I need horse advice ASAP!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Ravenlost, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Posted this over in the Equine forum, but there aren't many viewers over there and I need advice quickly.

    Something seems to be wrong with Cheyenne. She's been laying down all afternoon. Dogs have been standing around her barking (they usually don't do this, but they were what alerted me to her problem). I've been out there twice to make the dogs stop. Both times she stood up, but then laid back down. Took the horses apples and she wouldn't walk over and get one.

    For the last two nights the horses have managed to break into the barn. Night before last they pushed the big barn doors open in the back (we couldn't see they were open from the house) and hubby found them in the hall of the barn the next morning. Last night they unlatched a stall door and got in. Again, hubby found them in the hall of the barn. The only things they could have gotten into that I can think of are a little bit of catfood (which appeared to be untouched) and hay.

    I can't help but think Cheyenne ate something in the barn that's making her sick. I just went out to get the dogs and bring them in. She was:

    1. Lying down;
    2. Kept rolling partly onto her back (sort of like they do when they roll in the dust, but not the same).
    3. Her eyelids are half closed and she appears very listless.

    I kept talking to her and she finally stood up. I noticed:

    1. She appeared to be very wobbly on her feet;
    2. She kept biting at her stomach;
    3. Her belly doesn't look bloated or swollen, but it was rumbling and jumping around;
    4. She keeps holding her tail out away from her body.

    She only stood a minute or so and then laid down again, stretched out with her head on the ground.

    Is it colic? Hubby's at work and I can't get in touch with him. I have no idea what to do. Should I try to call an emergency vet office and see if they can refer me to a large animal vet that's on duty 24/7? Is there such a thing?

    I'm not very horse savvy and I am very worried about Cheyenne.

    HELP!!! From what I read online it's definitely colic of some type (since colic basically means stomach pain) but hopefully it's not bad...yet. She isn't behaving violently, just listless.
     
  2. JAM

    JAM Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like colic. Can you give her a shot of banamine. Make sure she doesn't roll. Has she manured at all. If not it could be an impaction. I would call a vet, explain the way she is acting and see what he has to say.
     

  3. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

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    Given the history and signs, it sure sounds like colic to me, though usually I think there's a DECREASE in gut sounds (keep in mind I treat dogs/cats, but I do have a horse of my own). Especially since she sounds like a "pet," I would call the vet (please don't think I'm just copping out saying "call the vet" I just mean that if it were MY horse I'd call the vet). They will be able to instruct you what to do while waiting. Usually it involves getting the horse up and walking. If they do much rolling they can actually twist their gut and that's when it is REALLY bad. Maybe if you get her up and walking it will also stimulate her gut motility and get her to pass feces or gas to relieve the pain. I don't think you want to feed her anything yet. That's all I could glean from my horse book at short notice. BTW by calling the vet early, maybe it will be easier to treat and she will recover quicker! Good Luck. Let us know how it goes.
     
  4. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't have any medications to give her. What do you mean by "make sure she doesn't roll"? And I have no idea if she's pooped today...she's in the pasture with four other horses.

    These are my husband's horses and he probably didn't even give them a look over when he fed this morning, although I was watching out the window and she was kicking up her heels like everyone else. She isn't now.
     
  5. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    IMO the horse has a twisted gut. This is a critical conditiion! Get in contact with your husband and/or a vet immediately. Even doing so may not save the animal.
     
  6. Phantomfyre

    Phantomfyre Black Cat Farm Supporter

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    Sounds like colic to me, too. Does you normal vet have an after-hours number? Most do, or at least give the number of someone who does answer after-hours calls. They can better tell you what to do. I would also go out and give the areas the horses broke into a really good inspection, just to see if there's anything you might have overlooked that they could have gotten into. The vet will probably ask for her temp, so I would take that.

    Keep us posted!
    Diana
     
  7. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

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  8. Phantomfyre

    Phantomfyre Black Cat Farm Supporter

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    "Make sure she doesn't roll" means keep her on her feet so she can't lay down and roll around, potentially twisting her intestine. If you can, go catch her and tie her up while you call the vet and hubby. Then walk her and stay with her to make sure she stays up.
     
  9. Phantomfyre

    Phantomfyre Black Cat Farm Supporter

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    Another thing, bringing her up separate from the other horses will let you monitor her to see if she's pooping or passing gas.
     
  10. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, I thought about stabling her, or at least putting her in the barnlot separate from the other horses.

    I've called everywhere. Each doctor refers me to another doctor. Nobody wants to come out and I have no way of taking her anywhere. Our car is in the shop and hubby took the truck to work. He won't be home until 10:30 and I have no way of contacting him. He doesn't have voice mail set up on his cellphone (not that he would check it anyway) and I don't have a number to call him at work. He works for the FAA and isn't allowed to receive calls.

