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Update: Pathology is back. Horse had hemangiosarcoma.

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  • Update: Pathology is back. Horse had hemangiosarcoma.

    Yesterday afternoon something wasn't right with my old man, who is somewhere around 25. He wasn't eating, running a low grade fever, pawing, no gut sounds, generally just feeling shitty, and his TPR was off. So I gave him the 500 lb dosage of banamine and called the vet. She came out--by then his TPR was normal, he was a little depressed, interested in nibbling some grass. The day before she had come out and we had a senior blood panel run because he hasn't been himself lately, his liver enzymes were high so she suspected he had hepatitis and put him on some SMZs. He was looking better so she said to monitor at home and call if he got worse.

    Around 9 PM he started pawing and trying to roll, pacing around, frantically flank watching, we called her and asked her what to do. She said he needed to be seen, I offered to bring him to the clinic since it's just down the street--she was happy with this since she lives there.

    So we loaded him up and brought him over. Did I mention I'm pretty nervous generally loading horses into trailers? Yeah. So I had to load my sick, frantic, thrashing 25 year old horse into my stock trailer. This went off without a hitch though, he hopped right on and stayed where I put him by some unholy miracle.

    On the way over he pooped, but still didn't look great--she did a rectal and there were some concerning tight areas but no reflux when she tubed him so she gave him several gallons of water.

    I left him there and we went home, mostly because I was frantic and felt better with him being at the vets and on fluids for the night, even though by then he looked much better.

    As of this morning he's passed several poop piles and is eating small amounts again so it looks as if he will survive this ordeal. But I went six years without a colic! I suppose I got lucky this time. He should be going home this afternoon.
    Last edited by dungrulla; Sep. 6, 2019, 10:12 AM.

  • #2
    You know, no one knows your horse better than you and you've always got to go with your gut. My beloved horse Cappy had 2 colic episodes, one of which he had a 10% chance of surviving and he did! Just make sure that he always drinks LOTS of water and I would also give him alfalfa cubes that were soaked with lots of water twice a day. To this day, it still amazes me that such a big and powerful animal can also be so fragile. I'm so happy he's doing better

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by So Southern View Post
      You know, no one knows your horse better than you and you've always got to go with your gut. My beloved horse Cappy had 2 colic episodes, one of which he had a 10% chance of surviving and he did! Just make sure that he always drinks LOTS of water and I would also give him alfalfa cubes that were soaked with lots of water twice a day. To this day, it still amazes me that such a big and powerful animal can also be so fragile. I'm so happy he's doing better
      I soak everyone's food Old man is on alfalfa cubes. The other horses get whatever they're eating mixed with large amounts of water, except my TB because he's a picky asshole and won't eat grain if it's wet. It was just one of those things unfortunately.

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      • #4
        You can also try adding Lite Salt - 50% potassium chloride, so less sodium - to dry (or soaked) feed to encourage drinking.
        This is 30+yo advice from my vet when my TB colicked, He ended up requiring surgery to resolve a bad gas colic.
        That was my first - personal - experience with colic, talk about Trial by Fire....
        And ask your vet about providing you with a vial of Banamine (or the similar Prevail/flunixin megalumin) and small - 10cc - needles/syringes to dose sub-lingual. Just load syringe, remove needle & squirt under their tongue.
        It acts as quickly as an injection, no 20min of sweating it out waiting for paste to kick in.

        Glad your OldGuy is better.
        If only they could puke....
        *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
        Steppin' Out 1988-2004
        Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
        Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
          You can also try adding Lite Salt - 50% potassium chloride, so less sodium - to dry (or soaked) feed to encourage drinking.
          This is 30+yo advice from my vet when my TB colicked, He ended up requiring surgery to resolve a bad gas colic.
          That was my first - personal - experience with colic, talk about Trial by Fire....
          And ask your vet about providing you with a vial of Banamine (or the similar Prevail/flunixin megalumin) and small - 10cc - needles/syringes to dose sub-lingual. Just load syringe, remove needle & squirt under their tongue.
          It acts as quickly as an injection, no 20min of sweating it out waiting for paste to kick in.

          Glad your OldGuy is better.
          If only they could puke....
          LMAO we do salt too. I'm big on colic prevention. We use redmond rock though because it also seems to help old guy's poops stay solid. I can ask about the sublingual banamine. I guess it just goes to show horses will find ways to kill themselves no matter how hard you try to thwart those efforts.

          He just came home this morning. I turned him out with one of his pasture mates and put the other two in an adjacent pasture. His friend is kicking and squealing and bucking but not bothering old guy, whose biggest concern seems to be the big wet moldy pile of hay we won't let him eat since that pasture has been out of use for a couple weeks (we removed it).
          Last edited by dungrulla; Sep. 6, 2019, 12:12 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by dungrulla View Post
            biggest concern seems to be the big wet moldy pile of hay we won't let him eat since that pasture has been out of use for a couple weeks (we removed it).
            You so MEAN!
            That moldy crap would be just perfect for starting a good gas colic. Spoilsport

            Do try to get the sub-lingual stuff.
            Does not require refrigeration, keeps quite a long time. My 50mg vial - $36 from my vet - is good for a year ("best used by" date), but should be effective past that date.
            Saves you a lot of gray hair
            *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
            Steppin' Out 1988-2004
            Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
            Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by 2DogsFarm View Post

              You so MEAN!
              That moldy crap would be just perfect for starting a good gas colic. Spoilsport
              Ugh don't jinx me lmao. he managed to get a couple mouthfuls before husband caught him and cleaned it up...it was hidden in a back corner and we forgot it was there. Sigh.

