Debra Benanti shares the story of her colic experience with her Missouri Fox Trotter gelding Beau. Thanks for sharing Debra! 


Sometimes you create our own luck.

Dietary Changes To Combat Obesity

My horse was put on a strict diet once my trainer told me that he would die because he was so fat and had gained too much weight. So, cut his hay back considerably. He was already on such little grain. The kicker was I also took him off of his pasture which he loved; so when Beau was acting depressed and refusing to eat his hay when I put it out in his dirt paddock that was a huge clue that something was not right.

It wasn’t until Beau actually went down and I noticed that he didn’t eat his morning grain that I called the vet. In additions to all the changes in his feed program, I had started treating him (with doxy) for Lyme the night prior. This made it difficult for the vet  to know if this was a full blown colic event or not.

I knew in my gut my horse was in deep trouble when he went down and closed his eyes so hard, grimacing.

Colic Surgery Finds Impaction in Beau’s Cecum

We took Beau to Tufts for colic surgery, where he had a bypass of his cecum. After the food exits the small intestine, it enters the cecum. (The equine cecum is an anatomical equivalent of the human appendix.) I had no idea what this was prior to the Dr. calling me at 5:30 am – as I was finally driving home after a 10:30 PM admittance to Tufts – telling me that his cecum was also impacted.

The impaction in his cecum made Beau’s surgery more complicated, and extended his stay at the clinic. Beau’s stay at Tufts was 14 long days, while other horses came and went. He was only allowed peppermints and didn’t start on hay for at least 5 days. He had pure fresh grass outside his stall and was hand fed that a few times a day.

Beau’s Recovery at a Rehab Facility

I then took Beau to a rehab facility, which was the best decision I made. Post surgery, there was so much after-care that I could have never given myself: shots, bandage changes, wrapping, hand walking. Having a professional eye remain on him for virtually the same money as boarding made it worth every penny.

Saving Beau Was Worth It

I inherited Beau from the children of my fiancée who passed away suddenly. Beau is the reminder of a love lost and is my best friend, needless to say. I found a wonderful trainer and we have worked together for almost two years after Beau’s full recovery doing clincs and gaited dressage.

After Beau was hit by a car n 2002 I didn’t think I would ever have him go thru yet another surgery. But as I continue my relationship with him, making the decision to go through the colic surgery was worth it – and I don’t look back. Beau knows I saved him; he just knows.

For sharing their story, Debra and Beau have been entered in a drawing to win a free 60-day supply of SUCCEED Digestive Conditioning Program. Submit your colic story during the month of June for Colic Awareness Month to enter. 

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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