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What would you do before calling vet?

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  • What would you do before calling vet?

    Last night, 7pm,10 yo Belgian gelding I am leasing was dropped off by owner.
    Horse is not usually stalled, but owner suggested stalling him next to my horse for the night for introductions. Given alfalfa. Was calm and eating 10pm.
    Turnout out horses in adjoining paddocks and a couple of flakes alfalfa.
    Belgian's demeanor is calm, however he has not drank any water
    He has a heavy coat that is slightly damp and his breathing is somewhat labored. He is not showing any signs of discomfort otherwise.
    What should I do 1st, if anything? (Have already left message for owner) Would like to not have vet come out 1st day if possible, but will leave that to owner when call is returned.
    Just want some ideas on what to do now???
    FYI I am a worry wart, esp with someone else's horses!

  • #2
    Try and make a really appetizing drink for him. Mix some apple juice in a little 5 gal bucket of water, or put some cherry koolaid in it, make him a REALLY soupy mash out of his normal grain (whatever he gets, doesn't matter).

    The labored breathing is the main concern I see here. He sounds like he's hot to me.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

    Comment


    • #3
      Did he change climates, such that he might need to be clipped to be comfortable? I second the mash or drink idea- though my mare prefers powdered Gatorade mix to Kool-Aid.

      Comment


      • #4
        Does he have a temp? How do his gums look? What's CRT? Does he have good gut sounds? What's his respiratory rate?

        I would soak his hay to get some fluids into him.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by joiedevie99 View Post
          Did he change climates, such that he might need to be clipped to be comfortable? I second the mash or drink idea- though my mare prefers powdered Gatorade mix to Kool-Aid.
          Stupid question, but where do you find powdered Gatorade, and what flavor do you use? I've never seen Gatorade in anything but the bottles..
          Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by sublimequine View Post
            Stupid question, but where do you find powdered Gatorade, and what flavor do you use? I've never seen Gatorade in anything but the bottles..
            In the same aisle as the powdered kool aide.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              I don't want to leave him to get koolaid or gatorade.
              Would orange flavored metamucil work? with beet pulp?
              Just talked to owner, he's not overly concerned, but horse was out with 30 other horses in large pasture and he only saw them 3-4 x/week. So I'm kinda on my own!
              I don't want this to escalate.
              How about bute in the mash? and remove the remaining alfalfa from the pasture? (very little grazing grass)
              He's not used to being handled and I am the only one home right now so can't get temp, but will get his other vitals and check back!

              Comment


              • #8
                It's usually not advised to give NSAIDs to a horse that's not drinking. I would absolutely not add bute or anything else.

                I would not screw around with adding more, new, things to his diet. Soak the hay (you can even give it to him in a big bucket with several inches of water at the bottom--most horses really like alfalfa "tea") and make a slurry out of the grain he's used to. You're much more likely to cause gastro-intestinal upset if you throw a ton of things at him that he's never seen before.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If the horse is not used to eating beet pulp, I wouldn't add a new feed to his diet right now.

                  I'd second soaking his hay. You might also add some salt to his feed.

                  It may be that the water tastes strange to him and he's reluctant to drink. Mine will rarely drink away from home even water that appears perfectly potable to me.
                  Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                  EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Have you taken vitals, temp, breathing rate, cap refill?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It sounds as if the horse is more hot than anything at this point. If that's not addressed it can certainly lead to colic.

                      The horse is turned out now??? Has his breathing improved and did his coat dry any???

                      I would say no to anything new in his diet at the moment. I think that can only exacerbate the problem. You may want to add a small amount of table salt to his next meal--like half a teaspoon--not a lot of salt, please. That may encourage him to drink. Or go get a few gallons of spring water--I used to get these for a quarter at the local grocery store, filled my own water jugs at an outside receptacle....

                      If all else fails try soaking his hay like Simkie suggested, or putting water into his feed if he's getting any. I used to feed my mare rehydrated beet pulp and chopped forage mixed together to help get moisture into her as she wasn't a big drinker. Beet pulp is fairly benign and low, low, low on the glycemic index (a 1, I believe) but I would start out with only a half a pound or so to begin. The gut has to gradually get used to whatever new item you feed, otherwise a horse/pony could colic....

