who was out shopping. As I finished my 2nd ride, I'd noticed Goober lying down out in the field which is very not normal for him. He then kept looking at his flanks/belly. Called BO "I think Goober's colicing b/c ..." She tells me yup, sounds like it, you can call the vet out or start by giving him 100cc Pepto Bismal and walking him, see if he's interested in food after a few laps, keep me updated. I go out grab him (he hadn't rolled), he got up on his own after me running up and followed the above instructions.
He seemed very normal in hand. Still interested in smelling all the random poop balls, really would have liked for me to let him eat the nice green grass I kept showing him. Maybe a little out of it, but he's soo easy going it's kind of hard to tell. His capillary refill was fine. Temp was slightly low at 98. Good HR and BR. Gut sounds seemed faint on the left side, ok on right. Made some serious gurgles after 30min if walking. Made no manure when I was with him (riding or post colic symptoms), but urinated when I brought him in the 2nd time, seemed normal color and smell. After 90min of walking, finally put him in a stall without hay and some fresh water. I put his sheet back on (was off the day and night before). He went for the straw... No signs of rolling. BO came back as he went in the stall. After 20min of him standing bored-like, I gave him 1 small flake of alfalfa hay which he heartily dug into. I left the barn 2 1/2hours after seeing him in the field.
BO says he's OK as of 8pm and will continue to check on him. This horse has never coliced in the 8 years I've had him. I would have said it was down right impossible as he's such a tough little guy! The weather has been through some good swings, nice and warm (50s) during the day, but freezing (20s) at night. I know he drinks out of the trough, usually his first stop after a ride (as it was today). He really doesn't touch the hay in the feeders, prefers the grass when he can get it. I've noticed he's been having some looser stools recently as his tail strap is covered and some splattering on his rear. I can't think of anything that really stresses this horse out...
Does this mean he's more prone to colic or is this just a "perfect storm" type of deal? Anything I can do to make this more preventable?
Well first of all I'd never ever give pepto bismol to a colicing horse. This is what you give when you want to slow down stools which you do not want to do in cases of gut pain. Even if he's had some episodes of loose stools I'd be sure he was okay before I gave him the PB.
Is he on any probiotics? I'd give those daily forever. Simple, cheap way to protect their guts. Hope he's okay now. That's scary stuff isn't it?
I agree w/ putting horse on some pro/prebiotics; Smartpak has good selection, and I"ve got my horse on Grand Complete which includes probiotics. Some senior feed also has it. We've got 2 horses at my barn that have just undergone colic surgery last month. Mine was a bizarre circumstance and the other is a pre-cushings horse w/ all sorts of issues. I'm learning way too much about colic, but one thing is for sure, vigilence is key. So good for you and BM/O for keeping a close eye out
What does he eat daily?? You might want to look at a hind gut buffer like Equishure from KER for the diarreha. It may be a hind gut issue. If the balance of good bacteria is off in the hind gut - you will get diarreha and then bits of food are left that haven't been broken down properly and they ferment and cause them pain and basically a gas colic. Is he bloated very often??
He is a pretty easy keeper. I have him on Empower Balance (~1lb/day) and a Sel+E supplement. He is turned out 24/7, so plenty of grass and that is supplemented by good quality grass/timothy/alfalfa hay. I'll look into a hind gut buffer.
Last year he had some runnier (not quite diarrhea runny) manure after I gave him a loading dose of Adequan. My trainer's old event horse had the same thing, vet confirmed that it can happen with the "older" horses (mine was 12!). Gave him Probios for 1 month, no real change. It went away on it's own, vet recommended possibly using Sr feed to help aleviate the issue. This doesn't seem as bad as those few weeks (he had a bit of a raw bum at times!).
Once it stays frozen, I'll worm with Ivermectin if he's neg. on his fecal count.
I don't notice him bloated much at all. He is fine to tack up, no girthy-ness or bloat when tightening the girth.
He seems back to himself this morning, making meanie faces through the bars at the herd boss and trying to play halter tag as well. Turned him out and he was happy to be playing around with his friends in the crisp morning air. I wonder if he's sleep deprived being alone outside as there was evidence of a good night's rest in the stall (tail completely covered in straw, nice big manure stains on his neck)?