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Barometric tummy aches?

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  • Barometric tummy aches?

    Anyone else have a barometric-sensitive pony? I'm curious how you all manage their care. What works? How common is this? Does your dressage barn accommodate the flare up?

    My mare goes down periodically with what I guess would officially be classified as "gas colic" - though I know the term "colic" is super broad and using the word has the unfortunate side-effect of sending insurance companies into a frenzy! Basically, hers is an upset stomach that occurs when there's been a drastic shift in pressure and the temperature drops or raises a significant amount in a short period. She occasionally needs Banamine to help ease the discomfort as it works itself out, but often it's just a question of keeping an eye on her. She might go down, she might not. Depends. But, basically, as long as she's not showing signs of stress (down and looking at her belly or, God-forbid, rolling), and as long as the non-stressed version doesn't seem to continue for more than a couple hours, we tend to monitor only.

    It's a bit scary every time it happens, but this seems to be a "characteristic" of my horse, like her overly large ears or the way she does something like the Heisman pose when asking for treats or attention. Aside from putting her in a pressure-controlled bubble, I don't think there's any changing it. And no, she doesn't have ulcers. And yes, she's on full turnout with round bales, so she gets plenty of snacking and movement throughout the day. She's completely healthy aside from this "thing".

    I'm curious what percentage of horses out there have the same issue as mine.

    We'll be looking for a new barn on the other side of the US soon, and high up on my list of must-haves is a place with staff on premises to do a night-check. I don't want to worry about her having a bad episode and no one knowing about it to help her through it (if necessary).

  • #2
    The weather has a terrible effect on me! (MY dog too)

    I have had horses it has influenced as well.

    I added a little psyllium and gatorade to their food prophylactically and slept well. Check with your vet and see what they think.
    “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
    ? Albert Einstein


    • #3
      My guy gets soupy mixes to ensure he gets his water intake during these shifts. I have also added in salt and electrolytes too. This has seemed to help him tons... Of course I am going on the assumption his water intake is less during these weather changes. But, I do give him U-Guard powder which has seemed to somehow play into it.


      • #4
        Omeprazole seems to have solved our problem--which was getting out of hand. Too many emergency calls and late-night drives to the vet clinic. Since we treated for ulcers at the turn of the year and then stayed on a low dose of Omeprazole since, we haven't had an issue... of course, I may regret tempting the gods by posting this...


        • #5
          My very young horse did the same - coliced while he had ulcers, but the vet said it was often brought on by a change of weather - why or how I wish I knew.
          Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


          • Original Poster

            Horsefaerie - I think I recall that psyllium is used for sand colicing. Did your horse have that originally, or have you found that psyllium works for both?

            Mr.GMan - The only time I had my mare on electrolytes was shortly after I moved her to Texas and she coliced from an impaction. We think it was the transport stress and the switch from Indiana weather and lush grass to a super dry Tx season and I wanted to ensure that it didn't happen again, as she continued to settle in and transition to her new home. After several months, and with the weather getting colder, I eventually took her off the electrolytes. Hadn't ever thought to put her back on. Wonder if it'd be worth trying though. Hmm... Have you had good success with a particular brand? And UGuard... I'll look into that one. That's a SmartPak name I recognize.

            Atr - Omeprazole is for ulcers, correct? I don't think she has ulcers, though I did treat her about a year ago for them, as she was showing a couple of the potential signs - like girth sensitivity. I have her on something form SmartPak since then, and I want to say it's U-7, but their site is down right now so I can't confirm. I'll look into the other options though. Perhaps she needs to switch it up. Are there any downsides to your horse being on that for a length of time?? Oh, and I have also had her on aloe vera for about half a year now as a preventative.

            The barometric thing is crazy. I'm all-too-familiar with feeling like there's nothing I can do to prevent that kind of colic - it's always about REACTING after the fact. Those are the times I wish extra hard that she could talk and tell me what she's feeling, and what helps her. It's so hard to know. And having to try different things, but wait the several months for it to get into her system and have a chance to do its thing is frustrating. But it sounds like some of you have found your own solutions to prevent the issues, so I think that means I need to keep looking at which combination does the trick for my girl. It definitely helps to know that you can be proactive and preventative about these sorts of colics. Thanks for the suggestions.


            • #7
              OK, the important thing is to get warm water in their tummies.

              They did a study years back at Auburn maybe? Warm water works as well as oil for colic. Only thing is you can't see the water coming out the other end.

              So, with weather changes I would give a soupy, soupy mash of wheat bran, apple sauce and a few gallons of warm water. OR if I saw signs of tummy ache.

              In the south the heat can be just brutal. I have accustomed the horses to drink gatorade (they prefer orange flavor to all others and won't touch lemon lime). Psyllium is also orange flavored so it is an easier substitute when fresh wheat bran is not available or won't keep.

              If I suspect some sort of stomach upset I can get several gallons of warm water in them IF I catch it early enough.

              No horses had sand colic or ulcers that I know of.

              See what works for your horse.
              “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
              ? Albert Einstein


              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by horsefaerie View Post
                OK, the important thing is to get warm water in their tummies.

                They did a study years back at Auburn maybe? Warm water works as well as oil for colic...
                This is for barometric/gas colic??? Really? I only ask for the clarification because oil isn't necessary for gas colic, only for impaction, to move the blockage thru the gut and out of the body. For gas colic, it's a heightened sensitivity to the change in air pressure outside the body, versus what's inside their tummies. Or something. That's about the extent of what I "think" I know about it. lol

                Just did a search and ended up finding a great colic article online. http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/hor...nic-colic.aspx Very detailed, unlike many others I've read through. It's several years old, but I think still very relevant and informative.

                Thanks for the great info and detail, HF!!