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Gas Colic, what to do when the vet can't get there....

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  • Gas Colic, what to do when the vet can't get there....

    Ok so this has happened to me a few times. Yesterday we had an episode where I think a couple of my mares overate a bit. I put them out on grass for 2-3 hours a day and then dry lot them and feed hay twice a day. But we had rain on Wed and then yesterday I turned them out for the allotted time and probably should have put them out only an hour. They all came in off grass ate their dinner and then a couple of them proceeded to look stuffed. Now I seriously wonder how often we miss gas colic when we are at work or asleep but any colic is enough to make me sick to my stomach. I only had one dose of banamine left. Gave it to the first mare that seemed uncomfortable and hand walked her. Brought her back in to notice two others seemed to be not feeling up to par. I had no more banamine. Late at night couldn't get the vet. Friend suggested baking soda/water in a paste that acts like tums (my question also was can horses have human tums?) I know when I'm gassy tums are a life saver! So what can you do when you can't get the vet? What if you are out on trail in the middle of no where? What can you take with you? Colic is a scary thing and I'd love to have some thoughts and suggestions when everyone is at the barn munching hay and happy!
    Maria Hayes-Frosty Oak Stables
    Home to All Eyez On Me, 1998 16.2 Cleveland Bay Sporthorse Stallion
    & FrostyOak Hampton 2008 Pure Cleveland Bay Colt
    www.frostyoaks.com

  • #2
    Well...firstly, I try to prevent it if I can. Sounds like you have a unique situation that really predisposes your horses to problems.

    Next, I make sure I have banamine on hand. If not banamine (which is more effective for pain than bute) then bute.

    Neither have any real effect on gas or impaction...they merely help with pain which can help prevent the horse from taking extreme measures (aka rolling) and ending up with a torsion.

    The risk with this grass colic thing is that it could also be mild impactions due to dehydration. They go out, eat like pigs and don't take a sip of water....

    Anyway, there's really no OTC thing that I would use. I would use Banamine.

    The other thing that I've seen help--especially with known gas type colic is a trailer ride. A little bounce seems to help.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
      Well...firstly, I try to prevent it if I can. Sounds like you have a unique situation that really predisposes your horses to problems.

      The other thing that I've seen help--especially with known gas type colic is a trailer ride. A little bounce seems to help.
      I don't know that I would call having hay twice a day, and grass for 2-3 hours unique? I'm sure alot of people monitor the grass intake. I have three other pastures of horses on grass 24/7, isn't that the perfect situation, but this barn (I rent two) doesn't have as much land, only about 5 acres for 10 horses, so it just is a run down mess if I let them loose on it. So we have about 4 acres of grass and 1 acre sacrifice area. However I have heard bad things about banamine and ulcers lately if you give it orally which I have always been advised to do. I'm not comfortable enough IV in a colic situation and personally know too many dead horses from IM. So I do orally, but lately the vets have been giving banamine with tagamet or something else for ulcers.
      Long ago I read an article about colic and lunging at the trot. I'm thinking that helps to move the gas. With the one mare I did move her out at the trot and she seemed better quicker then the other two. I will also note we went from like 92* to storms and a cool day yesterday. I'm wondering if the weather change added to it all.
      Maria Hayes-Frosty Oak Stables
      Home to All Eyez On Me, 1998 16.2 Cleveland Bay Sporthorse Stallion
      & FrostyOak Hampton 2008 Pure Cleveland Bay Colt
      www.frostyoaks.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Hay

        You know this is going to sound very, very wacky but my equine chiro told me to do this...I have a horse who had colic surgery a year and a half ago He is a cribber and tends to get gassy.

        Along his spine in between where you would sit if you were bareback and the highest point on his butt, start doing a little pressure point/massage along each side of his spine in the fleshy part, start at one inch down from the spine, then two inches down. Go all along on both sides.

        I have to say this has helped alot with me. Apparently, these pressure points lead to their intestinal region. One time I had a mild colic and while I waited for the vet, I did this. I was not hearing intestional sounds when I listened at his flank after doing this, I started to hear soft sounds.

        Coincidence, maybe, probably, but I've been doing it whenever I suspect this particular horse is a bit gassy and it does seem to help.

        I've also done a slow, relaxed currying as well. Certainly, it doesn't pre-empt the vet but it might help while you wait for the vet to arrive.

