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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2007
    Location
    Illinois, USA
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    8,209

    Question Weather-related colic... how to prevent?!

    My mare colicked badly last week. She has a history of colic; has required vet intervention numerous times and was hospitalized once for it. She hasn't had colic surgery, she's always been able to resolve it right before surgery became the next step.

    A lot of times, the colic coincides with a drastic swing in the weather. Outside of having her live in a little climate-controlled bubble the rest of her life (tempting!!!), I'm really not sure what I can do to help or minimize colic risk due to weather changes.

    If it helps, she gets minimal grain. One handful of Calf Manna per day to mix her vit/min supplement in. She has a scrubby pasture to pick at 24/7, hay in slow feed nets in winter. She's metabolic, so can't have a lot of grass or hay. But she always has something to nibble on. She's at a good weight, very low stress life. Never trailered out, lives with two other quiet horses.

    Suggestions? I keep her water trough pristine, I tried adding pro/prebiotics but they seemed to make her gassy and uncomfortable. When it's very hot I do add electrolytes to her daily snack to encourage drinking.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Dallas, Georgia
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    16,674

    Default

    It's old fashioned for gas colic, but it works:

    1 Part Warm Water
    1 Part Epsom Salt -- dissolve the salt in said warm water.
    --add One Part Whiskey

    Syringe down.

    A friend who boarded with me always kept those supplies on hand cuz her paint boy, Brighton, would colic every-single-time there was a dramatic drop in barometric pressure. A few squirts of that concoction and he was good again...and happy!
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- "When they try to tell you these are your Golden years, don't believe 'em.... It's rust."



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 22, 2003
    Location
    Home of "The Office", PA
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    945

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    My mare used to do that. We haven't had much of an issue since we started giving her a cup of bran with her grain and warm water. Just a little extra liquid since we think that she would not drink when the weather changed.

    When she did colic, we would usually catch it early and would jog her up and down the hardtop road. It might have taken a while, but you could almost see the relief when the blockage (assuming it was gas) was released.
    The only thing the government needs to solve all of its problems is a Council of Common Sense.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 12, 2010
    Posts
    295

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    My mare does the same thing in response to sudden drops in temperature. She had to have surgery a few years ago but with the management below, she made it through last fall/winter without issue.

    I've managed by making sure she gets ridden the afternoon/evening before the expected change in temp & for 2 days after. Sometimes it's just 15 minutes bareback but enough to get her system moving. We'll ride until there's some gas passed. We also warm her water on those nights (bath water temp) & add something to make it really tempting- a few peppermints, molasses, gatorade (powder is much easier than bottled!) and apple juice have all worked for her.

    If you haven't tried it, you might also try neigh lox or gastroguard before & during the weather change.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2009
    Location
    South of the Tennessee border
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    213

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    I have used daily wormer for years, I know, I know the vets don't recommend it now but hey, no colic, and I mean no colic, even under the most adverse of conditions and given to old and young, it works. I swear by it!!!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 7, 2013
    Posts
    216

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    I would talk with your vet and double check that there is no food in her diet that is to rich for her. My mare had colick surgury and now I have to moniter her very closely. It turned out that Alfalfa was her Kryptonite. I switched her to grass hay and she has been doing much better!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2007
    Posts
    3,575

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    After moving to SC, I blanket much more frequently than I ever did in NH.
    In NH, it gets cold and stays cold.
    In SC, the temps can be 60-70 degree days and drop to 30 at night. On those nights, I blanket. Helps to regulate them, or so I think.
    save lives...spay/neuter/geld



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    4,779

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    I use electrolytes during drastic weather changes to help increase water intake.
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2007
    Location
    Illinois, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dramapony_misty View Post
    My mare used to do that. We haven't had much of an issue since we started giving her a cup of bran with her grain and warm water. Just a little extra liquid since we think that she would not drink when the weather changed.

    When she did colic, we would usually catch it early and would jog her up and down the hardtop road. It might have taken a while, but you could almost see the relief when the blockage (assuming it was gas) was released.
    Bran is pretty high in NSCs so unfortunately I don't know if it would be an option. I have done an alfalfa cube or beet pulp mash in the past though, with no real effect.

    Quote Originally Posted by GaMare View Post
    My mare does the same thing in response to sudden drops in temperature. She had to have surgery a few years ago but with the management below, she made it through last fall/winter without issue.

    I've managed by making sure she gets ridden the afternoon/evening before the expected change in temp & for 2 days after. Sometimes it's just 15 minutes bareback but enough to get her system moving. We'll ride until there's some gas passed. We also warm her water on those nights (bath water temp) & add something to make it really tempting- a few peppermints, molasses, gatorade (powder is much easier than bottled!) and apple juice have all worked for her.

    If you haven't tried it, you might also try neigh lox or gastroguard before & during the weather change.
    I haven't been riding much at all lately; but she does have a good sized pasture she's free to roam 24/7. I may try hopping on bareback and lightly riding on crazy weather days. I'll look into something like Neighlox as well.

    Unfortunately she drinks from a big trough so flavoring her water isn't too feasible. Also molasses, peppermints and gatorade are out due to the sugar content.

