I’ve never dealt with colic before. I’ve seen it on tv shows, heard about it, read about it in Equus, but I’d never really actually dealt with it in all of it’s down, rolling, scary realness. Last year my filly Firefly had a bit of gas colic. We walked. She farted. She pooped. It was over in the span of about two hours. This was different.

My mare Fortune (the one whose leg I’ve been bandaging), was rolling when I went out to feed her last Tuesday. At first I didn’t think anything about it. This was the first roll I’d seen. It was 90+ degrees outside and the flies are horrible. Then, she trotted up to the run in shed and sat herself down. That’s not my girl who is pushy at meal times. Not at all.

I fed everyone else, then went to get her up. I saw she was sweaty, breathing rapidly, and as soon as I got her up, she went back down and rolled. I know. Colic!

I called our regular vet. He was out of town, and no they don’t leave numbers for anyone in cases of emergency. I’m seriously not happy with that practice after the foot situation, but they’re also the closest vet that does house calls. She suggested the vet we use for our cats. Nope, she doesn’t treat horses. She did, however, suggest a vet further away (about 40 miles) and I called. He came right away. My angel!

Meanwhile I walked my girl, keeping her from getting down. She did go down and stretch out a couple of times, resting before getting back to her feet and walking.  I won’t lie. I was scared. Mom watches way too much Dr. Pol and I’d just told mom the day before that I hoped to have another 10 years with my girl. that wasn’t out of the realm of possibility.

The vet came. She was impacted. I don’t have a truck and trailer (shameless plea to buy books please!) and my neighbor didn’t know anyone who might. So he gave her a large dose of mineral oil, some banamine, told me to watch for signs of distress and get her into the clinic at any way possible if that happened and left.

I checked on Fortune throughout the night until I fell asleep. In the morning, I found her resting, but she hopped right up and started gingerly nosing around in her bucket. I kept a super close eye on her (I work from home, but am blessed that my job allows me to work from home and everyone is an animal lover such as myself. They understood.). By dinner she ate a bit more and by the next morning, she was back to her usual FEED ME I’M STARVING self. Thank goodness!

My Takeaways

  1. Google hard to find all the vets around you. As I stated in the article about wrapping her legs, I’ve been so lucky and didn’t think about needing backups to the backups for the vet.
  2. The weather had suddenly turned from not bad to scorching humid hot. I think they spent most of their time hanging out in the shade of the front pasture and no matter that I added some mineral salt to their feed, they weren’t drinking enough.
  3. Evaluate your feeding program before an emergency occurs. Since Fortune is an easy keeper, I was feeding her pretty similarly to the other horses. Now, she’s on soaked senior pellets and soaked alfalfa pellets (Firefly who eats in the same area with her gets the alfalfa pellets and their regular feed soaked.) I feel good as we go into winter that she’ll be getting extra hydration.
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