    I'm expecting a call from another vet within 30 minutes.
     
  11. NativeRose

    NativeRose Texas Country Grandma

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    This sounds very much like colic. Keep her moving. Don't let her lay down or roll.
    I have seen my daddy (a horse trainer) walk a horse for hours. You need a vet to look at her. She may or may not have a twisted gut. Could she have gotten into old feed or old mouldy hay? You will need to monitor her diet for a while. I hope you can find a vet or someone with horse experience to help you. Prayers, Rosemary
     
  12. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well darn, I don't know what to think. Just went to the barn and Cheyenne came running up from in the pasture with the other horses. Then she stood there and nibbled at grass while I talked to the vet. He suggested bringing her in tomorrow since she is on her feet, running and acting just fine. Bet he thinks I'm a nut case.

    I don't know. Maybe she was just trying to take a nap this afternoon and the dogs were bugging her. Instead of being listless, maybe she was just sleepy. Or maybe she was able to pass some gas/etc. between the last time I was out there and now.

    UGH.
     
  13. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

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    That's great news! Do you have a stall or lot you could keep her in tonight to keep close tabs on how much poop she produces or what it looks like? I'd probably check her a couple of times throughout the night (sounds like a good job for dh when he gets home!). Hope everything is still good in the morning!
     
  14. RandB

    RandB Well-Known Member

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    Hope your horse is still OK - if the vet was any good, they won't think you are a "nut job" - your horse sounds like it was definitely colicky. Luckily, it sounds like it was probably a gassy colic, not an impaction. One other thought, do you have "spring green" grass sprouting up in the pasture? Some horses get sick on the first spring grass. They can even founder on it. If there is a lot of new green grass, you might want to limit her access to it for a week or two, or at least make sure she still eats some dry hay each day, too. We have a horse who is very sensitive to this, he foundered a couple of times on green grass til we learned how to manage him.
     
  15. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You might be on to something RandB. They were in the barnlot for the past two days...first time in a while and there's a lot of fresh grass sprouting in there. Might be what got her.

    I'm definitely making hubby go out and check on her when he gets home and let him put her up for the night.

    LOL...vet seemed concerned and a little confused. I'm sure I sounded like a nutcase on the phone (I was out of breath from hurrying to the barn...he called right as I got there).
     
  16. GoldenMom

    GoldenMom Well-Known Member

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    How do you manage him? My mare founders on grass too. It's much worse in the spring/summer. Last year she did really good when I only let her out in the paddock for 2-3 hours a day (kind of time consuming getting her to come in at night sometimes though). The rest of the time she was in her lot that is small enough that not much grass grows there. She has no problems after the grass stops growing. She's been on the "big" pasture since December and has had no problems. We have a small 1/2-3/4 acre paddock, her 1/3-1/2 acre lot, and the "big" pasture is probably about 2 acres.
     
  17. Cindy in KY

    Cindy in KY Well-Known Member

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    We used to use Karo syrup for colic. We'd keep lots on hand at the ranches, or have to run to all the grocery stores really quick if we were out. You can syringe allot in their mouths untill the vet gets there. The vet would tube them and use a pump and pump several bottles down into their stomach. We'd keep them walking, even using a switch if they tried to lay down. Then, hopefully, it all would come out the other end. I sure hope she is ok now. Maybe it was allot of gas, that is painfull too.
     
  18. RandB

    RandB Well-Known Member

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    GoldenMom -

    As you are doing, when the grass first gets green, we limit his access, increasing his pasture time gradually. Also, one thing that has really helped is we were advised to continue giving him a feeding of dry grass hay every day, usually into about June, once the pasture becomes less "lush". I think it works because somehow the dry hay helps counteract the effect of the green grass, and also probably because it fills him up some so he doesn't eat as much grass at one time. The other thing that helped was he was kind of overweight, and now that he is older he has lost some weight. He hasn't foundered now for several years. Good luck with your horse!
     
  19. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You know, I used to use Karo Syrup for the kids when they were babies. How much do you have to give a horse? :eek: I always have a couple bottles of Karo syrup in the kitchen cupboard.
     
  20. Cindy in KY

    Cindy in KY Well-Known Member

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    We used 4 or 5 bottles on a big horse. I have also seen the vets un-twist the gut, if it was twisted. With the horse laying down on its side, a bit woozey, and the vets arm up you know where, we would roll the horse the opposite way of the twist, and allot of times it would work. But it's a lot bit dangerous.