        Just remember, this can only be done on the mildest case, obviously if the horse is thrashing around and in severe distress, this ain't gonna help...
        Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
        One of our horsey bumper stickers! www.horsehollowpress.com
        Add Very Funny Horse Bumper Stickers on facebook

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        • #5
          A lunge line session for just a few minutes at the jog usually will get the system working again also.

          I swear by this..........also....never run out of Banamine.
          The rider casts his heart over the fence,
          the horse jumps in pursuit of it.

          –Hans-Heinrich Isenbart

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by pines4equines View Post
            You know this is going to sound very, very wacky but my equine chiro told me to do this...I have a horse who had colic surgery a year and a half ago He is a cribber and tends to get gassy.

            Along his spine in between where you would sit if you were bareback and the highest point on his butt, start doing a little pressure point/massage along each side of his spine in the fleshy part, start at one inch down from the spine, then two inches down. Go all along on both sides.

            I have to say this has helped alot with me. Apparently, these pressure points lead to their intestinal region. One time I had a mild colic and while I waited for the vet, I did this. I was not hearing intestional sounds when I listened at his flank after doing this, I started to hear soft sounds.

            Coincidence, maybe, probably, but I've been doing it whenever I suspect this particular horse is a bit gassy and it does seem to help.

            I've also done a slow, relaxed currying as well. Certainly, it doesn't pre-empt the vet but it might help while you wait for the vet to arrive.

            Just remember, this can only be done on the mildest case, obviously if the horse is thrashing around and in severe distress, this ain't gonna help...
            It's funny you mention this.

            I've been learning a lot about body work the last 2 years, and have been doing a lot of it lately on my WB gelding. A couple of months ago, my trainer and I were really working on his hind end, right in the general area you referred to. My boy isn't one of those "wow, he's gassy" horses at all. But that day, oh my, he was whooshing all over the place! Not the *fart* of the excited horse who exerts effort, but a slow, relaxed, *whhhhooooosh* lots of it. The more we worked, the more it came, and he was quite happy about it.

            So yes, I think there is a LOT to be said from a physiological point of view about working in that area

            Something else that can be helpful for a gas colic - a trailer ride. Down a bumpy side road if you can
            ______________________________
            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by europa View Post
              A lunge line session for just a few minutes at the jog usually will get the system working again also.

              I swear by this..........also....never run out of Banamine.
              Yep I learned that last night, you have one dose, but I guess you don't think, I have XX horses, I need MORE. I'm glad to hear the lunge line, I think I was a "kid" when I read that and it's good to hear that yes that is a good thing!
              Maria Hayes-Frosty Oak Stables
              Home to All Eyez On Me, 1998 16.2 Cleveland Bay Sporthorse Stallion
              & FrostyOak Hampton 2008 Pure Cleveland Bay Colt
              www.frostyoaks.com

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by JB View Post
                It's funny you mention this.

                I've been learning a lot about body work the last 2 years, and have been doing a lot of it lately on my WB gelding. A couple of months ago, my trainer and I were really working on his hind end, right in the general area you referred to. My boy isn't one of those "wow, he's gassy" horses at all. But that day, oh my, he was whooshing all over the place! Not the *fart* of the excited horse who exerts effort, but a slow, relaxed, *whhhhooooosh* lots of it. The more we worked, the more it came, and he was quite happy about it.

                So yes, I think there is a LOT to be said from a physiological point of view about working in that area

                Something else that can be helpful for a gas colic - a trailer ride. Down a bumpy side road if you can
                I'm am all for massage, etc. When I was in college I had purchased a horse that was in a 150 acre field, one of those "if you can catch him he's yours for $300". I worked for months taming him, hopefully by graduation I could take him home, he was three and VERY wild! But stunning to look at! Anyway a week before graduation he put a nail in his foot. We had the vet out, who he proceeded to try to kill. Vet had us lock him in a stall and soak his foot. Problem was Luke had never had dry hay. He then had an impaction colic that would have killed any other horse. Vet tubed him twice. Still no progress. Best friend came home that day from massage school, and she massaged him and he pooped! He slowly got better, so I am a believer, and yes of course yesterday I never thought "load them in the trailer". I could have easily did that!
                Maria Hayes-Frosty Oak Stables
                Home to All Eyez On Me, 1998 16.2 Cleveland Bay Sporthorse Stallion
                & FrostyOak Hampton 2008 Pure Cleveland Bay Colt
                www.frostyoaks.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  What to do with a mild colic if no vet or until vet gets there

                  1) Jog on lunge line (often helps)

                  2) acupressure of the bladder points (along the back about 1 tsn or two thumbs length from the spinal column or either side). from the withers to about the ileo-sacral junction.

