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Colic in Miniature Horses


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#1 mydaddysjag

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 11:43 PM

Tonight, I had my first "colic" type bout in one of my miniature horses. I always thought I was well versed in colic care, I had a big horse who coliced usually twice every winter every year I had her. Ive been through the gas drops, milk of magnesia, baking soda, banamine, gatoraide, walk until your legs fall off, soaked hay, enemas, warm mash with oil, etc. Then this afternoon, I notice my stallion hasnt pooped in his stall since I cleaned it at 9pm the night before. There was a pile in the pasture, but not sure which horse it was from. My stallion normally poops a lot, about twice as much as my other horses. I normally expect 6 piles in his stall, a day, and at least 1 in the paddock (he likes to go in his stall to poop). I also noticed he looked a little "bloated". Not hay belly bloated, but bloated. He wasn't acting uncomfortable, rolling, laying down, biting his sides, parked out, "lipping" the air, pawing, etc. None of the normal colic signs. Well, him not pooping is so out of character for him that it has me worried. Ok, no problem, I'll make him a mash of 2 cups chopped hay, a gallon of warm water, and a cup of oil. Well two hours later, still no poop. Ok, probably need to try some MOM (This is what my vet recommends even before calling her). Road block, I have never had to give a mini anything for colic. I dont know how much to give him of any of the normal "colic home remedies". I gave him 1/4 the amount I would give a big horse, and crossed my fingers. I walked him for about 10 minutes every hour, and would have walked him longer if we weren't slipping in the mud. If he were in obvious pain, I would have called an emergency vet clinic, but he is not uncomfortable at all, and I may be over reacting. He's pooped twice in two hours, im getting ready to go check him again now. I was wondering if we couldn't "compile" a list of the correct "dosages" that minis should receive of these remedies. This is in no way a replacement for proper vet care, but as you know, these things can often make the horses more comfortable until the vet can make it there. It also dawned on me, I dont think the tube my vet uses to "tube" horses would work on a mini, I think its too big. I want to get one to keep on hand in case im ever in a situation where the vet wouldn't have the proper equipment for a mini. What size would work?

How much, how often, and how do you give:

Milk of Magnesia:
Infant Gas relief drops or Gas-X:
Baking Soda:
Warm Mash:
Enemas:
Gatoraide:


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#2 Sandy B

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 12:01 AM

You sound a lot like me, lots of big horse experience but just learning the ropes of these mini kids. Most vets do have small tubes that they pack with them. Minis usually use the same size tube as they would use on a foal or pony. With that said though, I did buy some smaller diameter tubing to have on hand in case of a snake bit or allergic reaction or????? I bought it at our local Home Depot in the plumbing section. It is clear and pliable. I know that if it ever had to be used, you also soak it in a bucket of hot water to make it even softer. As far as medication dosages I have only given Banamine to colicing minis. 1cc per 100 pounds. Gatorade you can give them as much as they will drink (in moderation). I have fed very soupy bran(1/4 pound) mixed with oil and some molasses.
This is a good topic though. Thanks for posting!
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#3 kaykay

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 06:04 AM

I think it would be hard to put dosage amounts as all minis vary in size. I have rubber tubing I keep here because our vets always show up with a garden hose size tube.

Most horses that colic are dehydrated so I always mix up StressX and syringe it in their mouth and put it in their water bucket. Great stuff!

There is a lot of controversy over walking. We only do it if the horse is actively rolling. You can wear them out with the continual walking if you over do it.

Always remove all hay and do not feed grain if your horse is in a colic. We remove all hay for at least 12 hours and grain for 48 hours or until we are sure everything is moving again. Pain killers will make a horse feel better and then they eat again but the colic may not be resolved so the feed can make it worse.

#4 Eagle

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 06:16 AM

There is a lot of controversy over walking. We only do it if the horse is actively rolling. You can wear them out with the continual walking if you over do it.

Always remove all hay and do not feed grain if your horse is in a colic. We remove all hay for at least 12 hours and grain for 48 hours or until we are sure everything is moving again. Pain killers will make a horse feel better and then they eat again but the colic may not be resolved so the feed can make it worse.


Excellent advice! People who are new to horses should print this off and put it up on the barn wall for future reference. Posted Image

#5 Genie

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 06:34 AM

Ginger
banamine/flunixin
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#6 targetsmom

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 07:24 AM

When Princess colicked at a show this summer, her symptoms were fairly mild - parking out only - no lying down or rolling. Since we were at a shoe, our arsenal was limited. I first gave her 5-10 ccs of Stomach Soother, which is just pureed papaya which soothes the stomach. I did give her a dose of Banamine, and then an adult dose of liquid Maalox (she weighs 200 pounds). We normally show off the trailer, but rented a stall for her and set up a fan. She was not walked much at all, but was held near the action (outside the ring) for awhile because that was where she was happiest. It appeared to be a gas colic and shortly after the Maalox she actually leaped into the air, with what spectators felt was a good sign! She didn't poop right away (she doesn't poop very often normally) but when she did a couple of hours later, she was fine. Not saying this is what I would recommend, just what I did.

