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Colitis or Colitis X? Please help...very sick horse

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  • Colitis or Colitis X? Please help...very sick horse

    I have a friend with a very very sick horse. She has colitis (or maybe its colitis-X - what is the difference???)

    She is on about day 9 now, and is at the hospital being cared for, on IV fluids/meds/probiotics/biosponge etc etc.

    Of course she is getting all the best medical care, but is there anything anyone can offer as advice that may have worked with other colitis cases?? Any magic solutions, or is it just a case of luck?

    Please tell me your stories...good or bad...

  • #2
    Just Jingles for the mare and her owner ~ no experience with this condition.
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


    • #3
      Other than removing the cause, if possible, I don't think there is a magic cure for this one--it often comes down to really good supportive nursing, and it sounds like they're already doing that. Hope it works.


      • #4
        Definitely not a magic cure for that one. Wish there was! I have heard of adding one cup of psyllium daily to feed to help manage right dorsal colitis, but of course she'd have to ask the vet. Best wishes though!!!


        • #5
          What do they think the root cause is? Colitis just means inflammation of the colon. What's our root cause?
          A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

          Might be a reason, never an excuse...


          • Original Poster

            Thanks...they dont know the cause at this stage, though salmonella was supsected but not confirmed. She has had no changes in lifestyle or diet, in fact has been on the same diet for past 3-4 years with nothing different.

            She started leaving a little of her feed about 2 weeks before the diarrhoea hit, and now its a full on explosion. If standing to the side of her, you cant actually tell if she is urinating or if its diarrhoea, its just water coming right out.

            she is normally a well rounded WB mare, but now looks like a tiny rescue TB... She is not eating much, though has decided she loves apples so that is pretty much sustaining her at the moment, along with tiny amounts of hay etc.

            On the plus side, she is a very very tough girl, and as the vets said, just looking at her blood results, she should be dead yet she's still fighting.


            • #7
              Sorry, no advice. Just jingles for your friend's horse!


              • #8
                So sorry for your friend but it does sound like she's doing everything possible for her mare. Sending many jingles and positive wishes.

                \"If you are going through hell, keep going.\" ~Churchill~


                • #9
                  I had a very sick colt in January, if you look at my posts you will see the threads about him. He was never off the farm, no one had been off the farm in over four months. Went from being fat and healthy to emaciated in one week. Weight loss started before the diarrhea. One day his head swelled like a hippo and then in two days it was gone. Had a hematoma on his penis.

                  Tested for lawsonia and it was negative. Never figured out what it was. Supportive care and antibiotics for him. Three months later, you'd never know he was sick except for the scaring on his penis. Scary stuff for sure, whatever it was and we don't even know. No one else got sick.
                  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


                  • #10
                    I had a gelding that went through this at age 4 (about 3 weeks after I bought him and moved him to the place I was boarding at). It started as mild diarrhea and off his feed and quickly progressed to copious diarrhea. They started treating him as a suspected Potomac case (w/ tetracycline) and it wasn't working. He was also losing weight rapidly. After about 10 days of no improvement they tried a broad based antibiotic (genamiacin - I know I am spelling it wrong) and also added an IV to keep him hydrated. Anyway--it did seem to solve the issue. Then he started eating again, normal stools, etc. Problem was that his protein levels had dropped so low, that he had blood pooling in his extremities so that was another issue to deal with. Everything turned out fine, and he completely recovered. But it was quite an ordeal and there were several times that we thought we were going to lose him. Hope this mare starts to improve!


                    • #11
                      I knew one vet hospital that actually used IV DMSO to bring down inflammation from colitis. The other thing is to make sure they don't also have stomach ulcers may need gastrogard and antibiotics. I know very little about this though.

                      I am so sorry about your friends horse and many jingles!!
                      Last edited by Fharoah; Apr. 16, 2010, 09:30 PM.


                      • #12
                        Why don't they pursue some diagnostics? Like a fecal PCR? A more narrowed-down diagnosis along with a fecal culture / sensitivity may help with the treatment options.

                        BTW, if it's salmonella I would want to know ASAP. Highly contagious.


                        • #13
                          Colitis is no picnic - been through it, still going through it. I nearly lost my 5 year old to it. Supportive care for the horse (and your friend) is really all you can do. Reduce the load on the gut - grain only. I actually feed Purina Senior and alfalfa cubes - all super soaked with warm water, 3-4 times a day.

                          I am back to riding my horse, though I have to manage him with drugs (Cimetadine, Sucrulfate, etc) when things get bad. He came back from very nearly going over the edge (2 weeks in hospital with daily colic bouts and bleeding), a year and a half later and with strong management, he's ok.

                          Really though, your friend will need help. I can't tell you what it meant to me after several months of sleeping outside for someone to either just spend a good chunk of time with me and the horse so I wasn't alone, or for them to offer to do the night check or one of the multiple feedings.