The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 19, 2009
    Location
    Chicagoland, IL
    Posts
    26

    Default Mare gas colic due to estrus?

    My 22 year old OTTB mare Limerick colicked on Friday night--it was pretty bad, to the point where the vet was scared (and one never wants to see a scared vet). The specific diagnosis was right dorsal displacement/nephrosplenic entrapment due to a very extreme amount of gas in her colon--it was so excessive that the vet could barely fit her (girl) arm into Limerick for the rectal exam and Lim's belly felt/sounded like a tight drum.

    The vet administered phenylephrine then had me lunge Lim for 10 minutes--it worked and Lim immediately felt much better. The vet wanted to refer Lim to the local equine hospital and I agreed because with how much gas was in her colon, torsion had been a very real danger and I was scared to death that it would happen again and I wouldn't be around to catch it.

    But long story short, Lim refused to get on the trailer (very unlike her, but it was 2am and she was feeling "fine" at that point, so I guess I can see why from her POV) so at the end of the night/early morning, the vet and I surrendered and she gave me care instructions and told me to check on Limerick every 4 hours, max, around the clock for the next day and a half (and boy did I). She is still doing well and is on a reduced hay diet for the time being (half of that being older dullsville grass hay and the other half being the barn's more recent stuff, which is a bit richer).

    Limerick has now had gas colic/dorsal displacements every 11 months for three years straight. I have been racking my brain as to why. I've had her since 1996 and she was not a colicky horse prior to 2008 (another long story short, she had sand colic in 2008 which was diagnosed by abdominal radiographs, and treated successfully).

    I can only think of three things that coincide when she has these colics. My memory of circumstances surrounding last year's colic is not very good for some reason (I just know that it was definitely gas and not as serious as the 2011/2013 colics), but it's crystal clear for the 2011 one so we will compare that one to Friday's.

    In both cases:

    -She had not been ridden or turned loose in the arena regularly for a month or more prior to the colic because of a healing leg wound. She typically does not move around that much in turnout because her "boyfriend" is very sedentary and she rarely leaves his side

    -We had an extreme weather front approaching--winter storm Rocky in this case and in 2011 we had torrential rain and thunderstorms for a couple days

    -She went into big-time estrus approx. three days after the colics


    I also began wondering if her hormones are playing a role. She began having false pregnancies in 2009. I am not sure why and neither is the reproductive vet that worked on/studied her in 2009/2010--perhaps it's because prior to Dec 2007 she had lived in mare-only herds and moving her to the current barn (which has co-ed herds) triggered something. She's always been on the extreme side of "mare-ish" and would act like ovulation/estrus was painful for her when she was younger.

    I wrote the reproductive vet about all this and asked him if it's possible for ovulation pain to be so bad that it disrupts normal digestion and he said in short, yes, but then it would be classified as ovarian/vaginal pain rather than as colic (colic being a consequence). I also scheduled an appointment with my vet for Friday to evaluate her and discuss her management.

    So far all I can think is it's something with estrus--and that, as well as the factors of greatly decreased exercise/movement and changing weather, as well as possibly the "wild cards" of such things as richer hay (as mentioned, the barn hay is a bit richer than normal but they have been consuming it for nearly 2 weeks at this point).

    Anyone else have any ideas or similar experiences? Any things I should point out to the vet or ask her about?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 3, 2002
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    958

    Default

    I look forward to the answers you receive as I also have a very gassy, young mare. Mine is on 24/7 turnout with large pastures but I'd classify her as "not super active" except for ambling/walking around.

    I started bag flagging her daily for exercise and every day she lets out 3 or 4 huge, straight up bucks where she expels lots of gas. I know she doesn't expel gas until we exercise and it's always after a long warm-up. I've never heard her expel gas just hanging out. My point is- I've wondered if she's a potential gas colic waiting to happen. What would happen to all this gas, and there's a lot expelled, if I didn't make her exercise? She also has painful heat cycles.

    Maybe try to vigorously exercise your horse on a regular basis. ?? Hope others chime in.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2010
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    1,113

    Default

    A friend of mine has a mare that colics every time she goes in heat. It's not severe, a 1/2 dose of Banamine clears her right up. But yeah, every heat cycle she'll come into her stall and start pointing, looking at her belly/uncomfortable, give banamine, stops being colicky and turns into a horomonal hussy for the next few days.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    10,914

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Heliodoro View Post
    A friend of mine has a mare that colics every time she goes in heat. It's not severe, a 1/2 dose of Banamine clears her right up. But yeah, every heat cycle she'll come into her stall and start pointing, looking at her belly/uncomfortable, give banamine, stops being colicky and turns into a horomonal hussy for the next few days.
    These mares usually have very tender ovaries about that time. Quite different , fortunately from a horse that annually threatens a nephrosplenic entrapment.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2004
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    3,192

    Default

    My previous TB mare would suffer gas colic annually coinciding with her first cycle of the spring. It was always very mild and never needed more than some banamine, but it was definitely linked to her hormones and that first heat cycle of the spring. Had her looked at for tumors or cysts on her ovaries with no issues...she just felt yucky right before.
    Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 15, 2013
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    303

    Default

    Since its annual and seems to coincide with oncoming storms, my guess is it has more to do with the weather than her heats. I've known a few horses who colicked annually in spring or fall when the weather changed or got stormy.