                      Can you do a trace clip on this horse??? Sounds like his coat is too hot for his living quarters at this point. Or, can you leave him outside around the clock???
                      "I'm not much into conspiracy theories but if everyone thinks alike you don't need a plot!" ~person from another bulletin board whose name has been long forgotten~

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        soaked a bit of alfalfa,
                        resp. 24 breaths/min
                        gums pale pink crt 3 sec
                        can't get temp b/c here by myself (17.3 h, 2300lb Belgian)
                        per call to vet 1000lb dose banamine said should see relief in about 45min.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Did you tell the vet about the vitals because the resp rate is elevated and the refill time may be a tad slow. Do you hear gut sounds?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Why banamine?
                            how far away did this horse move?
                            was he being fed alfalfa before? Do you have any grass hay?
                            Do you have any apple juice to put in water- that usually works.
                            Gut sounds?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Did he come from far away - or can you nip over and get him a bucket of his old own water? We are on a well - our horses rarely drink when away from home for quite a while.
                              Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Obtain normal vitals from owner. Ask owner what sort of behavior the horse exhibits if he's ill/hurting. The owner will be more familiar with what is "normal" for her horse. Also ask the owner if the horse has a history of colic, refusing to drink, or any other pertinent information.

                                Monitor TPR and record results - take every 30 minutes. Monitor gut sounds, use a stethoscope if you have one. Listen to his gut in several locations, record activity and describe sounds at each location. The presence of gut sounds is good, but depending on what type of sounds it could be bad. Knowing where the sounds are and what type can help figure out if there is a problem.

                                Pinch a fold of skin on his neck; if it tents it's an indication that he's becoming dehydrated. (not a conclusive test)

                                Ask the vet if you should withhold hay and allow the horse to graze, or restrict intake, etc.

                                If you've administered banamine, continue to monitor and record TPR and other info at regular intervals after administration. The horse may feel better soon, but the colic may or may not have resolved. You won't necessarily know that unless you can tell if his vitals return to normal and stay there.

                                The vet may also ask you if the horse is passing manure, is straining, passing lots of gas, and if the manure is hard/soft, etc. Even if he poops once or twice it doesn't necessarily mean the colic is resolved (if that is what's happening)

                                You should also ask the vet if you should be feeding any hay at all, or if he/she thinks grazing is better since grass contains moisture. Or maybe the horse should have all feed restricted until he's normal again. Keep in touch with the vet and be sure that you're giving the vet full and complete information.

                                Hope the horse is better soon!
                                Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                -Rudyard Kipling

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  New leased Belgian is okay now.
                                  Admin'ed banamine,
                                  Then,...actually put the 2 together. I was thinking there might be a couple of kicks from the Belgain, but I guess since he was stressed about new place, found comfort in my Shire
                                  Followed Shire to water trough and slurped and slurped,
                                  next challenge, keeping Belgian ok when I take Shire riding....I'll give them a day or 2
                                  Thanks for all the info. Sometimes we make it more complicated than it is!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I'm glad your new leased horse seems fine now. I apologize for crossing over into "not what I asked about so MYOB" territory but... do you feed your Shire alfalfa too? I was picturing that your other horse was an OTTB or something and perhaps you weren't familiar with feeding drafts, hence the alfalfa. But clearly you have draftie experience!

                                    So I'm curious why alfalfa for a draft? I couldn't possibly give my draft CROSSES anything so caloric... they'd blow up like ticks! And they are wily critters, LOL, not happy to be on short rations and crafty about getting more -- so I wouldn't want to give them just a tiny flake at each meal (1 hour of eating plus 23 hours of boredom and mischief). So I'd like to hear more about your situation.
                                    Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.
                                    Starman

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Rebmik View Post
                                      New leased Belgian is okay now.
                                      Admin'ed banamine,
                                      Then,...actually put the 2 together. I was thinking there might be a couple of kicks from the Belgain, but I guess since he was stressed about new place, found comfort in my Shire
                                      Followed Shire to water trough and slurped and slurped,
                                      next challenge, keeping Belgian ok when I take Shire riding....I'll give them a day or 2
                                      Thanks for all the info. Sometimes we make it more complicated than it is!
                                      Do you know if he's lived outside all his life? Perhaps he didn't understand how to drink the water in the bucket, and only knew that trough = water.
                                      Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by JoZ View Post
                                        I'm glad your new leased horse seems fine now. I apologize for crossing over into "not what I asked about so MYOB" territory but... do you feed your Shire alfalfa too? I was picturing that your other horse was an OTTB or something and perhaps you weren't familiar with feeding drafts, hence the alfalfa. But clearly you have draftie experience!

                                        So I'm curious why alfalfa for a draft? I couldn't possibly give my draft CROSSES anything so caloric... they'd blow up like ticks! And they are wily critters, LOL, not happy to be on short rations and crafty about getting more -- so I wouldn't want to give them just a tiny flake at each meal (1 hour of eating plus 23 hours of boredom and mischief). So I'd like to hear more about your situation.
                                        Have all our hay we grow tested (thought Shire had EPSM, actually Shivers) and the alfalfa came back being the best all around choice. Low NSC
                                        I think there are a lot of misconceptions regarding alfalfa, everyone always says "it'll make my horse too hot" not sure where that is coming from. All my research shows that usually alfalfa is a good choice for IR, cushings, EPSM horses (obviously test all hay, you can't tell by looking at it)

                                        Comment

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