Crusade Against Equine ColicAuthor: Caroline McCormick

Last week was the one year anniversary of our nightmare with colic.

Patience had been having episodes since she was three months old, and they always seemed sudden and for no apparent reason.

On June 12, 2011, two hours after being fed, I noticed Patience showing classic signs of colic; pawing, kicking at her belly, and in her case, loose bowel movements and lots of bowel sounds. The vet suggested a dose of Banamine to ease her pain, and we went to bed.

At 12:30am Patience woke me up after throwing herself down in her stall. This time the vet gave her a cocktail of mineral oil, electrolytes, Therabloat and Banamine. She showed signs of relief for about two hours, but the pain came back, and it came back hard. Patience was throwing herself on the ground and was completely uncontrollable. I wasn’t sure what to do, but I knew something drastic needed to happen.

The vet finally told us that if we were considering surgery for Patience that we needed to get on the road and head to the hospital right away. The vet was suggesting a 2.5 hour drive with an uncontrollable horse, but we decided we had to do it.

When we arrived at Chaparral Hospital in Cave Creek, we were greeted by a crew of people ready to assist. After checking on her vitals and doing a rectal examination, it was determined that Patience more than likely had a twisted intestine. Since time was of the essence, she was immediately prepared for surgery. I have to say, watching the surgery was like watching a horror movie. Even if she was in the best hands, I never want to watch something like that again.

To make a very long story short, the team discovered that Patience did have a 180 degree twist in her small intestines. She did not have to have any bowels removed, and recovered without any setbacks.

Since then she has had several more bouts with colic and has had ulcer medication and takes probiotics.

We love this little horse and only want the best for her and to keep her healthy. You might say Patience has really tried our patience, but we could not imagine life without her.

The Crusade Against Equine Colic is a movement empowering all horse people to learn how to reduce our horses’ risk for colic – and to share that knowledge with fellow equestrians.

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