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Discussion on So what happened to walking for colics?

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Imogen Bertin
Member
Username: Imogen

Post Number: 446
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Sunday, Dec 7, 2003 - 4:47 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Dr O

One of my hunting friends has a lovely horse which recently has had a couple of minor possibly colic episodes. She keeps the horse at a traditional livery stables where they do not use banamine but they walk the horse if there are any colicky symptoms for hours and hours until stools are produced/pain symptoms pass.

I read your overview article and it did not mention walking the horse to stop it rolling. Is this because using banamine removes the need, or because it's been shown to be pointless or what?

I have printed out your overview article for my friend but she may have trouble with the person who cares for the horse trying to arrange to have banamine available so she wanted to have all the current facts at her fingertips before starting the discussion.

All the best

Imogen
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Cheryl Anderson
Member
Username: Canderso

Post Number: 203
Registered: 3-2000
Posted on Sunday, Dec 7, 2003 - 7:43 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

We still walk the horse after Banamine has been administered.
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Rick Obadiah
Member
Username: Onehorse

Post Number: 14
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Sunday, Dec 7, 2003 - 7:45 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Imogen,

In a Horse Health Course for Horses I took, the veterinarian in discussing cholic said that while walking is good (while waiting for your vet to arrive or in combination with banamine) he suggested that sometimes the most important thing to do is keep the horse calm. He suggested if your horse likes to be groomed (and if it calms him) then that's what to do while waiting for assistance or in combination with walking. Also, he mentioned that one shouldn't forget that sometimes walking a horse towards or into a trailer will sometimes bring about the desired effect.

Dr. O what is your view on the 'calming' of the horse during cholic episodes? Is it helpful?

Rick
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Little King Ranch
New Member
Username: Eoeo

Post Number: 1
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Sunday, Dec 7, 2003 - 10:48 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thankfully, we have had few colic episodes over the years. However, when we find one, our first course of action, if it is just discomfort, a little pawing, and the like, is to give banamine and administer 10 tablets of GAS-X that have been crushed and dissolved in water. We syringe that into them orally. We walk them around and find that backing them up will sometimes help them to break up the gas that is trapped. We don't let them roll, if possible. With a simple gas colic, they usually calm down and within an hour or two since the system has had some relief from the tummy ache, things start moving. If the the banamine and Gas-X doesn't give them relief in a short time we call the vet. Actually, we usually call the vet anyway and by the time he gets here or we get the horse to him it has either resolved itself or he can treat it. If it is a severe impaction the vet will have to treat, if it is a gas pocket, we have had good luck getting it to break up with one or more administrations of the GAS-X. Walking them backwards just made sense to us to get things to move around in a different direction and it seems to work. Of course, we follow up with making sure their teeth are not contributing to the problem and that they didn't get some bad feed, but feed hasn't been a factor in our cases of colic, just strictly gas. We have been fortunate. EO
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Little King Ranch
Member
Username: Eoeo

Post Number: 2
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Sunday, Dec 7, 2003 - 10:54 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

One more thing, we have found that a change in feed has contributed to our colic episodes more than anything else we can come up with. We get horses from the track and now give them only grass hay for a few days and start mixing alfalfa with it gradually. When someone tells us they have been on alfalfa hay we still feed grass with a little of our alfalfa because we have found the quality of ours might be a lot better than what they have been getting and there might be a problem from that. Feeding the grass has really worked. Also, the stress from moving a horse might upset them so feeding grass is a nice precaution for any new horse coming in. EO
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Penner
Member
Username: Penner

Post Number: 153
Registered: 8-2001
Posted on Sunday, Dec 7, 2003 - 11:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi, Our vet also told us that walking for colic, really doesn't do anything. She said, we could just walk for 5 min of every hour, put them back in the stall & watch them. If they start to roll, then walk again. Lying down is OK.

So, when we have a colic problem, I 1st call the vet (I don't give banamine until the vet sees the horse to avoid masking symptoms - unless the horse would be violently in pain), & walk 5 minutes. I like that idea of walking backwards or also trying a trailer - thanks for the tip! & I had never heard of using Gas-x, sounds like a good idea. Dr O, what do you think about the Gas-x?

Grass hay is a staple at our place too for the roughage. I have just heard too many bad things about alfalfa so I avoid it. Theres a little mixed in only with the Bermuda blend pellets we feed.
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: Mrose

Post Number: 122
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Sunday, Dec 7, 2003 - 12:11 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Something I learned fr. a Tellington-Jones clinic yrs. ago has helped us with the rare colic. First, at least put the vet on notice. Then, get a beach towel, sheet, etc. and fold into into a band. One person get on one side of horse, the other on the other side, and starting at the elbow, move the band towards back of horse while applying and releasing pressure. You can lock arms under the horse, if no sheet is available. I would assume a girth, if wide enough, would work also. If you are alone, do the best you can applying pressure and releasing all down the belly. If it isn't an impaction, this will usually relieve the colic.

Another thing that seems to help with some horses and can be done at the same time as the belly band, is rubbing the horses upper lip. It releases endorphen and helps the horse relax. In a mild case, this if often enough to "do the trick."

If you have a severe case on your hands, don't mess around, get the vet!
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Christos Axis
Member
Username: Christos

Post Number: 16
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Sunday, Dec 7, 2003 - 2:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Imogen, read : http://www.horseadvice.com/sbs/articles/diseases/firstaid/colic.html

I wouldn't give a horse a painkiller in a colic. It may sound brutal, but I want to see what's happening. The only exception being Dormosedan if we ever lose hope, so it will not suffer unnecessarily, and hope that the pure animal will work things out for itself as surgery is not an option for us.
It is important to keep the horse calm. I do not know if it helps resolving the colic, but horses can get very stupid when in pain and really hurt themselves.
What Sara describes for the upper lip works. For the same effect, I use a piece of string under the lip, fastened to the headcollar's side rings to keep some light pressure on the upper gum. We call it Gypsy bridle.
I use Buscopan in colics. It is colic medication for humans, spasmolytic. Two shots of 10ml with 30 min between them usually solves the problem (1100 lbs horse) A third shot can be given as a last resort, but I haven't seen it in use.
Buscopan has to go IV, it is considered very toxic to muscle tissue. I had to use it, however, two times IM with no side effects.
Oh, and I wouldn't touch a syringe had we had a vet in the area...
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: Mrose

Post Number: 124
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Sunday, Dec 7, 2003 - 3:08 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yes, you're right. You don't want to mask symtoms. I do keep Banamine on hand and have it in my trailer's first aid kit, but it's for when the vet is far away, and the horse is obviously really in pain. I still do walk a horse if it's a mild colic. I figure the movement might help, and a lot of times, in a mild case, the horse just needs to quit thinking about it.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 9583
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Dec 8, 2003 - 7:24 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello All,
As Christos states above you will find our thoughts on walking and other exercise activities at Equine Diseases First Aid Colic First Aid. There is no single therapeutic regimen that will fit all cases and when it comes to proper first aid much depends on whether a patient is a surgical colic or not.
DrO
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Imogen Bertin
Member
Username: Imogen

Post Number: 449
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Tuesday, Dec 9, 2003 - 2:00 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yes, I see I missed the first aid article link the first time around and it's clearly explained there...

Thanks all. I will print out both articles for my friend.

Imogen
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