                  3) try and get some warm water down them

                  It's sometimes a good idea to learn how to pass a naso-gastric tube and to keep one around, then you can at least relieve any pressure in the stomach.

                  I used try and pass some warm water down the tube, but after an experience where someone else (not me thanks be) got the tube into the lung instead of the stomach and almost drowned the horse I stopped doing that. But just passing the tube into the stomach allows the gas build up to escape.

                  One reason horses get into some much trouble with their GI tracts is because they cannot burp or pass gas back out of the stomach into the esophagus, so the gas can only go one way and builds up.

                  Things to always keep on hand.
                  Stethoscope so you can listen for gas passing in the 4 quarters and get an idea where the problem lies.
                  A Heart rate meter to check on HR and thus pain levels.
                  Enough banamine or other NSAID
                  Pepto Bismol, messy and hard to give with no nasogastric tube but if you can get 30-60cc down the hrose it can help.

                  Warm salt water is anothe thing that is good to give if you can get it down them.

                  and yes you can give human tums to horses 10-15 at a time usually.
                  However if the horse is in severe pain not only will the tums not help much but he probably won't eat them.

                  Then there is always the theraputic trailer ride to the vet clinic where the horse gets off the trailer just fine! I've done enough of these to believe that the trailer ride is possibly the thing that fixed them!

                  Hope this helps
                  Yours
                  MW
                  Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
                  Sign up for the Equine nutrition enewsletter on www.foxdenequine.com
                  New edition of book is out:
                  Horse Nutrition Handbook.

                  www.knabstruppers4usa.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A good grooming, including picking out the hind feet, will have a good effect, too--concentrate on the flank and tummy area, gently, but firmly (watch out, some horses will pot-shot at you if they are uncomfortable.)

                    Pick up the hind feet and stretch out the legs.

                    Keeping them hydrated in the first place is key, electrolyte paste is your friend.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pines4equines View Post

                      Along his spine in between where you would sit if you were bareback and the highest point on his butt, start doing a little pressure point/massage along each side of his spine in the fleshy part, start at one inch down from the spine, then two inches down. Go all along on both sides.
                      Good advice.
                      We do lots of body/energy massage work also. Another place to work on is the stomach meridian - especially the alarm point (midline not too far from naval)

                      Here is a link to article in TB times that has some good info also.

                      http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/hor...for-colic.aspx
                      When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.

                      BringMaxHome.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        human maalox - we had mare very prone to gas colic- we found the maalox seemed to work faster than the banimine on her. (I also understand that it or pepto may be good in cases of grain overload to change the ph of the stomach?) of course it maybe coincidential!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Generic 2X Maalox works fast and is cheap and cherry flavored.

                          My horse has gas colic often. When I had a whole herd of cribbers I had to deal with it monthly.

                          It looks awful, but its not that dangerous. You do give Bainime so they don't thrash around and hurt themselves, but I give a lot less banimine then the Vet--2 cc is enough for most gas colics. Another 2 will clea rup almost all others cases. If teh hrose needs 6 or more in 4 hours I call the Vet.

                          Then 5-10CC of maalox in a syringe with the whole cut bigger. Baking soda is great for acidy tummies, but for gas you need maalox or soap--but they will not like the soap and you will only be able to do that once. They do like the Maalox so you don't have to fight.

                          Then I give lots of water (soupy dunk for a handful of grain in a gallon of water, slow stream in the mouth to make em drink) and do whatever your horse likes to releive stress. My horse loike me to pat him and rub his tummy when he is laying on the ground quietly. I know this is not "curing" the colic, but its is making him less stressed and happy until the gas breaks up and moves along. Sometimes I tap his gut like a can of beer. Thats to make be believe I am doing something useful while i wait for nature to take its course.

                          After having my gassy horse for many many years and having a good Vet here and a good Vet school when I went away--this is what they said "Gas colic won't kill them "

                          I never call the vet anymore unless its worse then usual or the banimine isn't working. This isn't becuase I am cheap, its becuase there is nothing the Vet can do that I cannot do and my horse can tie up the Vet from other emergencies where she can do more.

                          All that said, deciding your horse has gas colic without a Vet can be hard. If I am wrong once and make the inccorrect call I will feel guilty forever for not calling the Vet and finding out this time he is not crying wolf.

