Last week this beautiful guy gave us quite a scare.
|Love the piece of hay hanging from his mouth!|
He had a severe Colic last Sunday.
One minute he was at the gate
watching me work in the barn.
This is his usual routine.
About 12 noon every day, he comes
up from his pasture, stands at his gate
that faces the barn.
He always gives a good whinny
to Miss D and Annie,
just a little hello, to let them know he is watching
Then he nickers to me.
Just a little reminder that his lunch
is due at 1pm!
I always let him know he has an hour to wait.
And then Cadence trots back down to his pasture
to graze and wait.
This is our usual routine.
J was bringing up hay and spotted Cadence.
Not grazing, but laying down in his pasture.
(Every morning after he is turned out, he trots
off to his "hole". He drops down and rolls over
to scratch his back!!)
But, he never lays down outside.
J came on up to barn, grabbed Cadence's halter,
and jumped the fence to get to him.
He made Cadence stand up and
began walking him.
Poor Cadence was in so much pain.
As J walked him, he bent his knees wanting
to lay back down and roll.
Poor guy looked as if he drunk.
*When a horse begins showing signs of Colic,
you immediately begin walking the horse.
Laying down could actually help the intestine
to continue to twist. Walking the horse
can help ease the gut**
I administered Banamine and called our Vet.
Clinical Signs of Colic
Pawing and/or scraping
Frequent attempts to urinate
Flank watching: turning of the head to watch the stomach and/or hind quarters
Biting/nipping the stomach
Repeated lying down and rising
Loss of appetite
Decreased fecal output
Increased pulse rate
D. Large Colon
The diagram above illustrates the extent of the horse’s digestive system—nearly 72 feet in length from the Stomach (A) to the Small Intestine (B), to the Caecum (C) and then onto the Large Colon (D). By observing the twists and bends in the digestive tract, you can see how easy it is for foreign material to become caught, or become an obstruction in the system, causing food, stones, sand, or gravel to be lodged, and eventually cause a blockage.
Colic can be caused by many things. Here are some common causes:
Sand Colic When horses ingest sand. Horses that are fed on sandy ground or have access to it may eat small bits of sand. Over time, the sand will build up in the intestines and eventually cause discomfort. The horse may be carrying 30-80 pounds before showing signs of colic.
Over Feeding If a horse breaks into the feed area and gorges itself colic could result.
Parasites Worm infestations disrupt circulation in the intestines, or blood clots and bits of dead worms may cause blockages.
Irregular Feed Schedule This may cause a horse to wolf feed if he gets really hungry. Feeding right after work or if horse is still hot also can cause horse to come down with colic.
Sudden Changes in Feed: When you change feeds, or introduce new feed, be sure you do so slowly!
Bad Feed: Moldy or rotten feed may cause colic.
Ingestion of Non-feed materials: Stones, sticks, twine, and wood splinters are examples. Cribbers or horses that chew wood have a risk of swallowing bits and getting colic.
Fine Grain: Sometimes it will pack together and cause blockages in the intestine.
Poisons: Some poisons may cause colic. Moldy feed may cause mold poisoning and colic.
Twisted Intestines: Very severe and life-threatening. There are different types of twists in different areas, and they each have names. Here are a few:
Strangulation: When parts of intestine become entangled in tears in the supportive membrane.
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In about 15 minutes of walking Cadence,
we began to see some changes!
He wasn't trying to "go down" anymore.
He began to put his head down, wanting to nibble
on the grass.
He started to look "bright" again.
And then, he nuzzled J!
I called the Vet, who was still on her way and
gave her the latest stats.
We agreed between the meds and the constant walking,
this Colic episode was caught quickly!
Colic is very mysterious.
To Vets and horse owners.
It is also the #1 natural killer
How thankful we are that it happened
during the day, when we were there!
And not at 3am.....
And now a short, not very well filmed (!)
video of Cadence.
Just turned out, he is happily running toward
Although, I am quite certain he was dreaming
of muddier days to come....
Because the "hole" is best when it has just rained!
Because being muddy,
is one of the great joys in this
horse's life :)
is one of the great joys in this
horse's life :)
And he is one of my great joys!
I hope you enjoy watching Cadence
Now, go embrace your life.
And find a good mud hole
to roll in!
**Remember to click on the nav bar at the far right
to make it full screen. We quickly shot this, so the
quality is poor!!