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  1. #1
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    Jan. 30, 2010
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    Default Colickyish horse. Ideas needed.

    Please note: Vet was out already, and is calling later to touch base.

    Horse seemed normal at 7:10am when I put her outside. Stall normal, but maybe a little more pee than typical for her, and obviously had been laying down (normal for her). Then at 7:45ish when I fed hay, she was laying down outside. Got up to eat hay, but then laying down to eat. 8:05am gave her 20 cc Dyperone IV, and put her back out. Kept watching her. She would alternate between eating hay, laying down, and pawing at snow drifts and poo piles. Called vet and brought her in.

    Horse's vitals are fine. Maybe gums a little tacky and a tad quiet on right flank (gut sounds), but within normal. Rectal exam more or less normal, just thought a little more poo than average around pelvic area (forget the real term). Tubed her with electrolytes to be safe. No fluid came up tube, and no abnormal smells. Vet gave banamine. Took blood and fecal sample. (we have baselines from last 2 years to compare for blood)

    Spent morning in barn with horse. Horse bright. Nickers for food, watches me work. But every once and a while starts to mildly paw, then will lay down. Longest she stayed down while I was in the barn was 30mins. Usually continues to munch hay or beet pulp while standing or laying down, but eating slowly.

    Put horse in arena and she is bright and curious. Did lay down and have a very lazy roll, but then up to snorfle cats.

    This horse has these same symptoms Dec 1, but resolved with Dyperone. Had milder symptoms mid Nov, but resolved on its own.

    After second "colic" we put horse on probiotics. Horse has been previously scoped for ulcers (clean) and treated for ulcers. Ovaries have been ultrasounded.

    This is the same horse who has an issue where she is developing a roached back (started over a year ago). After not finding any solutions/help, we found an osteopath who was making headway with this, to the point horse was quite rideable, but we recently encountered a backslide in her progress in Nov. Still rideable and pleasant, but very tight in lumbar region. Not sure what caused the backslide, but could be the result of a heavier rider on her for 1.5 rides.

    This is also the horse whose face sometimes puffs up starting over her lymph/salavary gland area...that last happenned in Oct...or maybe early nov? No pattern to that either.

    Any ideas? Horse is White. Any health issues associated with White? I couldn't find any, but then it isn't really a common colour.
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!



  2. #2
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    Feb. 11, 2011
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    Default

    Breed?

    Any link between heat cycles and when she acts colicky?

    Did you check her poo for sand? If not add some manure to a gallon sized baggy and fill with water. Shake (very carefully) into a sloppy mixture and hang it on a nail to settle with a corner down. Sand will separate into the corner if she is passing any.



  3. #3
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    No sand in poo. No access to sand either. Pen is snow, stall is shavings.

    She is grade. From a southern California reservation. Possibly inbred. Not even sure what breed I would consider her if I were to guess.

    No link between cycles and this new symtom of colic.
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!



  4. #4
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    Apr. 14, 2001
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    Minnesota
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    Default

    She's not white, I'll bet. I bet she's grey.

    Does she have any melanomas? Check for bumps under her tail, around her anus and vulva. About how old is she?

    Internal melanomas could likely explain pretty much every single symptom of every problem that you've just described.

    Another possibility, considering where she came from, would be enteroliths. How long was she in California?



  5. #5
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    No she is white. As in pink skin. Pink hooves. Brown eyes, mottling is increasing with age (on genitals and root of mane), but I understand that is typical with White. All hair on her body is white. Or pee stained white. She is not grey, she is not cremello or perlino. She is white.

    If she has melenomas they are inside. THere are NO outwards signs of any lumps or tumors. This horse has been gone over my multiple people, from multiple angles (vets, massage, chiro, farrier, osteo, curious onlookers) many times.

    She is 8.
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!



  6. #6
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    She was in California until she was 4 years old. (so for 4 years) Actually, not positive on that, as she may have been born further south.

    enteroliths are something I will bring up with vet. Might explain the roaching and the colick. Not an easy diagnosis though by the sounds of it. Fits though, so thank you for the idea!
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!



