1/17/2011

Hell of a week


Hello, this s the DOR speaking today. This past week has been horrible to say the least.
I have not been able to process Freedom's passing, I am not sure I will ever get over his loss. I can't put into words what this horse meant to me or express the gifts he so freely gave to all of us.
One of his final gifts to me was selecting Friend to be my new horse. Friday I arrived at the ranch at 3:20 to find Friend down and in terrible pain, he was colicing. I called the vet, called a friend, and did my best to keep him up. Help arrived and we spent the next hour doing everything we could to keep Friend comfortable and moving, I even resorted to spanking him hard. We srynged salt water into him, we gave him large doses of dynapro, and we kept him moving.
The vet arrived and treated him for a severe case of colic and said he might have an enterolith. I moved him to the arena and began the waiting process. With all of the meds he was given he should have shown improvement in an hour or so...he just continued to worsen.
I was helpless, couldn't ease his pain and couldn't make him better all I could do was stay with him. Stay I did...I spent the night with him outside in the arena, I talked to him, I soothed him the best I could, I cried, I cursed, and I did my best to will him to live. He went into shock, his gums turned white, and the odds were not good at all. The Horse Guardian used accupressure and a red torch to help him. We sprayed release in his mouth, we kept massaging his ears.He spent the night thrashing, the vet said to not try and stop him from doing that (so against everything I learned) that fatigue could cause him to die if we fought to keep him up...I followed the vets directions. It was the most horrible thing I have ever watched, but I promised Friend I would not leave him.
At 3:00 in the morning I went to the car for the first time to warm up my feet, I fell asleep around 4:00 and woke up at 5:00 to see Friend standing with the Horse Guardian. Friend stayed on his feet Saturday. In the evening he got hay soup. He has been on hay soup for two days and will gradually switch to a solid diet. It is looking like he will make a full recovery, but we still have to watch him. At this point Friend has survied the worst case of colic that anyone involved with him has seen a horse survive.
So why did he colic? One of the main factors was the drastic weather change. Moving from 16 degrees to 60 degrees in one day was too much for him to acclimate too, he didn't drink enough and that contributed to the situation. Colic is a insidious beast that has no clear cause, there is just no rhyme or reason. There are things you can do to help prevent it though: access to salt, plenty of water, keeping alfalfa down to 50% or less of their diet, lowering the ph of the horses intestines by adding 1 cup of apple cider vinegar to their daily diet. Even when all of those things are done colic can still rare its ugly head.
Friend being here with me today is a miracle. He knocked at Death's door, laughed in his face, and is returning to normal.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your horses!

9 comments:

Mrs Mom said...

Our thoughts are with you DOR. You've had a rough go of things lately, and we hope that everything settles down for you and the herd.

Thinking of Friend too, hoping he continues to heal up and grow stronger again!!

Desert Rose said...

Your devotion is amazing! I hope your week get better and that Friend continues to regain his strenegth.

EvenSong said...

We had a long evening with Kate's colic two weeks ago, but nothing like you went through! Here's hoping he is well on the way to recovery, and you and the HG are getting some well deserved rest.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Glad to hear he's on the mend and hope that he continues to improve. I hate colic, it's one of the worst things to go through with a horse. You have had a miserable week but I hope things will get better.

That Janie Girl said...

Hi, it's Janie from Sounding Forth. I changed blogs...

I'm glad Friend's better.

I hope everything starts looking up for you, too.

xoxoxoxoxox

Florida Beach Basics said...

Bless his heart ... and your's. Will think good thoughts for both of you. marge

fernvalley01 said...

Oh my!! So glad he pulled through !!! What a terrible and terrifying night that must have been .And again so sorry for the loss of your beautiful friend Freedom

Powell River Books said...

What an ordeal for Friend to experience. I am glad the outcome is so promising. I was so lucky that none of my four horses ever got colic. - Margy

Anonymous said...

For whatever it may be worth to others, my vet said that apple cider vinegar does not work and as someone who suffered terribly from ulcers I would have a lot more concern about it negatively effecting the condition of the horse's stomach. BTW I am glad your horse survived. We lost ours to enteroliths and are now seeking an adoption. His companion horse misses him so, as do we.

 

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