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Colic etc

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  • Colic etc

    I've been reading as many old threads on colic as I can, but just wondering if anyone has any additional ideas for my guy.

    Slim is back in the Colo. State Univ. Vet Hospital for the third time in as many weeks. The first time he had a nephro-splenic entrapment that was mostly resolved by rolling him. They did the ablation a couple days later so that he won't be getting himself all stuck again. Went home on Wednesday (Nov 21)

    Thursday (Nov 22) He took chunks off his salt block and dumped them in his water, so he didn't drink anything for part of a day. Vet was out again, tubed him and gave him an additional bucket to drink from because he developed a fear of his auto waterer

    Thursday (Nov 29) He colic'd again, looking at belly, curling his lip, trying to go down, very unhappy. Took him in because he was displaced again, but luckily we did the ablation so we didn't do that again. He stayed in until Saturday, and was looking much better at that time. We did scope for ulcers because I had a feeling that was at least a contributing factor.

    He has chronic ulcers near the end of his stomach, and what were referred to as "massive" ulcers further on in. The ones further in did have some spots of blood with them. So I bought a month's worth of Gastroguard (full tube a day) and ordered Platinum Balance on the recommendation of the vets who did the scope. We also recently started him on sucralfate.

    We have continued to have bouts of colic, tubing, rectals, and just generally a very unhappy horse. Yesterday he refused to drink any water, and I was only able to get a couple mashes down him. Ever since the initial problem with his waterer he has been nearly impossible to get to drink.

    To get him to drink we have tried peppermint extract, papaya juice (also supposedly good for ulcers), apple juice, mashes from his grain, alfalfa tea, sweet feed in water, soaking his hay, and probably a few others that I have forgotten. Does anyone have any more ideas? This past weekend was cold, and he stopped drinking (and eating mostly) altogether.

    He is currently back in the hospital getting rehydrated and having more diagnostics done.

    Today they are going to re-scope to check on the ulcers, x-ray for intestinal stones (enteroliths), and culturing the discharge from his incision to make sure it's ok.

    Normally he gets grass hay, Horse Chow 100 (he has a history of liver failure, so he is on a low protein diet), and several supplements. He also has wicked allergies in the winter (we've done the skin allergy test) so he is on chlorpheneramine and doxepin and allergy shots.

    At this point I'm at a loss. What do we do when all of his ailments get in the way of each other? I know that the vets are doing their best, but maybe there is something they haven't thought of?

    So basically: ulcers, colic, allergies, not drinking, not eating normally.

  • #2
    I would call Amy Jergens and have her take a look. I have had horrible experiences with CSU and they have repeatedly missed some very basic stuff for me. I have absolutely zero faith in CSU to solve anything, especially anything complex or complicated. Amy is incredibly sharp and it sounds like it might be time to get some fresh eyes on the case, regardless.


    Feel free to PM me for more info or if you would like my real name for the referral.


    • #3
      Can't really offer any advice but just sending some major jingles your way. Colic sucks!!!!!


      • #4
        My mare is prone to dehydration & gas colic. She drinks significantly less when it gets cold. Try heating up his water. Mine likes bath water temp. She also likes molasses, orange gatorade and root beer as water flavoring. I've heard of others that like fruit punch gatorade.

        Another suggestion I received for managing stomach acid was to break up diet into as many small feedings as possible. There are auto livestock feeders that will let you feed grain up to 12 times a day. I ended up switching her to a 100% chopped, soaked forage diet to maximize the time she spends eating/digesting.

        Are the allergies respiratory? Skin? Could you do anything to reduce the allergens in his environment? Pelleted bedding to reduce dust?

        Sorry you're having to deal with this. It really sucks. Feel free to PM me if you want to commiserate or do more brainstorming/


        • #5
          Jingles here too!

          I just wanted to mention that from 11/29 to now is less than his months' treatment of GG. My mare was on it for the full 28 days before I even saw a visible improvement (attitude was still only slightly better, but was eating and drinking normal at day 28).
          "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


          • #6
            If this were my horse, I'd be looking at a TOTAL feed and management/lifestyle overhaul. Whenever I hear about allergies, not thriving, etc. I look at the diet. Purina HorseChow is a very, very LOW QUALITY sweet feed w/ a little forage just smashed into pelleted form

            Regardless of who recommended this, I'd get the horse off the high starch, high sugar with grains, low quality feed. This is just making the ulcers worse, not to mention it's just not healthy even for a normal horse.

            You didn't mention the type of hay you're feeding, but generally some straight
            alfalfa is great for ulcer-y horses as well as good nutrient value.

            Is this horse boarded or do you take care of him? How much turnout does he get?

            Sometimes in a boarding situation, horses are not fed as often or as much as they need. Good quality hay is in short supply in many areas and sometimes BO skimp on quality and quantity.

            As the other poster said, you need better management in feeding several smaller meals during the day. And free choice hay to keep the stomach buffered.

            Also your allergy medications could have side effects that upset the stomach and decrease appetite and desire to drink.

            Hope your boys improves and just wanted to give some food for thought.
            "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin