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Post Colic Surgery...how long do I sleep in the barn

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  • Post Colic Surgery...how long do I sleep in the barn

    Just brought a boarder's horse home this evening that had surgery to correct a right dorsal displacement of the large intestine on Friday night.

    I am a nervous wreck and feel like I need to sleep outside his stall for the next 60 days....

    Someone tell me it's okay to go to sleep.

    I am staying in the unoccupied groom's quarters on the second level of the barn, and I can hear the horses if they make a ruckus...but I am exhausted-I haven't really caught up on sleep from taking him to the clinic on Friday-and I am afraid that I won't hear him....

    jingles and common sense please...
    West of nowhere

  • #2
    Rocky, what a good BO you are!

    I camped out in the barn for about 7 days post colic surgery with each of my two horses who had surgery (one was a yearling, one was 25 years old!). The first few weeks are really arduous since you are doing so many small feeds, and worrying and counting poops and all that.

    A baby monitor is your friend. That way you can hear if the horse starts moving around too much in his stall. The owner needs to get in and help too. It's a long process and you can't go it alone. But the worse part is over in the first couple of weeks, at least in my experience.

    Hugs.
    Katie

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thanks Katie

      ...this is more than just a "boarder"....it's a horse that I purchased for myself to bring along and show....divorce forced me to sell him (7 years ago).

      The kid (well...22 yr old college student) who owns him, has been riding with me since she was 7 years old, she is like a daughter, and her parents are 2 of the greatest people I know...

      Fortunately the horse is insured for mortality with the colic surgery rider on the policy...

      Last night was uneventful, munched some hay, and is making small amounts of manure.

      He is not a huge fan of the hay-but scarfs down the scant handful of feed that he's allowed to have....
      West of nowhere

      Comment


      • #4
        You might want to pick up a video baby monitor so that you can keep an eye on him from the comfort of your groom's quarters. A really good investment that will pay you back in spades for not having to traipse down/out every hour or two, which is what I do on sick watch. Set your alarm, wake up, eyeball the monitor from your warm comfy bed for a few minutes, back to sleep. Plus i think the horses sleep better without having someone shining a light on them every hour or so.

        Comment


        • #5
          Jingles & AO for some Rest & Recovery for ALL ~

          Jingles & AO ~ for some REST & Recovery for all involved and love this dear horse ~
          Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

          Comment


          • #6
            I'd either get baby monitor, or set an alarm and get up every few hours for the first week.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Watermark Farm View Post
              Rocky, what a good BO you are!
              Wow do I agree with this!!!
              Here I thought you were the owner (because Lord knows I'd be sleeping outside my horse's stall for probably 6-9 months )!

              I have no personal experience or anything to really contribute, but I think the baby monitor is a great idea.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thanks all...so far so good...and I am headed out to buy the baby monitor...at my 3:30 check he was laying down and got up when I walked up to his stall...I would rather he rest when he wants to do so.

                He is drinking, and scarfed down his pitiful small handful of feed, but still isn't interested in hay....but appears to be otherwise bright and cheerful, which is more than I can say for myself...lol

                I am catching a nap now, as the stall cleaners, and assistant manager are in the barn now...I will take nightwatch again...
                West of nowhere

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Rocky View Post
                  still isn't interested in hay....but appears to be otherwise bright and cheerful,
                  You might want to call the vet and ask if you can give picked grass - more tempting and you want to make sure he's eating to keep the GIT moving so we don't get any ileus....

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    ileus...is that where the gut "telescopes" in to it's self?
                    West of nowhere

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ileus is paralysis of bowel.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I helped a friend out after her horse had colic surgery, and this is what we did.

                        Horse spent a week or so at vet's, no complications. He had a double twist, and did not need resectioning so he did not have the worry of adhesions.

                        Horse's owner worked, and was in last year of pharmacy school and interning in local hospital, so she went to the hospital (vet) everyday and visited horse to let him know he was not abandoned.

                        When he came home, it was to a boarding barn where the BO drank, and she's the one who'd turned him out to roll when he colicked. Plus she did not want him to return to her barn. Not very helpful so horse's owner and I split the work. BO did nothing to help, and had caused the twists. And yes, we all paid full board to get that.

                        I went to barn in morning and fed and did the grain tea and his bran mash, and hand walked and did his meds. Repeated at lunch and at regularly scheduled times. His owner did afternoons and night till 10 or 11. So horse was in his stall w/o supervision from about 10 or 11pm till 8 or 9am. The most important thing was that he got his schedule of grain tea and mash and meds and hand grazing at pretty regular times. Oh and we had to keep his drainage going where he was stitched up, so we cleaned his abdomen often as well.