                          Gas colic usually looks deadly and dramtic but the vital signs are usually not consistant with the drama.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by equinelaw View Post
                            Generic 2X Maalox works fast and is cheap and cherry flavored....

                            Then 5-10CC of maalox in a syringe with the whole cut bigger.
                            Is the "2X" Maalox twice as strong as the regular Maalox?

                            My vet recommended Maalox, but at a 50-60cc dose. Both my horses have had 50cc doses, and it really did the trick (via syringe with end cut bigger like you recommended).
                            Equus Keepus Brokus

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Keep em coming!

                              Keep the information coming, you guys have wonderful ideas! And I agree with the "the vet can't do anything I can't do" unless it's tube the horse! I'm keeping a log of everything you guys say, I'm sure it's a case by case basis, but you guys are brilliant!
                              Maria Hayes-Frosty Oak Stables
                              Home to All Eyez On Me, 1998 16.2 Cleveland Bay Sporthorse Stallion
                              & FrostyOak Hampton 2008 Pure Cleveland Bay Colt
                              www.frostyoaks.com

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Yeah, its got twice as much of the anti-gas ingredient.

                                Back in the days when the Vet still "treated" my horse for days, when we would tube him 2-3 days later you could still smell the cherry maalox in his stomach. It seesm to hang around there pretty long ( I have no idea why) and it works for quite a while. Since most of the bad gas takes days to get all the way through I give a lower dose more often--every 12 hours.

                                One big syringe seesm to be enough. you fill it up with 10cc and hope at least 5cc gets to the tummy and not running down your arm

                                One thing that is hard to learn is less can be as good as more. If the reccomended dose is xcc--then how often do people try much less? I started using much less banimine becuase i was worried about ulcers. There is no doubt 2cc works 90% of the time, but when a new Vet comes out its a tough battle to win.

                                Of course all the new Vets think my horse is dying and will not live until dawn, but after he gets them "trained" they calm down and start learning from him. Its all very dramitic and scary and so far harmless in the long run. Except before I bought him some Vet took him all the way through colic surgery when it was still pretty risky. For nothing. Maalox would have worked just as well

                                I just remember after about 5 years just sitting down with my vet, who now knew th ehorse as well as I did and asking her if I really had to drag her out every time he colicked and what could happen if I didn't call her? She siad if its really gas colic then just treat it and let her know whats going on. If I see something new or unusual I will still call, but after 20 years I haev seen quite a few nerw things and he is running out of materiel.

                                I actually think rolling is an evolutionary adaptation to curing colic--not the cuase of torsions at all, but that reamins to be seen after many many more years of research. I never walk, I neer longe, I just let him rest and fill him up with household products

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  My vet has always told me to give 20 cc of Dormosodan (sp?) [Mod note: please see subsequent warnings re: this dosage recommendation] and some Ace, hand walk for 30 min, then check back w/her. It always seems to work within that time frame. Then they get nothing to eat for 12 hrs, then hay added back in w/in 24, then grain in a small amount building up
                                  Last edited by Moderator 1; Jul. 27, 2008, 10:44 AM.
                                  http://www.chronicleofmyhorse.com/profile/Jen75

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    An old time remedy - 1tbs each of ginger and baking soda made into
                                    a paste with some applesauce or molasses and dose them every 1/2
                                    hour until resolved. Seems to relieve the gas.

                                    Dot
                                    www.settlementfarm.us

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by 2869 View Post
                                      My vet has always told me to give 20 cc of Dormosodan (sp?) and some Ace, hand walk for 30 min, then check back w/her. It always seems to work within that time frame. Then they get nothing to eat for 12 hrs, then hay added back in w/in 24, then grain in a small amount building up

                                      Please, please edit this post..

                                      20cc of Dermosedan would lay your horse down. I can only imagine, but it might kill it. You use *1/2 to 1 cc* of Dermosedan to render a horse almost unable to move. If you gave a horse that much, there's no way in creation you would be handwalking it in a few minutes...

                                      I'd be laughing but it's too scary.
                                      "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                      ---
                                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Other than avoiding if possible, I give a little banamine and a walk around the farm or the ring. That usually does the trick and most will have a fart, sigh, and feel better pretty quickly.

                                        I would NOT pass a naso-gastric tube. This can be disastrous and should not be something the average horse owner does. I would leave THAT to the vets.
                                        Amanda

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