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Discussion on Colic Surgery Recovery

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janis zral
Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2000 - 1:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Our 9-year-old Percheron TB cross recently underwent colic surgery for a 600 degree twist of the large colon. Luckily it was treated in a timely manner, thanks to the quick attention of the local vet, and there was no necrosis of the bowel. They were able to untwist the gut and replace it without having to do any resecting. Horse has now finished 30 days of box stall confinement and is on daytime turnout in a small pen. There is some confusion over what we were told, and what was written on the follow-up sheet, i.e., we were told that she could be ridden 100 days from the day of surgery. Written is 30 days box stall, 100 days turnout in small paddock, then ridden.

1. How should my daughter go about reconditioning her horse ? Longeing ? When ? For how long ? With or without saddle ?

2. When should she actually start to ride ? Walk/trot only ? Canter ? How long ?

We have examined closely the circumstances surrounding her colic and cannot find a reason - i.e., she is on 24/7 turnout, 5-6 flakes of good quality grass hay (she is the alpha mare in the field so maybe more), no grain, crunch & carrots for treats occasionally, good water access. No history of colic. Quelle mystery ! She had eaten about 1 hour prior to being ridden that morning in a light lesson and had snaffled a few mouthfuls of hay prior to going into the lession (she LOVES to eat !) but otherwise no different that all the other times she has been used. Any ideas ? Vet says the incidence of colic in this neck of the woods has been increased over this past winter, which for all intents and purposes has been a relatively mild one (Alberta, Canada).
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Helen Weedon
Posted on Thursday, May 25, 2000 - 8:54 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Janis. A friend of mine has a 5 year old Irish Draught gelding who had a twisted gut last year. He was successfully operated on and didn't have anything removed. I don't think she rode him for at least 3 months afterwards and his grazing had to be very limited. Even now she is understandably wary of putting him out in a fresh pasture.
The one thing I can remember for certain though is that the hospital who treated him gave her a questionnaire to fill in and she was told that they were seeing alot of this sort of colic in younger horses who were rather large (he is well over 16hh) and were suspicious that the body cavity had too much room in and so the gut could move about just too much.

I hope this is of some use to you.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Posted on Monday, May 29, 2000 - 7:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Janis,
Thank you for taking the time to give us a little back ground into this mysterious event that so commonly takes horses down. Really, the answer to your questions should be answered by your surgeon and could depend on what part of the bowel was twisted, what they found during surgery, and whether they tacked down the bowel in some areas. Please let us know what they tell you.
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janis zral
Posted on Wednesday, May 31, 2000 - 12:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks for all the concern. I spoke with the surgeon today to clarify everything and she advised that Sera could be ridden at the end of July - which would be 100 days from the date of surgery. That is great news for my daughter. She also suggested that they take things slow - ride at the walk for 5-10 minutes a day for a week or so. She feels the horse will let us know what she can handle - but she suggested she didn't want her bouncing around too much initially. They did not tack the bowel down at all. There was no impaction, just a straight 600 twist of the large colon at the beginning of the colon. No rhyme or reason and I doubt we will ever no "why me".
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Jane Morley
Username: Justin

Post Number: 6
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 1, 2005 - 11:03 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi all,

My 16 y.o. TB gelding had a gas colic on May 13th (of course, a Friday!). Turns out there was nothing wrong, just a huge amount of gas that was released via small needle and he was sewn back up. He is on the typical 120 day routine--4 weeks in lockdown with handwalking, 4 weeks small paddock, 4 weeks turnout--before going back into work. I have several questions:

1. What causes gas colic? He is a cribber but it is under control
2. Is is safe to worm him with Ivermax at this point?
3. Can I put SWAT on the wound? Staples came out May 23rd.
4. Ace does not relieve his anxiety and I am afraid he will develop ulcers. Is there something better I can use for the last two weeks of lock down? He is on a supplement called Tractguard for hyperacidity which has reduced his cribbing.

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Debbie E
Username: Deggert

Post Number: 189
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 1, 2005 - 1:42 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I would use generic zantac purchased at a warehouse store, (we use Costco) it is what our surgical facility recommended and it is cheap.
We tried 3000 mg twice a day but since our post surgery horse already had developed ulcers we had to up that dose to 3000 three times a day. Good luck to you. Debbie
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