    My mare colicked because of her cycle, but it was due to very sore ovaries when the released the egg. With her, she colicked every 3 weeks with her heats when she cycled. Banamine worked at first, but they got progressively worse the following year and I ended up getting her spayed.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 19, 2009
    Location
    Chicagoland, IL
    Posts
    26

    Default

    Thanks for the responses...is it possible that my mare's rather unusual history, hormone wise, is contributing to these drastic forms of gas colic?

    Will hormone therapy help her?

    She is still doing well (and being a major flirt/screamer around the geldings) but this experience has me deeply frightened. I love this girl very, very much and she means everything to me, I feel like we dodged a major bullet and that I came very close to losing her. I do not want next year to be "the year"



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 19, 2009
    Location
    Chicagoland, IL
    Posts
    26

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lilypad View Post
    Since its annual and seems to coincide with oncoming storms, my guess is it has more to do with the weather than her heats. I've known a few horses who colicked annually in spring or fall when the weather changed or got stormy.

    My mare colicked because of her cycle, but it was due to very sore ovaries when the released the egg. With her, she colicked every 3 weeks with her heats when she cycled. Banamine worked at first, but they got progressively worse the following year and I ended up getting her spayed.
    Can you tell me more about the spaying process?



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 15, 2013
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    303

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lima Bean View Post
    Thanks for the responses...is it possible that my mare's rather unusual history, hormone wise, is contributing to these drastic forms of gas colic?

    Will hormone therapy help her?
    If the issue is hormonal, then yes regumate will likely help. I had that option with my mare, but since its so expensive and difficult to handle and I would have to have her on it permanently (she's only 9), it made more sense to spay.

    The only way to tell if hormones/ovaries are playing a role in her colics is to ultrasound. If its the ovaries releasing the egg are what's causing the issue, then you need to time the ultrasound within a day or two of the colic. You could get the vet to do an ultrasound to check for ovary abnormalities or pull blood to check hormone levels at any time though.

    The spay process was way less drastic than I expected. It was a laparoscopic oviarectomy. It was done at a hospital, but performed standing in stocks. They made a 5-6" incision on each side of her flank, went in with the laparoscope, and cut and pulled the ovaries out. My mare was in hospital for 3 days, on stall rest for 2 weeks, paddock rest after that. I was allowed to start bringing her back into light work after a month and full work at 6-8 weeks.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 6, 2003
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    3,551

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marla 100 View Post
    <snip> I started bag flagging her daily for exercise and every day she lets out 3 or 4 huge, straight up bucks where she expels lots of gas. I know she doesn't expel gas until we exercise and it's always after a long warm-up. I've never heard her expel gas just hanging out. My point is- I've wondered if she's a potential gas colic waiting to happen. What would happen to all this gas... <snip>
    Bag Flagging? Please educate me..



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 19, 2009
    Location
    Chicagoland, IL
    Posts
    26

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lilypad View Post
    The only way to tell if hormones/ovaries are playing a role in her colics is to ultrasound. If its the ovaries releasing the egg are what's causing the issue, then you need to time the ultrasound within a day or two of the colic. You could get the vet to do an ultrasound to check for ovary abnormalities or pull blood to check hormone levels at any time though.

    The spay process was way less drastic than I expected. It was a laparoscopic oviarectomy. It was done at a hospital, but performed standing in stocks. They made a 5-6" incision on each side of her flank, went in with the laparoscope, and cut and pulled the ovaries out. My mare was in hospital for 3 days, on stall rest for 2 weeks, paddock rest after that. I was allowed to start bringing her back into light work after a month and full work at 6-8 weeks.
    She may be ultrasounded tomorrow. Wouldn't annual false pregnancies be considered an ovary abnormality though? Thanks for describing the spay, it doesn't sound as bad as I had imagined.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 15, 2003
    Posts
    838

    Default

    X-tra Strength Gas-x is what our vet has recommended for over a decade. It does in the horse the same thing that it does in the human. 1 pill per 100 lbs. At our barn we take the vitals, then give the Gas-x and the banamine. It won't hurt the horse, and if things don't look like they are turning around, we call the vet.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 19, 2009
    Location
    Chicagoland, IL
    Posts
    26

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by walktrot View Post
    X-tra Strength Gas-x is what our vet has recommended for over a decade. It does in the horse the same thing that it does in the human. 1 pill per 100 lbs. At our barn we take the vitals, then give the Gas-x and the banamine. It won't hurt the horse, and if things don't look like they are turning around, we call the vet.
    I'm not sure it would help a dorsal displacement though, even if the displacement was contributed to/caused by gas, originally :/



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    17,643

    Default

    I wonder if she's painful enough from coming into heat that she's "holding it in" and not passing gas, which leads to a buildup and gas colic. Since these episodes seem to be rather predictable in timeline, would it be possible to treat her for pain before you start seeing symptoms?


