The dreaded c-word

25 Feb

I heard the dreaded c-word when I went to the barn yesterday…colic.

Apparently on Friday when the horses were being brought in for the night, Corona was lying flat out “like a flat tire” in the field. A lead-rope was clipped on him and he got up and came into the barn, where he flopped down in his stall right away. They took his temperature and it was really low, so he’d been lying out there for a while, thank goodness it wasn’t very cold out that day and he was wearing his heavy blanket. The Boss called the vet and in the meantime gave him an injection of dipyrone to help in the relaxation of his gut. The Boss and the Trainer then started to walk him around. After a few laps, it was decided he was looking a bit better so they put him back in his stall to monitor. Apparently with dipyrone, since it’s a relaxant, you try to just leave the horse alone and let the injection do its job (provided the horse isn’t thrashing around in the stall doing more damage). After a short period of time, he pooped! The vet called and I guess at this point they figured the best thing to do was to monitor, so that’s what the Boss did. No further ill effects and after a few hours, Corona was back to chomping on some hay and back to his normal poop-filled self. Thank goodness.

I’ve never experienced colic before but have always dreaded it and the fact that this happened has shaken me up a bit. It’s hard too because I don’t own the horse so wasn’t called – not that it would have helped matters but I would have been out there quick as a whip to do anything and everything I could to help. In speaking with the Boss yesterday I told her flat out that she should call me next time and I’d do the walking/ monitoring etc. so she didn’t have to.

I have no idea whether it’s related or not, but last week when I was brushing him, he was very sensitive on his left side, from about half way down his neck, to his hip. At the time, I noticed a small bite wound on his neck from one of his buddies, so I figured he had perhaps just been kicked as well. When the Boss told me about the colic episode, I told her about this coincidence and she didn’t really think it was related but you never know with horses.

I watched him like a hawk yesterday for any additional signs that it might happen again. Like last week, he was still really sensitive on this left side. Anytime I’d touch him with the brush he’d pin his ears and give me stink-eye. I felt around and couldn’t find any lumps and bumps but it is definitely out of character for him to be like this. I wondered if I’d even get a saddle on him so I took it slowly. If he was sore I wasn’t going to ride him, but surprisingly, he didn’t seem to care about the saddle at all.

I was pretty excited as this was pretty much the first time I’ve been able to ride him since Christmas! The recent nice weather we’ve had has melted the ice that has prevented us from riding for so long. Like had happened a few weeks ago when I THOUGHT we were going to get a ride in, Corona was SO excited to get out there, especially because CG and SM were there with their horses too. Off we went and it was heavenly! Since it was our first ride in a while, and we are still recovering from the knee wound, we just walked but it was a brilliant walk. Corona was off to the races, huge strides and ears forward just ready to take on the world. I made a great effort to stay relaxed in the saddle and Corona obliged, even when we walked by a spooky half-buried bag in the snow bank.

We were out for about an hour and I was eager to see how the exercise affected Corona’s leg. His knee is still swollen, but the swelling in his tendon was virtually non-existent after the ride! He was completely sound at the walk, in fact, I had seen his trotting and cantering earlier in the field too and he looked sound. The vet is hopefully going to see him on Tuesday as they’re coming out to see the racehorses. Apparently there’s a new vet with the practice and if she comes, the Boss won’t have her look at Corona because she doesn’t trust her, so I’m praying that it’s one of the other two vets as I’d really like their opinion on things – after all, this has been going on since mid-December. I keep meaning to take some photos of his knee to post on here, will do that next time I’m out. I don’t mind if it’s just an aesthetic issue, as long as he’s sound on it and we’re not missing something bigger!

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