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Impaction - Colic

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  • Impaction - Colic

    What is the longest you've had a horse impacted before s/he eventually started passing manure?

  • #2
    I hope you aren't asking because one of your is colicing/impacted...

    If you are, IV fluids can really help.


    • Original Poster

      That's exactly why I'm asking...I've got a filly right now who has been impacted for a few days now - hasn't passed anything. She's on a regime of pain killers to keep her comfortable and has been tubed daily with mineral oil, electrolytes, water and anti-inflamatories. She seems a tad more comfortable than in the initial days but not significant progress. She's still drinking a fair amount of water and while her gut sounds aren't as active as they normall are, they are still active. Surgery isn't an option.

      I'm asking because I'm really worried and hoping for a ray of light at the end of a dark tunnel.


      • #4
        Have you discussed IV fluids with your vet?

        IMO they help with hydration for impactions better than tubing.
        No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. - Eleanor Roosevelt
        For you to insult me, I must first value your opinion - Unknown
        Pleasure Portrait 1989-2016...sleep well my girl


        • Original Poster

          That's the next thing I'm going to ask him. I've had horses on IV before for impactions and am wondering why to choose one treatment over the other...


          • #6
            If it was my horse, I'd be insisting on IV fluids. You can have them done at home, in a stall.


            • #7
              If your filly hasn't passed anything depsite daily tubing, I'd absolutely get her on IV fluids ASAP.

              Does she have a cecal impaction? I ask because my guy had colic surgery in 2008 and they found he actually had a gastric impaction along with a hole in the mesentary (20 ft. of small intestine slipped into this hole, thankfully nothing had to be resected), however, the resulting gastric impaction requiried frequent lavages to clear it. Knock wood, he's been fine since.

              Best wishes to your filly!


              • #8
                I agree with others - insist on IV fluids. IME, it works way better and faster than tubing. Unless it's extremely cold where you are, you should be able to run IV fluids in the barn.


                • #9
                  We had a mare colic for four days. Doc left instructions and started IV fluids and pain meds to be given when needed. We slept outside with the horse until she recovered. Doc came by every day to check on us and remove what manure he could by hand.
                  "Humans will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple,
                  or more direct than does Nature." ~Leonardo da Vinci


                  • #10
                    Enteral fluids+electrolytes are actually an excellent way to directly hydrate and break down an impaction. IV fluids can certainly help especially if they are not drinking on their own or cannot tolerate fluids via an NG tube (ie refluxing), however they do not have any direct effect on the impaction.

                    Some cases can be managed with enteral fluids and pain control alone. IV fluids won't hurt, and may have an indirect effect in maintaining overall hydration therefore reducing the effect of the colon reabsorbing most of the water in the colon, however the oral fluids+electrolytes will have the greatest direct effect on the actual impaction.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
                      If it was my horse, I'd be insisting on IV fluids. You can have them done at home, in a stall.




                      • #12
                        I'd also like to add that enteral fluids in more frequent intervals are more helpful than just once a day.

                        I hope your kiddo passes the impaction soon. Have additional rectal palpations been done to see if its progressing?


                        • #13
                          If I remember correctly when my horse was impacted, I think it started on a Thursday and she was tubed several times and finally I think on the Sunday she started passing manure but I could be wrong. A very bumpy trailer ride helped things along. Then two days later she had a gas colic that evidently caused her a lot more pain because she wasn't as stoic that time. It was over 7 years ago so I don't remember exactly. But hope your horse gets better!
                          Missouri Fox Trotters-To ride one is to own one

                          Standardbreds, so much more then a harness racing horse.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Blu View Post
                            Enteral fluids+electrolytes are actually an excellent way to directly hydrate and break down an impaction. IV fluids can certainly help especially if they are not drinking on their own or cannot tolerate fluids via an NG tube (ie refluxing), however they do not have any direct effect on the impaction.
                            This is exactly the reason why I asked where the impaction was. My guy still drank and did not have any reflux when tubed, although he had a pretty decent gastric impaction, which was found when they opened him up.


                            • #15
                              I'll be the next in line to highly recommend IV fluids ASAP if surgery is not an option.

                              We had three horses colic over this winter due to impactions. All were started on fluids after not passing anything by the 3rd day (the vet was out every day to tube with mineral oil, electrolytes, water, and sometimes DSS). All passed manure after the first or second day on fluids. And it was all done at the farm.

                              You may also want to talk to the vet about using DSS. Depending on what type of impaction it is, it can help to break it up. But it can give them diarrhea, which would make IV fluids even more important.

                              Good luck.


                              • Original Poster

                                Hi All - just wanted to give you an update...vet was out tuesday night - more tubing and then came back wed morning and tubed again. Rectal exam was done on each visit...initial rectal found small impaction....following exam revealed it had gotten bigger. Each after that showed really no change though he was able to remove a tiny bit of manure each day.

                                There was no relux on tubing and up until Wednesday was drinking quite a bit on her own. She was ok after tubing yesterday morning but by a few hours later was going downhill (looking very bloated, etc). The pain seemed to be getting more severe and the drugs were having less effect. Last night (roughly an hour) after her evening dose of pain killers and sedatives she was still getting progressively worse....the drugs didn't even touch her. I stayed with her all day. From about 6-7:45pm she was in agony. Vet came back out, elvaluated her and we made the difficult decision to let her go.

                                Horses are our business and so I understand that this sort of thing happens. The hardest part is that this filly was only 3 years old. I had just broken her earlier in the year and she was a truely beautiful girl. While we do train and sell most of our youngsters, from the first week we had her, we decided she would be with us for life.

                                Thanks for all the advice and suggestions.


                                • #17
                                  So very sorry for your loss. Colic sucks, no two ways around it.


                                  • #18
                                    So Sorry

                                    So sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
                                    Quality Hunter Ponies


                                    • #19
                                      My deepest sympathy for your loss.
                                      There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


                                      • #20
                                        So very sorry for your loss.