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 19, 2009
    Location
    Chicagoland, IL
    Posts
    26

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Simkie View Post
    I wonder if she's painful enough from coming into heat that she's "holding it in" and not passing gas, which leads to a buildup and gas colic. Since these episodes seem to be rather predictable in timeline, would it be possible to treat her for pain before you start seeing symptoms?
    Maybe...but there's always the chance I will miss symptoms. On the night in question I saw her at 7pm and gave her her usual evening meal and she was just peachy, then we got a call at 9 saying she was laying flat and groaning loudly.

    She used to be a major "witch" when she was younger and it was clear she was in heat then, but in recent years she is much better. She has always been kind of "touch me not" but will let me touch her everywhere with no problems because she trusts me (but will pin ears at anyone else coming up to her and touching her on her side without 'asking'). I am the only one that consistently handles her, aside from the barn guys (one of which happens to be my husband) so there is no one to tell me, "Hey, your girl was really witchy to me today".



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    17,643

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lima Bean View Post
    Maybe...but there's always the chance I will miss symptoms. On the night in question I saw her at 7pm and gave her her usual evening meal and she was just peachy, then we got a call at 9 saying she was laying flat and groaning loudly.
    No, try treating her for pain BEFORE you see symptoms. These episodes are 11 months apart? So put her on banamine or previcox (and maybe omeprazole and an anti-gas) for a week or two BEFORE you expect something to happen.

    Treat prophylactically, perhaps avoid it all together?



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun. 19, 2009
    Location
    Chicagoland, IL
    Posts
    26

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Simkie View Post
    No, try treating her for pain BEFORE you see symptoms. These episodes are 11 months apart? So put her on banamine or previcox (and maybe omeprazole and an anti-gas) for a week or two BEFORE you expect something to happen.

    Treat prophylactically, perhaps avoid it all together?
    Okay, that's a consideration. I've actually decided to start writing down her cycles on a calendar this year, old-school (started filling out the info for Feb 2013 today) so perhaps that will help me. I also know her last strong estrus (prior to this one) was Nov 27.

    But I will be afraid that I will miss it



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 15, 2013
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    303

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lima Bean View Post
    Okay, that's a consideration. I've actually decided to start writing down her cycles on a calendar this year, old-school (started filling out the info for Feb 2013 today) so perhaps that will help me. I also know her last strong estrus (prior to this one) was Nov 27.

    But I will be afraid that I will miss it
    We did this for a while. It was really easy to catch my mare's estrus cycle when it was regular from April on. The problem was early spring when her cycles really varied (some were early, some were late), and we did end up missing a few. I can't tell you how bad I felt watching her in such excruciating pain those few times she off-cycled and we missed it.

    Unfortunately you can't always count on mares being predictable



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun. 19, 2009
    Location
    Chicagoland, IL
    Posts
    26

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lilypad View Post
    We did this for a while. It was really easy to catch my mare's estrus cycle when it was regular from April on. The problem was early spring when her cycles really varied (some were early, some were late), and we did end up missing a few. I can't tell you how bad I felt watching her in such excruciating pain those few times she off-cycled and we missed it.

    Unfortunately you can't always count on mares being predictable
    I'm thinking about this too--she is irregular in early spring/late fall. I would not forgive myself if I didn't catch it and the worst happened, due to the severity of her colics.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    5,517

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sansena View Post
    Bag Flagging? Please educate me..
    I'm not Marla 100 but I believe she means like free lunging in the field, using those flag things to encourage movement.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



Similar Threads

  1. Mare Ataxic only when in estrus
    By octoberhill in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Jul. 2, 2012, 05:44 PM
  2. Question about pregnant mare and Estrus?
    By Molly Malone in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Dec. 27, 2011, 10:09 AM
  3. Estrus at day 14 pregnancy ultrasound?
    By ChestnutCreek in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: Jul. 4, 2011, 03:15 PM
  4. Gas colic vs. mare issue?
    By DressageRiderDiva in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: Feb. 28, 2011, 08:08 PM
  5. breeding a mare after colic sx
    By Cielo Azure in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: Feb. 28, 2010, 10:52 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •