Horse people - any suggestions for home treatment of mild colic?

Discussion in 'Horses' started by Feira426, Feb 23, 2021 at 1:03 PM.

  1. Feira426

    Feira426 Well-Known Member

    322
    Dec 11, 2019
    Texas
    First, I know I SHOULD call a vet for this and get the whole nose tube mineral oil/water thing done. I would love to call a vet, as I don't know how to safely do the nose tube thing myself, and I don't want to try. But thanks mostly to Covid and the recent freak ice/snow/no power/no water episode, we've been forced to miss a lot of work this fall and winter and have nearly completely devastated our emergency fund already.

    So my question is, do you know of anything I can do to help my mare aside from bringing out a vet? I've dealt with colic in the past, but always with a veterinarian. Best I can tell, she ate a bunch of the pampas grass my neighbor threw over the fence for my goats, and either she didn't chew it up well enough or it just didn't agree with her for some other reason.

    She IS POOPING. I could tell she was feeling off yesterday because I saw her lying down in the pasture more than usual, and she didn't eat when I threw out hay in the evening. I put her in a stall by herself with some water so I could monitor her pooping. She pooped while I was sitting out there with her last night, and she pooped again this morning. Less than usual, but still, I think pooping indicates she isn't blocked up, or at least isn't completely blocked up.

    She wants to lie down a lot and sometimes she tries to roll. I've walked her a bit, I let her nibble some grass to see if that would stimulate her system. I found a thing online that said coffee can help stimulate digestion in horses and ginger helps with digestive problems, so I tried giving her some coffee and ginger with an old wormer-type syringe I've kept. She spit most of it out, so I'm not sure it helped any.

    I went to TSC for some mineral oil and figured I'd try to give her some orally, as I saw that online somewhere as a recommendation for something to do while waiting for a vet to arrive. But I just did a little more reading and somewhere else was saying to never try to give mineral oil yourself because it might get in the lungs. Ugh. I might try anyway. I mean, the nose tube - I can see that going very wrong. But orally? That's how you give dewormer and bute... how can that be a big risk?

    If anyone has any ideas I'd be grateful. If she doesn't improve in two or three hours I'm gonna call my vet and hope I don't have to give them every last dollar I have... I'll do whatever I can to save her but if I completely drain our savings and something else happens we won't have anything left.

    Thanks in advance to anyone who has any ideas. While I wait I'm going to take her for another walk and see if that helps.
     
    Iluvlilly! likes this.
  2. Feira426

    Feira426 Well-Known Member

    322
    Dec 11, 2019
    Texas
    Update: she pooped again. This time a small, kind of runny pile. I am out walking her.
     

  3. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I don't know anything about horses. I hope your horse is able to work through it and be fine.
     
    Feira426 likes this.
  4. Feira426

    Feira426 Well-Known Member

    322
    Dec 11, 2019
    Texas
    Thank you. I’m calling the vet in an hour if I don’t see any change.
     
  5. MissMiniNubian

    MissMiniNubian Active Member

    93
    Jan 20, 2021
    Orange, California
    All I know is to keep them up and moving so what you’re doing is good:)
     
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  6. GoofyGoat

    GoofyGoat Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2018
    TEXAS
    Keep her walking, until she’s tubed you can’t let her roll or she could twist her gut!
    I’m glad you’ve got a vet coming, colic is nothing to mess around with horses.
    I hope everything turns out ok.
     
    MissMiniNubian likes this.
  7. Feira426

    Feira426 Well-Known Member

    322
    Dec 11, 2019
    Texas
    Vet said I had to bring her in so they could do fluid IV. Our neighbor is bringing a trailer. Ugh - the starting cost is $500 they said. I sure hope it isn’t much more than that.
     
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  8. GoofyGoat

    GoofyGoat Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2018
    TEXAS
    Oh no, I’m sorry. Vets can be soo expensive.
     
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  9. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    The fact that she's pooping is of course a good sign. Before you take her to the vet, try a trailer ride on a dirt road. Sometimes the bumping and jostling helps get the gut moving properly. Letting her lay down or stand around and rest is ok as long as she's not thrashing and rolling. She doesn't have to keep walking all the time.