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              • #8
                They sure know how to age us prematurely

                Recalling the Winter I came home to barn service door open, grain bin (TG nearly empty at the time) overturned & evidence of obvious Horse Frat Party in the aisle.
                Spent the evening freezing my a** off in the barn, watching horses stand in snow, hoping it was not to stave off laminitis....
                *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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                • #9
                  What a relief your horse is ok! I've only dealt with two very minor colics and remember them well. I was taught first line of attack next to banamine is a trailer ride around the block. The trailer ride worked like a charm for the one horse who didn't resolve immediately with banamine. Glad it worked for your horse, too!

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    He was still not acting 100% normal, probably because of the flies which he hates, but it was scaring my husband so we stuck him back on the trailer and counted to 10. He pooped, then ate the small mash he had been provided (which he was already in the process of eating when my husband declared he hadn't pooped in three hours).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dungrulla View Post
                      He was still not acting 100% normal, probably because of the flies which he hates, but it was scaring my husband so we stuck him back on the trailer and counted to 10. He pooped, then ate the small mash he had been provided (which he was already in the process of eating when my husband declared he hadn't pooped in three hours).
                      Colic is pretty stressful for them, especially when they are older. He may act somewhat off for several days.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by candyappy View Post

                        Colic is pretty stressful for them, especially when they are older. He may act somewhat off for several days.
                        My husband saw him biting at his flank (which he was doing because of the horseflies) and decided he must be dying Last night he was doing it inside an air-conditioned building with no insects, which is a different matter.

                        The affected horse is really HIS horse at this point so he's been out every half hour or so offering him another little handful of soaked hay, or some timothy pellets. The vet said small, frequent meals and he's taking it to the extreme, which isn't a bad thing.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dungrulla View Post

                          My husband saw him biting at his flank (which he was doing because of the horseflies) and decided he must be dying

                          The affected horse is really HIS horse at this point so he's been out every half hour or so offering him another little handful of soaked hay, or some timothy pellets. The vet said small, frequent meals and he's taking it to the extreme, which isn't a bad thing.
                          Not a bad thing at all!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I <3 your DH.

                            My TB once bit a chunk out of DH's TWH's lower lip. No blood, but I snipped off the piece so it wouldn't snag & tear further.
                            I saw tears in Tom's eyes.
                            Gotta love a softhearted man
                            *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                            Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                            Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                            Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Update: went to check on the old man. He barged past me to get into the arena then ran around evading our attempts to catch him for over twenty minutes. He then took a gigantic shit and paused forlornly at the gate to the back field.

                              When told "no, you were just in the hospital trying to die of colic, you may not go graze all night long", he began trying to eat random weeds over the arena fence instead. This was quickly stopped. Horses are like, so dumb.

                              He is in the round pen with a sad looking soaked bag of hay, what was left of his boring dinner that he wouldn't have normally eaten anyway, and large amounts of water. If he wants to be outside he can be out there since walking around is gonna help more than hurt.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                With the elevated liver enzymes, you may want to look into taking him off of the alfalfa cubes, or switching to straight timothy cubes. With a compromised liver it can be very helpful to cut back on feed with high protein/fat content to reduce the livers workload so it can focus on healing!

                                My gelding recently had a scary bout of hepatitis, which initially presented with him acting a little quieter than usual, colic and elevated liver enzymes (and eventually neurological symptoms.) He spent about a month on IV fluids and antibiotics to get him through the worst part, but the most important thing we found in his recovery was changing his diet to be as “liver friendly” as possible!

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Update: While I was traveling internationally, old man got sick again

                                  My husband deserves a medal for dealing with it, since it was really as I said his horse. The vet at this point is very suspicious he has liver cancer as he is not responding like we would have liked to antibiotics. Right now he's comfortable on banamine twice a day, and is back eating and drinking.

                                  We're doing an ultrasound next week to rule out a visible tumor. In order to get a biopsy done we'd need to travel 3.5 hours to Cornell, which I'm not going to subject the old man to, especially since it would only be to get bad news or no news.

                                  I'm going to give him until the weather changes to turn the corner if his ultrasound is clear.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I'm sorry you and your husband are having to deal with this. When our horses start getting up in years, things start going wrong and it is no fun dealing with it, and seeing them suffer. I hope your sweet horse recovers from this.
                                    "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by PeteyPie View Post
                                      I'm sorry you and your husband are having to deal with this. When our horses start getting up in years, things start going wrong and it is no fun dealing with it, and seeing them suffer. I hope your sweet horse recovers from this.
                                      Thanks. Right now he's comfortable. That doesn't mean that he's magically better but it does mean we're effectively controlling his pain. He's getting the 250 lb dose of banamine twice a day per the vet.

                                      We planted one of our one-acre pastures with oats, with the goal of letting them grow then winter kill and resting that pasture until springtime. Well, old man thinks oatgrass is super tasty, and it's apparently a pretty good food for horses with liver issues, so we've been letting him graze on it for an hour or two a day and are slowly upping (that pasture is very lush). I'm talking to the vet about switching him from his senior feed to oatmeal, since that's what he got for dinner last night and he gobbled it down.

                                      I WILL NOT keep him around regardless of pain control effectiveness if he has cancer, and if he doesn't turn around before the winter really hits I'll let him go. He's had a good long life, and while I hope he gets better, I won't allow him to suffer.

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                                      • #20
                                        I am sorry to hear the latest dungrulla.

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