                        I had C&C at the same barn, so I would just work around my friend's horse's schedule while I was doing stuff with my 2. The horse's owner put my 2 tack trunks together and put C&C's heavy Rambo rugs on the tops, and she slept between her caring for her old eventer.

                        I hope the owner is paying extra for the extra work Op is doing. I helped my friend for free, but if I'd not been there, she'd have had to pay someone to do the work.

                        And the answer is yes, if horse is eating and manuring, you can sleep at night

                        Our vet did not allow the horse to eat hay or grain. He got alfalfa tea and sloppy bran mash for weeks, plus hand grazing for 20 minutes every 2 hours. .

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Lots of jingles!!!! Not sure how long you need to sleep in the barn, but I would think until eating and pooping normally. This from a known worrier though.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Mine took about ten days to really seem like himself again. He was very depressed/ heavey at the hospital. It's been almost five months (and one mild gas colic) and I still panic any time I see him lie down or act in any way suspicious.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Forever. Horses that have had colic surgery are prone to colic badly again. And there is the worry of adhesion. In my experience, the first 90 days are the most critical after surgery. Again, IMO and not a medical statement.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by walknsound View Post
                                Lots of jingles!!!! Not sure how long you need to sleep in the barn, but I would think until eating and pooping normally. This from a known worrier though.

                                Yep...I am also a known worrier...and especially for this horse, as he used to mine, and for this owner because she is like a daughter to me...

                                He is drinking, passing manure, scarfing down his scant handful of feed, eating grass-allowed to hand graze for 10-15 minutes 2x day-but not interested in any of the 4 types of hay that he's been offered...making me nervous....
                                West of nowhere

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Rocky, you are an awesome BO. Your horsey patient is so lucky! I'll be keeping you guys in my prayers.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Thanks Fergs.... I take the care of the horses very seriously, and wouldn't be able to live with myself if I were home, comfortably in bed, if something goes south with this horse.

                                    I feel that it's my responsibility as BO, BM, and trainer to be on top of this situation. My boarding rate is one of the highest in my area, but I also feel that I provide good management and service for that top rate...

                                    Although, if I don't get some REM sleep, I might not be providing much of anything....LOL
                                    West of nowhere

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by nashfad View Post
                                      Forever. Horses that have had colic surgery are prone to colic badly again. And there is the worry of adhesion. In my experience, the first 90 days are the most critical after surgery. Again, IMO and not a medical statement.
                                      Not necessarily; it depends on the cause. Mine colicked and had surgery two years ago, due to an illeal diverticula. Because the surgeon was able to fix an actual anatomical malformation, I was told that if she came through the first 90 days or so without trouble, she'd be significantly less likely to colic in the future. Since then, she's actually been doing better than before, seems to keep weight on easier and is much happier. It's a really, really situational thing.

                                      I'm surprised the horse is a week post surgery and home, and still only getting a handful of feed and many small meals? By the time mine came home from the hospital after six days, the only restrictions were to keep her on a few weeks of stall rest, eating a pelleted senior feed at normal meal times, and always with hay in front of her. I was really pleasantly shocked at how little followup care was required once we got her home. Having been through it, it seems odd that they'd send one home from the hospital still needing so much monitoring and followup care.
                                      A Year In the Saddle

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Rocky View Post
                                        Thanks Fergs.... I take the care of the horses very seriously, and wouldn't be able to live with myself if I were home, comfortably in bed, if something goes south with this horse.

                                        I feel that it's my responsibility as BO, BM, and trainer to be on top of this situation. My boarding rate is one of the highest in my area, but I also feel that I provide good management and service for that top rate...

                                        Although, if I don't get some REM sleep, I might not be providing much of anything....LOL
                                        where do you live, because I want to board my horses with you!!!!
                                        I had a horse last winter who had to be fed round the clock every two hours.
                                        I was quite fortunate to have a working student living with me, and we took turns...it was hell.
                                        I was in a new area, so did not have a great network of support. I had paid help for mucking and asked them to do a feeding on occassion.
                                        Not getting a good night's sleep is not a great thing for oneself. Being worried does not even allow you to get good sleep.
                                        Enlist the owners and parent's help. Heck, enlist the entire barn to help you. You gotta ask for people to know.
                                        Very few people 'think' to ask if you need help or offer to help.
                                        Its just not the way it is nowadays.
                                        save lives...spay/neuter/geld

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