Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Not Good Morning..

Yesterday, while I was at the movies, Cody, and possibly Guinness, managed to get into some of the chicken's scratch grain (cracked corn, milo, whole wheat, non-medicated).

My best guess is that Guinness, with his long skinny neck, was able to reach around and grab a corner of the plastic-coated burlap bag and drag it out of the hen house without tearing it, where Cody probably chased him off of the grain and consumed most of it himself. I estimate that the bag was about 1/3 full = 17 lbs.

This is not good.

As soon as I discovered the crime, I called the vet and she came out and administered mineral oil, water, & charcoal via a nasal tube. We lightly sedated both horses (I'm sure that Smokey had no part of it) and I applied a rope twitch while the vet intubated them. It went pretty well - better for Guinness, which I attribute to my sticking my fingers up his nose on a routine basis. The vet gave them IV Banamine, with instructions to administer 3 follow-up doses of Banamine paste over the next 36 hours. They are permitted to have a little loose hay scattered about.

I slept in the barn last night to keep an ear out for colic sounds. Guinness has pooped at least 4 times and I'm sure that he is fine.

I was up at 3:00 am trailer loading Cody to try to get him to poop. We also walked up and down my long driveway with no luck. Thankfully, he had his first poop at 6:00 am this morning. He still has loud gut sounds.

The vet said that it could take up to 24 hours for the lubricant to work its way through his digestive tract. Cody may need another dose this evening. She thinks that the loud noises are good since his gut is trying to move the mass of grain.

The danger is that the grain will sit and ferment and possibly kill off a section of intestines. Another risk is that of founder - and since Cody already has seriously clubbed feet and high ringbone, this is the last thing that he needs..

Update: Cody pooped at 6:00 am, 8:30, 10:30, 1:15, and a double at 5:15 pm (prompted by some trailer loading practice!). The last one was pretty soft & wet, so the oil is finally passing through, plus I could see some some grain in it. He is still hungry and eager to eat his hay, and has been drinking & licking salt. The vet says that the first 24 hours are the most critical, and that he is coming through it with flying colors. Whew. Guess that I'll sleep in the house tonight. :-)


Lisa said...

Clare - my thoughts and prayers are with you!

My best friend had a mare colic - an impaction roughly the size of a basketball in her small intestine. It took 3-4 days of IV fluid therapy but the mare pulled through just fine.

You have your vet helping you and with any luck, you caught him in time to help him.

Keep us posted.

~ Lisa

Naturally Gaited said...

Thanks, Lisa! Cody pooped again at 8:30 and the vet is pleased. He is also quite irritated that he hasn't had his breakfast yet. I hate to tell him that it will be a day or two!

We are blessed to have the VT vet school within minutes from us. If the vet doesn't like how things are going, we will truck him right over to the hospital.

It is wonderful to hear that your friend's mare did fine. Any founder issues? The vet said that the Banamine will help with that too.

More soon.

Lisa said...

Nope. No founder issues. Secret's colic was the result of bad hay so she didn't have the fermentation issues that come with grain.

Something to consider - if you don't already do it - is adding a quality probiotic to your feed routine. Horse's depend on the beneficial microflora in their gut to aid in digestion. Definitely an idea of Cody as he rehabilitates but also for all your horses.

Cricket is on Dynamite nutrition and she gets a good dose of probiotic every day. I could wean her down to a few times a week but it's done wonders to balance her hindgut.