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Discussion on Gas Colic

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Kelly Everhart
Member
Username: Kelly81

Post Number: 17
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Tuesday, Sep 21, 2004 - 10:06 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O
My 5 year old paint gelding was recently seen by my vet and treated for gas colic. You might remember, he has nerve damage to one side of his head/mouth from an injury as a yearling. He eats slower and different than most horses. It started about a week ago. He ate his grain that morning but didn't touch his hay. He acted like he just didn't feel good. Then later that morning I found him lying on the ground but not thrashing or rolling. I would get him up and he would go back to eating grass. I'd come back later to check on him and found him lying down again. Then I knew something was wrong because he never lies down. I took him up to the barn and put him in his stall to see how he acted. He would paw the ground and stand with his leg cocked and bow his neck towards the ground. I knew at this point it was probably colic. So I called the vet and walked him until he got there. His bowel sounds were hyperactive(which they almost always are) no temp, heart rate and respirations regular. The vet passed an NG tube and administered 1 gallon of mineral oil. I held his grain and hay that night and gave him only half of his normal ration the next morning. The rest of the night and the next morning he seemed to be feeling better. However, the symptoms started up again that evening. He didn't seem to be as uncomfortable as he was previously but he would lie down and paw. He was eating normally, drinking water good, and stooling. I've been watching him closely the last week and he remains the same. He doesn't seen to be in any acute distress or pain. I am not sure what could be going on with him. I called the vet back to tell him what he was doing but I haven't seen the need for him to come back out yet. Today I noticed that when he urinated, he voided a small amount and arched his back and seemed to be in some discomfort. And he didn't relax his penis as most horses do when they urinate I recently cleaned his sheath and penis but couldn't get it cleaned completely. I just wonder if his symptoms could be related to something other than gas colic. It seems to me that he wouldn't have a good appetite and be eating if he was colicky and I don't think it would have gone on this long if it were colic. I wanted to get your input on what it might sound like to you before I have my vet back out. Thanks.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 11226
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Sep 22, 2004 - 7:35 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

If I understand you right Kelly your horse continues to lie down a lot and when he stands he paws the ground? It could be he has a very low grade tummy problem (gas or something else) that comes and goes giving the appearance you see. Also considering the episode of difficult urination you need to have the vet check out the urinary system, it is possible this is the source of the pain.
DrO
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Joni Valerio
Member
Username: 3rsatsmf

Post Number: 110
Registered: 2-2001
Posted on Monday, Jun 13, 2005 - 9:19 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Anyone ever heard of *not* tubing and giving a horse with a gas colic, just a bran mash? Vet did come out, did an exam, rectal, diagnosed gas colic from Spring grass, then gave him a bran mash with 1 qt mineral oil and promptly left.

The reason I'm posting the question is because I wasn't pleased with not tubing, and called again, and asked vet to come back out (same night) and was charged another after-hours emergency call. If vet had tubed first time, I wouldn't have called again. I'm asking my vet to reconsider the second emergency call charge and I'm wondering if *just* the bran mash is a standard treatment protocol for a gas colic.

Don't worry, Dr. O (or anyone else responding)- I won't mention any names! Thanks Joni
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Nancy S. Kaplan
Member
Username: Redalert

Post Number: 117
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Monday, Jun 13, 2005 - 10:32 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hey Joni,
I think the less invasive a procedure the vet can do to treat any illness is the best route! If your horse would actually EAT a bran mash with oil, then that alone is an indicator of the amount of pain he was in. Were you left with any further instructions such as keep him moving, or did the vet administer pain meds so that he could move around and expel the gas on his own? If it did turn out to be just gas colic, then the tubing might have not been indicated( if you could get the oil ,water mash in him WITHOUT tubing). I would much rather NOT tube my horse unless absolutely necessary because it is a stressful, sometimes somewhat "painful" procedure, as the tube can cause irritation in the throat and nasal
passages! Did the horse continue to decline? Is that why the vet had to come out again? So, in answer to your question,"yes, I have heard of not tubing a horse when gas colic is present." Of course, you know more about how your horse was responding to treatment than I do. Does he have a "history" that tells you that he would need more than the bran mash with oil or was he in too much pain to eat? Yes to either of these questions would have me wanting immediate tubing though!
Hope all is well with your pretty Freisian(looked at your pic) now!
Nancy
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Nancy S. Kaplan
Member
Username: Redalert

Post Number: 118
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Monday, Jun 13, 2005 - 10:39 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Kelly, sorry, I just read your original post, and it looks like I did not mind my manners ... did not mean to interrupt your discussion with DRO! But, wonder if he has a "bean" in his penis. I hope that is all it is! I'll bet the vet can give some sedation and get that sheath and penis checked out for you! Sometimes that is a really tough job, but results are worth it, and, again I hope that is all that it is so you can get your buddy up and running again!
Nancy
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Joni Valerio
Member
Username: 3rsatsmf

