Friday, January 16, 2009

Not in a happy place

Second update: It's now noon and Gabe just passed a gigantic pile of manure! Yay! Only new moms and horse owners get excited about poop, but that was the MOST exciting bowel movement I've witnessed in a while. *grin* He's definitely feeling better. I've given him a couple of very, very small meals of hot, soaked beet pulp, he drank about half a bucket of the warm water I offered him and then hit the water tank for more water. I knew he was feeling more like his silly self when he started harassing me while I was cleaning out his run-in...trying to steal my pitchfork, knocking over the wheelbarrow, resting his chin on my shoulder and making sure he's standing RIGHT where I need to clean. Thank goodness! Thank you guys for keeping him in your thoughts and prayers, I really, really appreciate it.

As much as I complain about my job, it sure is nice having one where I can occasionally work from home if I need to. I helps even more when two of your bosses are horse people and have their own horses. I decided to go ahead and work from home today, just in case. I'd be worthless at the office anyway and worried all day. At least at home I can see him from my computer so all I have to do is glance up to check on him.

First update: It's now 9 a.m. The vet has been out, checked him, did a rectal exam and administered a drug that relaxes their smooth muscles. I don't remember what it's called. The rectal exam was good...she couldn't find an impaction, the rectal walls felt normal and the manure in his rectum was actually quite wet. He is VERY gassy though. She tried twice to pass the oil tube into his stomach and he wasn't cooperating and refused to swallow the tube, so he didn't get oiled. I'm going to wait a half hour for some of the sedative to wear off and bring him a couple of buckets of warm water and a few handfuls of well-soaked beet pulp. He's nosing around in his run-in for a few wisps of hay now. He can't have his ration of hay until later tonight and then he can only have about half of it.

I really should just learn to keep my mouth shut. But, of course, I can't. And it bites me in the butt. Here I was all "my horses are healthy and happy," and pretty darn proud of how healthy and happy my horses are.

And then I go out to feed this morning and Gabe is colicking. Colic scares the holy living crap out of me. I don't mess around with it. We have lost two horses in the past seven years to colic, so trust me when I say I don't believe there are any "minor" colics.

Of course I'm freaking out and bawling my eyes out. My wonderful hubby just hugs me and comforts me and tells me that he isn't colicking because of something I did or didn't do, it just happens sometimes. But I see my big, beautiful Gabe in pain and all I can think of is how horribly devastating it was to watch Heidi and Star die because I couldn't help them and the vet got there too late. Heidi died in Robert's arms as the vet was on his way. And that's all I can think about.

I called the poor vet at 6 a.m. this morning, I'm pretty sure I woke her up. Fortunately I had one 500 mg dose of banamine granules left so she told me to dose him and just keep an eye on him. I dosed him at 6:30 a.m. and it's now 7:30 a.m. He looks more comfortable but I know it's just the bananime. His capillary refill is a tad slow but his gums are pink. His temperature is 99.4, which is normal.

I just got off the phone with the vet and she should be here in about 20 minutes to give him a going over and oil him up.

He's out there walking around, and he looks more comfortable, but I'm not going to let myself feel any better about it because everything can go downhill in a very short time. At least he's not rolling, and it doesn't look like he was rolling, so maybe we will be okay, maybe.

Please cross your fingers for us.


  1. I sure hope Gabe comes out of it! I too have lost horses to colic and fear it. Saying a prayer!

  2. Thank you Shirley! I really, really appreciate it. Colic is horrible, horrible, horrible.

  3. Fingers crossed...

    Will Gabe let you take a big syringe and dose him with warm water and oil?

  4. I'm sending my healing energy to Gabe.

  5. I am so glad that he is better. Love those big wet poops after colic signs! Love and Hugs

  6. Oh man oh man..,just checked in and found the two notices of what occured earlier....oh sorry for the heart attack scare and happy for the relief!
    So glad you were on it..Gabe is one fortuante and loved wonder horse! Blasted S- - - weather!Am praying it give to wamrmer soon for you! I do think that really watery Beet Pulp is good in cold...they just don't drink deeply enough.You must not have a water tank heater?
    Well, I am glad for the outcome and will be vigilant for prayers!

  7. Thanks god he's ok!! Colic is SCARY OH's late horse had 2 colic operations and finaly sucummed at the age of 24 to an inoperable colic...(24 was pretty good considering ) He used to get it once or twice a year after the op.
    OH was analy vigelent about anything that might cause colic....your boys younge and healthy though...just needed a big fart probably LOL
    *hugs* hope your feeling better :)

  8. So happy to hear that Gabe is past the danger point! did you fuigure out the cause of the colic?

  9. Mrs. Mom...he probably would and I'll remember that if there's a next time. I need to stock a bigger syringe (I have a big one, but I need a HUGE one) and some medical-grade mineral oil, just in case.

    NuzzMuzz...thank you!

    Kathy...I was never happier to have a nice, big pile of poop to clean out of his run-in. :)

    allhorsestuff...I do have a water tank heater. I invested in the good ones this year, the ones that keep the water pretty warm. But the weather has been so cold and windy that all he's wanted to do is stand in his run-in and not move, so, I don't know how much he has actually been wandering over to the tank to drink. Between the frigid cold and the increased hay, something in his guts said "Eh, we don't like this."

    Kelly...When you think about colic being the #1 killer of horses, you just can't mess around with it, ever. Because it could be just a gas colic, or it could be a complete torsion, and there's no telling which one it is just by looking.

    Shirley...the vet thinks it was (as kelly mentioned) just an excess amount of gas build-up making him feel awful. Between the extremely cold weather and the extra hay (and probably his unwillingness to venture out into the cold to get to his water tank), his guts weren't happy.