  7. #7
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    Jul. 10, 2003
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    Default

    I agree that an enterolith(s) is worth investigating, if she lived in CA and was eating a lot of alfalfa. 4 years seems like a short period to develop them, but who knows. I'm fairly sure that abdominal radiographs are still the standard for such a diagnosis.
    My only other comment is on feeding her while she is colic-y. Every vet I have ever had has said no feed until all symptoms are resolved, so that you don't complicate an impaction/strangulation/etc. I would be leery of doing so, even if she wants to eat.
    Good luck. I hope you can get her sorted out.
    As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHT View Post
    She was in California until she was 4 years old. (so for 4 years) Actually, not positive on that, as she may have been born further south.

    enteroliths are something I will bring up with vet. Might explain the roaching and the colick. Not an easy diagnosis though by the sounds of it. Fits though, so thank you for the idea!
    You should also chat with the vet about white horse syndrome. Most foals do not suvrive and tho I personally have never seen one I have been told a few do make it to adulthood but later have GI issues.



  9. #9
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    Jan. 31, 2003
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    Default

    Before going with the worst case scenarios, start with the basics.

    Deworming? Tapes are one of the leading causes for odd colics. Encysted strongyles can play a role, too, and plain ole ascarids can be problematic.

    Colitis? Mild colitis can present like colic. Try treating her as a horse with colitis and see what happens.

    How was her protein on her bloods?
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  10. #10
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    Apr. 14, 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by D Taylor View Post
    You should also chat with the vet about white horse syndrome. Most foals do not suvrive and tho I personally have never seen one I have been told a few do make it to adulthood but later have GI issues.
    *Really* interesting idea, but it looks like lethal white foals have blue eyes:

    http://www.aaep.org/health_articles_view.php?id=55

    CHT, does she have any pigment in her skin at all, anywhere? She could still be grey--a paint with minimal color and greyed out in the few spots she is colored. I think it would be odd for her to have internal melanomas without external, but weirder things have happened.



  11. #11
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    As she is not showing any signs of impaction, the vet does not feel that allowing her to eat is an issue. She has been pooping a normal amount.

    Still laying down about once an hour, for anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour. Still bright eyed and curious though. Not cleaning up her food as normal, but picking at it. Drinking well.

    As she was a reservation horse in California, it is doubtful she had Alfalfa for much of her stay/life. Spoke to vet about entroliths, but they don't don't have the ability to xray a full sized horse, and feel it is not a likely enough diagnoses to warrent exploratory surgery. We are keeping it in mind though.

    Trying to do more research on her colour, but don't want to spend too much time in house away from her.
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!



  12. #12
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    You could just test to determine what color she is. These guys do grey, frame, sabino, splash, and dominant white. Their site says that each test is $25, but if you order more than one, they give you a price break (at least IME)...so if you go that route, give them a call to order.

    Have you considered ulcers, rather than a true colic? The first time I saw a horse with bad ulcers, she was so painful I really thought she was going to die. Took me a little bit to realize what I was looking at wasn't actually a colic...



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simkie View Post
    *Really* interesting idea, but it looks like lethal white foals have blue eyes:

    http://www.aaep.org/health_articles_view.php?id=55

    CHT, does she have any pigment in her skin at all, anywhere? She could still be grey--a paint with minimal color and greyed out in the few spots she is colored. I think it would be odd for her to have internal melanomas without external, but weirder things have happened.
    They can be internal only. But she is youngish for melanomas.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simkie View Post
    *Really* interesting idea, but it looks like lethal white foals have blue eyes:

    http://www.aaep.org/health_articles_view.php?id=55

    CHT, does she have any pigment in her skin at all, anywhere? She could still be grey--a paint with minimal color and greyed out in the few spots she is colored. I think it would be odd for her to have internal melanomas without external, but weirder things have happened.
    Had to look eye color up, but it would appear eye color in the lethal whites can also be hazel. Which was the eye color of the gelding I heard had later colic/ GI issues.



  15. #15
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    Feb. 3, 2012
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    Default

    Could she be a white born appaloosa cross? Some of them are totally white with pink skin.



  16. #16
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    The other thing that comes to mind is the possibility of a strangulating tumour. I had a gelding that presented with low grade colic every few months, which we attributed to ulcers. His tumour eventually got completely wrapped around his small intestine, resulting in a major colic, and was his demise.
    Not uncommon in younger horses. He was 6.
    As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.



  17. #17
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    Jan. 22, 2006
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    Horses aren't white, they have a base color but are covered by one giant white marking. The LWO is just a pattern of white usually called frame. She is either a totally varnished appy or a max expressed sabino/dominant white/splash with the molting it sounds more like appy. My point is it is highly unlikely her color is causing any trouble as she is probably a totally normal color with just a very large white marking.

    How are her episodes matching up with weather changes? Changes in hay? Even just a new batch of the same kind? Have you thought about hind gut ulcers possibly?



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