Post Number: 111
Registered: 2-2001
Posted on Monday, Jun 13, 2005 - 12:25 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Nancy, thanks for your post, and from what you said tubing may not have been necessary. It was the first time I ever had this type of a problem with him (he was just a piggy and ate too much grass!). I was just really nervous because he was flat out in his stall when I arrived (and perhaps you know how stoic Friesians are about pain). 10cc's of Banamine did the trick (per vet phone instructions) and when the vet arrived, he was all alert and looking for dinner. He slopped down the bran mash like nobody's business (he's very food-motivated). The reason I called the vet out again was probably more for me than him. I was concerned as to where we would be when the Banamine wore off, and I live 45 mins from the barn. Plus, Remy is so easy about all kinds of stuff, very quiet and is an easy-tube. Looks like I shouldn't be complaining about a second $126 After-hours emergency fee... Thanks for the reality check. Joni
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Nancy S. Kaplan
Member
Username: Redalert

Post Number: 119
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Monday, Jun 13, 2005 - 1:27 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hey Joni,
Nothing like coming out to the barn and seeing your horse stretched out flat ... that is, nothing like it except for throwing up and having heart palpitations!(just in case you thought I was real nervy or such!)
SO VERY GLAD you and your buddy had a good outcome!
Nancy
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 13134
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 - 2:12 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Wow....I would have thought a horse would turn up his nose at 1 qt mineral oil, almost no matter how much bran you put in it. I will have to give it a try.

I think mineral oil is important in fresh grass colics or any gassy colic. The gas comes from maldigestion and rapid fermentation and the oil hypothetically slows this down along with inhibiting the uptake of toxins produced by the rapid bacterial growth and a quart (1 liter) is probably enough.

Has anyone else been able to get a horse to voluntarily consume a significant amount of mineral oil voluntarily?
DrO
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Joni Valerio
Member
Username: 3rsatsmf

Post Number: 112
Registered: 2-2001
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 - 6:59 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well, Dr. O., like I said, he is *very* food-motivated. He slurped the whole thing down like nobody's business. I think we did put a little bit of his grain in it for flavor. Joni
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joj
Member
Username: Jojo15

Post Number: 556
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 - 11:22 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

i bet mine would if i soaked some dog food in mineral oil... LOL.. i just don't understand the attraction. dog food smells awful and her sweet feed smells 100% better.

My cat voluntarily eats her food with mineral oil soaked in it. She has mega-colon. Vet said she wouldn't last a year. That was 10 years ago... At this point, she won't touch her food unless its been coated. She knows the pain it causes her if her food doesn't have it in there.
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Cheryl Hohler
Member
Username: Chohler

Post Number: 274
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 15, 2005 - 11:30 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have been able to get a couple of my horses to get a bottle of mineral oil in a scoop of senior, but I don't feed grain often so it is a delicacy for my horses and food motivated pigs have to be pretty sick to turn it down. Course some of my gas colics have been for that very reason, they are pigs.
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Joni Valerio
Member
Username: 3rsatsmf

Post Number: 119
Registered: 2-2001
Posted on Monday, Mar 9, 2009 - 2:11 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Has milled flaxseed been indicated in gas colic? I feed my horse about 4 oz milled flaxseed/day, he has uveitis and I'm trying to do everything for his eyes - flaxseed is purported to lessen autoimmune reactions. An equine nutritionist at a local big-name university STRONGLY SUGGESTED eliminating the flax seed if he was prone to gas colic. Why could that be?
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Vicki Zaneis
Member
Username: vickiann

Post Number: 978
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Monday, Mar 9, 2009 - 4:46 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Joni, I have never heard of flax seed causing gas, though if fed, the amount should probably be increased gradually after starting with a small amount, just as with any new feed.

I did hear a Veterinarian at an equine clinic suggest that flax seed could be used to soften the manure of those horses that have manure that is too firm, so that implies there is some kind of a laxative effect.
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3chip
Member
Username: 3chip

Post Number: 15
Registered: 1-2009
Posted on Monday, Mar 9, 2009 - 6:22 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Want a good refresher of feeding various forms of fat to horses? The following site has an easy read of the subject.
http://www.albertahorseindustry.ca/hboc/2004/proceedings/skinny_on_fat.pdf
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Vicki Zaneis
Member
Username: vickiann

Post Number: 982
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Tuesday, Mar 10, 2009 - 3:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks 3chip, for that very good article.
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