Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Last of the Laminitis Saga- I Hope

What is the first thing one is suppose to do when a horse colics? Why get them on their feet and get them moving of course! But when the greater threat is laminitis, walking suddenly doesn't seem like the safest option. Walking, the hoof in motion, is the mechanism that pumps blood IN to a horses foot. That was last thing I wanted. Luckily my vet was 20 minutes away and Abby was not down. While she was drooling and frothing at the mouth (the vet figured was a pain response as she didn't want to swallow) she had no fever, only a slightly slow capillary refill and slightly elevated respiratory and heart rate. The vet listened to her gut and found she only had 1/4 for digestive sounds, not much was moving. He gave her a shot of banamine and tubed her to get some mineral oil in her belly. I continued my icing of their feet and started praying for poop.

You know that expression about a watched pot never boils? I swear a colicing horse never poops when you are watching. It was 4 hours after being administered the banamine that she finnnnallly pooped for the first time and I swear it was because I gave up and went and sat in the car for ten minutes to see if she would go if I left her alone. Little brat. I gave her some pro/pre biotic digestive supplement that night (which she has continued to get every nice since) and continued with the cold therapy.

The prettiest Poop There Ever Was (her first in 15+ hrs)

After that first day I decided to stay offline for a while and not make myself crazy- there was just too much conflicting information from reliable sources. I knew I had to get past the 36-48 hour mark before I could really let down my guard but with Abby I had to time that from Sunday morning's colic. From Saturday morning until Tuesday night I kept a very close eye and did what I could to keep those feet still, on soft ground and cold. I also had all three on a anti-inflammatory.

My view for 72 hours

 I had a few scares in there, Abby's front right seemed to get warm and her back left. Marm's front left seemed to get warm as well and both of Hola's fronts but none of them were ever more than warm and none had a digital pulse or anything close to "hot". For days I had been feeling every hoof in the barn (the horses who did not get out that night) and was surprised by just how much they vary throughout the day and from hoof to hoof. I promised myself after come Wednesday night I was going to have to stop. From my reading and vets advice I knew I was going to have to be careful for the next month to keep their feed low in sugar and on soft ground. It has been 10 days since the night of my Very Big Mistake and so far none of my girls have shown any signs of laminitis. For months I had planned to go to an out-of-town clinic with a friend from Friday- Sunday (the weekend after). I didn't think I was going to be able to go but really didn't want to bail on my friend so I arranged for someone to look in on the horses every day. I knew they were in trustworthy hands so I decided to go. At the last minute I decided to suck it up and take Hola. She needed the exposure and it wasn't too long of a haul. I was so glad I did. The weekend was great (a post for another day) and it was good for me to step back and not hover. 

The hardest part of the whole experience was the amount of conflicting information I found. How can it be that we still don't really understand one of primary causes of death in horses? The treatment advice I found online did not bode with my vets and I really didn't know which way to turn. I decided to ice and use NSAIDs for 4 days straight. I will never know if what I did worked or whether nothing would have happened had I don't nothing from the start. That part is hard. But I knew I had to try my best and hope for the best. So that is what I did. Only now that it is (hopefully) all over, am I ready to sit down and try to understand what best to do should there be a "next time" (And I soooo hope there wont be) and even how best to continue treating them now. I will be sure to share once I get my head around the concept- a few years from now.

The last part to this whole saga is that my vet had advised against any hard riding for at six weeks- only very light riding on soft ground. Which meant that my goal to get Abby legged up and showing this July was being grounded before takeoff. Or was it?

1 comment:

  1. Oh that would be horribly scary! I luckily (fingers crossed) have never had a laminitic horse and only a mild colic (after a vaccination) although both are stuff I think about all the time, and I too have no real info just what I hear from here and there, although I do kinda understand cause colic is just a glorified tummy ache and so many reasons why it could happen its more an affect rather than a real problem...if that makes any sense, lol I know what I am saying but its not coming out right.