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Discussion on Orchard Grass or Orchard/Alfalfa

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Mona Zaidi
New Member
Username: mz4horse

Post Number: 5
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Sunday, Sep 28, 2008 - 3:47 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Dr.O: Pancho (4yr QH geld in SoCal) has been in my care since Aug 1, 08. (Note: he was moved to diet of 2/3 alfalfa and 1/3 grass hay (bermuda/orchard) from an all-alfalfa diet).He colicked recently 9/17 and 9/27. The vet was called and Pancho responded well to the usual oil/water/analgesic/sedative treatment. Vet wasn't too happy with rectal exam, though, she felt things were not entirely in place and quite tight in there. She asked if he would be a candidate for surgery if needed (-unfortunately, no). The second time 9/27, it was the same: frequent rolling, weak, almost falling. (Note: by this time he has been transitioned to an all-orchard grass diet) Both times pulse remained under 40. But this time I gave him 6 cc of Banamine orally right away kept him standing or walking (he pooped twice, had gut sounds). He improved within 1 hour, vet call was never made, and has been fine since. I've read your article about legume hays with nutrition tables. Do you think this diet (primarily good orchard grass) along with a Platinum-type general supplement is a good plan for Pancho, who's colic I don't understand completely? I want to do everything right and give him the best chance to beat this. Q.2 Does any of this tell us what kind of colic he may have? Is it reasonable to think that if it was a surgical colic the Banamine would not have been as effective? Any further info I can provide..FYI, my other horse who shares the paddock has also shared the same exact diet and diet changes as Pancho with no issues (older Arab). No change in exercise/environment otherwise, but I have started him on Sandclear just in case since our area is sandy (Q.3 Does that really help?) THANKS!!!!
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Username: dro

Post Number: 21443
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Sep 28, 2008 - 8:03 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Mona,
1) Yes good quality orchard grass will be fine. For more on this you should review Horse Care » Equine Nutrition, Horse Feeds, Feeding » Equine Nutrition an Overview of Feeding Horses.
2) No, it is not clear why for more on the causes of colic and how to investigate them see, Diseases of Horses » Colic, Diarrhea, GI Tract » Colic in Horses » An Overview of Colic.
3) For information on caring for Sand Colic including the efficacy of sand clearing products see Diseases of Horses » Colic, Diarrhea, GI Tract » Colic in Horses » Sand Colic.
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