It always happens right before a big holiday. My car breaks down, I get sick or something in my apartment needs to be replaced. Whether I like it or not, for some reason the holidays usually bring a little bit of bad luck for me — maybe some of you share this superstition.
Well, the bad luck has now been transferred to my 13-year-old thoroughbred Faith. In the early morning hours two days before Thanksgiving, I got a phone call that Faith was starting to colic. When a horse colics, it either can be something that passes within a few hours or it can be an extremely scary situation for a horse. Some horses can even die when they colic.
The term “colic” can encompass all forms of gastrointestinal conditions which cause pain, as well as other causes of abdominal pain not involving the gastrointestinal tract. The most common form of a colic is a gas colic, which is the type Faith experienced. They are most often related to colonic disturbances such as a change of diet or overeating, just to name a few reasons.
There are a number of different types of colics, but basically a horse experiences severe abdominal pain. You can usually tell when a horse is colicing, because they are lying down on their side, and in Faith’s case, start to roll around like something is irritating them.
So, of course, when I got the call I was immediately in a panic. My lovely horse-borders stayed and walked her, as when a horse colics they are not to be left alone, and need to be under supervision until it passes.
Not to gross anyone out, but in order for you to tell when a horse is starting to feel better from a colic, they start to go to the bathroom, and begin to feel “unplugged,” and then they usually begin eating within a few hours.
In order to treat Faith, a vet had to come out and administer an IV full of Banamine and Buscopan, which — again, not to gross anyone out — helps them relieve the gas and helps them go to the bathroom.
Within about five hours, Faith was back to her old self, eating hay all day long, but man was that quite a scare.
As a little treat to her, this past weekend Faith received a massage (yes, I pay for my horse to get a massage), mainly to help her relax, and to also diagnose any sore spots and improve her overall health. As I expected, she has a few sore spots that need to be tended to, and she probably needs to be started on a joint supplement to help her joints loosen up.
Overall, I have a very happy horse once again, and hopefully no more scares before Christmas!