    Your feed store may keep a product called "Say Whoa". It used to be called "Stop Colic" and it sounds like a voodoo remedy, but I used it once with excellent results and so have several other people I know. It's not cheap (like $85/bottle!), but it's cheaper than a vet and in my experience, just as good.

    If you decide to give mineral oil by mouth you need to flavor it with something (Kool-Aid maybe?). The reason it can get inhaled is because it has no taste whatsoever so they don't always know to swallow it.

    Good luck!
     
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  10. Feira426

    Feira426 Well-Known Member

    322
    Dec 11, 2019
    Texas
    Thanks guys. Damfino, unfortunately I just dropped her off at the vet, or I’d have tried that. I’ll be sure and check back here though if I ever run into this again in the future. Vetting a horse is soooo expensive. It probably doesn’t help that my nearest equine vet is in a pretty well-off area. A lot of their other customers probably have a lot more money than I do.

    Ugh - so the vet said my mare (her name is Navi) palpated like part of her intestine is stuck in this weird spot, I think she said between the spleen and something. Dang, I can never remember these things. Anyway, apparently it’s common in horses because of a weird anatomy thing they have going on in that area, but it’s also very bad. They have a drug they give for it that shrinks the intestine and then they exercise the horse in some way to try to dislodge the intestine from where it’s stuck.

    She has to stay at the clinic for a couple of days to get rehydrated and then get the drug. Estimated cost is $1200-$1500. I sure hope it works, ‘cause that’s honestly about all we have left right now.

    The poor girl looked so miserable and uncomfortable. I really hope she gets feeling better from this.
     
    GoofyGoat likes this.
  11. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    Hmm... displaced intestine is definitely serious. I have heard of that but never seen it. I don't think trailering or giving OTC oral treatments will do much good in this case. Those treatments are more for gas, spasmodic, or impaction colics (which thankfully are most of them). I hope your mare responds to the treatment and pulls through for you. Horses sure can be high maintenance!
     
    GoofyGoat likes this.
  12. GoofyGoat

    GoofyGoat Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2018
    TEXAS
    Oh no, I’m sorry. I hope it all comes out ok. I haven’t had horses in 20 years, I’d forgotten the old trailer trick ...
    Which vet area you using? The Animal hospital in Alvarado is usually reasonable but Burleson’s expensive. My sister had horses around here and she used Alvarado office or Dr Rook or Camp. If you need their numbers let me know. They do farm calls
     
    Feira426 likes this.
  13. Feira426

    Feira426 Well-Known Member

    322
    Dec 11, 2019
    Texas
    I’ve used Burleson since I was a teen living with my parents, so that’s where I took her. They say she’s doing well - that’s the most important thing. But I may consider going to Alvarado in the future. I’ve taken a goat there a couple of times now and it’s not so much farther, though in an emergency maybe a bit far.

    I got Dr. Rook’s and Dr. Camp’s numbers
    from you once before, but wasn’t able to get ahold of either - have you spoken to them recently? If my memory serves me correctly, one had some kind of automated bad number message, like maybe they got a new number and nobody had been assigned their old one yet, and the other had a regular voicemail but didn’t call me back.
     
    GoofyGoat likes this.
  14. Feira426

    Feira426 Well-Known Member

    322
    Dec 11, 2019
    Texas
    So someone from Burleson Equine was supposed to call me sometime this evening with a progress report. I waited and waited, all stressed and worried, and never got a call. I thought maybe they’d gotten busy with an emergency, so I waited until after 11:00 and then called, thinking I’d leave a message in case they’d lost my phone number or something. I was surprised when an actual person answered - he said he’d forward my message and someone would call me shortly. Sure enough, someone called and said she was doing well, pooped twice and not showing signs of colic tonight. So that’s a relief. I wonder if they will still go through with the treatment plan if she seems to be recovering. I don’t think they gave her the drug yet - pretty sure they were just hydrating her tonight. I guess I’ll find out in the morning.
     
  15. GoofyGoat

    GoofyGoat Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2018
    TEXAS
    Oh I hope things go well! No, I haven’t talked to either lately I’ve been pretty much exclusively been using Alvarado. I don’t have horses anymore just the goats. At least Alvarado does farm calls so that’s something.
    Hoping your horse is fine and your bill is low!
     
  16. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    I'm glad your mare was doing better last night. I hope you have a good report this morning!