    Quote Originally Posted by poniesinthenight View Post
    I have used daily wormer for years, I know, I know the vets don't recommend it now but hey, no colic, and I mean no colic, even under the most adverse of conditions and given to old and young, it works. I swear by it!!!
    Interesting. Do you think there's something in the daily dewormer that helps prevent colic, or just the horses are worm-free thus no colic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kimchi View Post
    I would talk with your vet and double check that there is no food in her diet that is to rich for her. My mare had colick surgury and now I have to moniter her very closely. It turned out that Alfalfa was her Kryptonite. I switched her to grass hay and she has been doing much better!
    This most recent colic, her diet was 100% scrubby grass with about 1/2 cup Calf Manna to mix her vit/min supplement in. Pretty bare bones diet, nothing too crazy.

    Quote Originally Posted by fivehorses View Post
    After moving to SC, I blanket much more frequently than I ever did in NH.
    In NH, it gets cold and stays cold.
    In SC, the temps can be 60-70 degree days and drop to 30 at night. On those nights, I blanket. Helps to regulate them, or so I think.
    I do blanket her pretty heavily in winter/fall/early spring to help with the cold weather changes.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    May. 24, 2005
    Location
    Winter Park, Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by fivehorses View Post
    After moving to SC, I blanket much more frequently than I ever did in NH.
    In NH, it gets cold and stays cold.
    In SC, the temps can be 60-70 degree days and drop to 30 at night. On those nights, I blanket. Helps to regulate them, or so I think.
    Same here in Florida. It can be 80 and then drop to 35 and then warm up again. We had a mare who would colic when such drops occurred. My solution was to also warm her on the inside. At 59 degrees, she went into a sheet. If the temps kept dropping, I would swap out to her blankets. And she would get a warm mash. Once I added the warm mash, she never coliced again.
    Keeping water clean and cool goes without saying, no matter the temperature. I have come across so many barns that don't replenish their troughs in the summer every day after they have been baking in the heat all day long. We always hear about how important the water is in the winter, but I wonder how many summer colics are actually caused because their water is hot?
    Lori T
    www.calypsofarmeventers.blogspot.com
    www.facebook.com/LTEquine for product updates on the lines I rep



  11. #11
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    Aug. 30, 2007
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    Illinois, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori T View Post
    Same here in Florida. It can be 80 and then drop to 35 and then warm up again. We had a mare who would colic when such drops occurred. My solution was to also warm her on the inside. At 59 degrees, she went into a sheet. If the temps kept dropping, I would swap out to her blankets. And she would get a warm mash. Once I added the warm mash, she never coliced again.
    Keeping water clean and cool goes without saying, no matter the temperature. I have come across so many barns that don't replenish their troughs in the summer every day after they have been baking in the heat all day long. We always hear about how important the water is in the winter, but I wonder how many summer colics are actually caused because their water is hot?
    My mare's trough is dumped, rinsed, and refilled usually every 3-4 days. I really wish they could make a white, or light colored water trough. Black troughs make no sense in summertime!!!
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 12, 2010
    Posts
    295

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    I think a bit of trotting is what helps my mare. Not sure if its the motion or my weight on her back but as long as it works, who cares!

    G2 (to avoid the sugars) added to a separate water bucket might be an option if you need to get her to drink.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2007
    Location
    Westchester County, NY
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    1. Lounge or ride - 10-15 minutes of marching walk/trot really gets things moving for some of them and prevents the gas buildup.

    2. If you've never done it, run an allergy test. My horse had an assortment of random symptoms that all disappeared when his allergy test came back off the charts allergic to corn and we removed it from his diet.

    3. Watch the weather and give UlcerGuard and some sort of acid buffer for a few days before and after the weather change.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 24, 2005
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    Winter Park, Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by sublimequine View Post
    My mare's trough is dumped, rinsed, and refilled usually every 3-4 days. I really wish they could make a white, or light colored water trough. Black troughs make no sense in summertime!!!
    I finally got rid of the big troughs and went to small ones. I have even used muck buckets. That way they can be dumped every day and given a quick swish with a brush if there is algae starting. It is weird how some troughs grow algae daily and others, with the same amount of sunlight don't.
    Lori T
    www.calypsofarmeventers.blogspot.com
    www.facebook.com/LTEquine for product updates on the lines I rep



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
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    I use only senior feed and Blue Seal Haystretcher, and add warm water to it.

    The only hay I feed is stiff, first cut hay. I learned to do that with the first horse colic surgery we went through at Tufts. At that time, they told me that they only fed stiff hay in order to keep the gut motility moving. They may have changed that by now, but I haven't, and so far, so good.

    In the winter, fall, spring and severe weather changes, I keep the water in the buckets warm, and the water they get in the troughs is heated.

    In weather under 20 degrees and above 90 degrees fahrenheit I syringe electrolytes into my horses. As a result, they drink like camels. The draft horse can single-handedly lower the water level at the top of a 100 gallon tub by at least four to five inches.

    We do not feed sugary treats, nor do I feed sweet feed, pelleted feed, apples or carrots. We had one who was so allergic to sugar that his farts were blasting and explosive. That had to hurt.

    Check your worming program. The problem could be in there. I will say that, in agreement with the poster who feeds daily wormer, mine did great when they were on it. I have taken them off of that to be a good citizen, but one of them was far less gassy when he was on it than he is now. In his case, it could be the sugar in the grass, as well.

    OP, you mention you have a scrubby pasture. Could we be looking at sand colic, exacerbated by swings in the weather? Sand Clear or Metamucil may help if that's the case. To check for it, place a few manure balls into a pail of water, allow to dissolve, and then carefully pour out the top water and see if there is sand remaining at the bottom of the pail.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

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