If you have ever owned horses, you probably have experienced some sort of gastric issues with them. Whether your horse suffers from a mild or severe bout with colic, it’s very frightening to see your horse suffer and be in pain. Foxtrot Urbane member Pam Gebaur knows all too well, after almost losing here horse Annie.
“Accident Annie” is her nickname because she, Jingle’s Merry Anne, has a knack for finding things to wound herself on. Her young career was in the show ring as a successful model horse. After finding lots of things to batter herself on, leaving bumps and scars on her legs, she came to me this winter to start on a new career as a competitive trail/endurance horse.
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Her training and conditioning were going smoothly, and we even finished a back-to-back NATRC Leisure Level competitive trail ride. Shortly after coming home from that, she managed to find something in the pasture to poke a hole in her hind leg. It ended up infected, despite my best efforts to keep it clean, and her leg swelled so much her hock disappeared. Pain meds and antibiotics were started.
The swelling went down over time and the wound was nice and pink and clean. Then, I got a call at 10 pm one night from the stable owner where I board that Annie was trying to colic. This was new for her. They got her up, called the vet, and started walking her. If you’ve ever dealt with this, you know that your heart sinks to your stomach as you cry and pray for your sweet riding partner. The vet arrived and treated her. Surgery was discussed but was not an option.
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By 6 am the next morning, Annie was getting worse. She laid down, we could not get her back up. Her gums were white with no capillary refill, her eyes were sunken, and her skin was tenting (a sign of dehydration). Her ears, nose and cheeks were ice cold. I feared she was giving up and shutting down. The vet came out again. I was sure that we were going to lose Annie, but we were not willing to give up on her.
All’s well that ends well, after 2 vet visits and a very long night, Annie pulled through. Long story, long, I learned a few new things I wanted to share. Keep in mind (disclaimer alert!) I am not a veterinarian. I am not advising you how to take care of your horse. I’m just relating my experience with Annie in hopes that, if it should happen to you, maybe this knowledge will help in some way.
There is a fairly new sedative, Dormosedan which, according to my vet, has a nice side affect of relaxing the gut which can help in colic cases. She used the IV injectable version for Annie. She also tubed her again, but this time, instead of mineral oil, used epsom salt flush. A fellow boarder has been studying the Masterson Method in depth (that’s right, the same one as the webinar we watched) and used it with Annie while we waited for things to work. I saw Annie relaxing with her. Within 30 minutes of the vet’s second visit, Annie was on her feet, her head higher than it had been all night, she seemed to be returning to her normal self.
It took a village to get her going! From the first sign, the stable owner’s son who cleans stalls noticed that Annie didn’t have as much manure in her stall as usual and alerted his Mom. Checking on her, the stable owner and her daughter noticed she was off, got her out and started taking care of things, calling the vet and me. They stayed up all night with Annie and me, walking and helping in every way possible. The Masterson Method, I believe, did indeed help. The vet being willing to try more than one plan to find success. It all helped.
Something I believe contributed to her colicing in the first place, were the antibiotics we treated her leg wound with. This destroyed the good flora in her gut, and not being on protiotics, her digestive balance was upset.
Lisa Cantrell with Foxtrot Urbane suggest a feed program that contains a gastric health supplement like Purina Impact Professional Performance.
For more information on Purina Impact Professional Performance, check out the reviews and check out the product sheet.
Again, I’m not a vet, nor have I any equine health training. I just wanted to share this and hope it helps someone when it seems all is lost. Keep trying. Never give up. Annie and I have gone on a few short, slow trail rides on property now. I truly thank God for every single day with this mare. I found a couple of articles I found beneficial and wanted to share with anyone who wanted more information on gastric health for their horse.
Purina Outlast Horse Treats are a great option and can help with the optimal gastric pH. Show your horse some LOVE!
-Pam Gebauer, Foxtrot Urbane member and Missouri Fox Trotter Enthusiast