Most of my colic experience is - unfortunately - with the potentially fatal kind. Three colic surgeries and one fatality over the years. So I take any colic case pretty seriously.

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#7 wcr

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 09:14 AM

Tubing can be dangerous if you don't do it right so I would suggest not doing it unless you are sure of what you are doing.

If I have a colic the first thing I do is give 3cc banamine to a full grown horse, 2cc to a young one. I give oil with a 60cc syringe, a couple of them, gas drops(simethicone baby drops) a few dropperfuls, Milk of Magnesia about 30cc, peptobismol about 30cc and lots of warm water as much as I can get down. I give an enema either fleets or I bought an enema kit at the pharmacy and will give a castille soap enema.
I don't think walking is very effective as you are more tired than a horse by the time it is done so I hook up the trailer and do the "poop loop" I have a loop drive to the next town and a nice church parking lot when I get back to my town that I stop and check to see if the horse pooped. If they pooped I come home and if not I do another loop. If after several loops and no poop I know I have a problem.

Banamine usually lasts about 6 hours and if they start getting uncomfortable again, the horse trailer is hooked up and I head to the vet. If you can't fix it with the first round of treatment then early vet intervention is the safest way to avoid colic surgery.
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#8 mydaddysjag

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 10:51 AM

Sandy your absolutely right, lots of experience with big horse colic, but in 6 years with minis, Ive NEVER had one, or anything close to one.

Regarding tubing - My vet has a big ol tube. I dont know if she carries a mini sized tube or not, but it would be a heck of bad thing to be in full blown colic and have her show up without one that was the right size. Im going to get one, with a funnel that fits it ASAP. I would NEVER try to tube my own horse, I know that can go wrong. I know that sometimes with the minis, not every vet carries things that "work" for them, so I guess part of owning them is having to have things on hand for your vet that you normally wouldnt supply yourself.

Kaykay - I have never used StressX and couldn't find it when searching online. Is it just an electrolyte? I do keep Gatorade on hand, and all of my horses in the past have loved it. Guess who hates Gatorade? My boy who had me up last night. Normally they love it, and I cant keep the buckets full. I like giving the gatoraide because it has the electrolytes, and also water to keep things moving along.

I agree, over walking a stressed horse isn't good, tires them out too much. I walk if they are rolling, to keep them from rolling, or in Moe's case, he wasn't uncomfortable, listless, or tired, so I did walk him for 10 minutes every hour for 3 hours last night. I really think he had some built up gas and just needed to move around a little bit to get it moved out. I know when I had two surgeries that make you "gassy" from having air pumped into your abdomen, they made me walk to move it through.

The mash I gave was 2 cups chopped timothy/alfalfa hay (tnt chops) with 1/2 cup oil, and 1 gallon of water. I don't keep bran on hand, I usually only have beet pulp and tnt chops.

I gave 1/4 the amount of Milk Of Magnesia that I would normally give a big horse, so I gave 4oz. My stallion is 36" and not super fine boned, around 320lbs. If he were smaller, I probably would have given 3oz. He did pass manure, 3 piles in 6 hours, all were "apples" no diarrhea.

Although he did pass some manure, he still seemed pretty bloated, so I did give the infant gas drops (brand name is mylicon, but I use generic). I gave 1oz of the drops, again 1/4 the dose of what I would have given a biggie.

One thing with him is that he hates to have his food in water, so when I feed a really runny mash, I have to feed it in a hang over the fence feeder. If fed in his rubber feed pan, he dumps it on the floor, lets the liquid drain, and then eats it, lol.
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#9 chandab

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 11:13 AM

I first gave her 5-10 ccs of Stomach Soother, which is just pureed papaya which soothes the stomach.


HAve you ever used the powdered Stomach Soother? I just got an e-mail the other day from Horse Health USA and they have Stomach Soother in the liquid and also packets of powder, I thought the powder might store better, so easier to have on hand. Here's a link to the page on HorseHealthUSA website: http://www.horseheal...ther/655-1.html

Hope the link works. If this is as good as several say, I might just have to order some to have on hand. And, it might be a really good choice for my gelding with digestive issues.

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#10 Kim~Crayonboxminiatures

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 12:04 PM

First of all, I always listen for/to gut sounds before administering any medication or anything to a colicky horse, I check their gums for tacky/dry feeling, and for slow CRT. I Check temperature to make sure there is no fever to indicate something else might be going on.

No guts sounds is BAD and I call the vet immediately! No gut sounds can mean an impaction, which in Miniatures can turn into an emergency situation fairly quickly depending on the cause. I do not administer any pain medication to a horse with no gut sounds without talking to my veterinarian first. Remember that in the case of an impaction, things aren't moving, so anything you administer by mouth can end up sitting in the stomach and making things worse. I don't handle impaction without a vet and follow their advice, because each case is different.

Second, if they have guts sounds and it sounds very active and like a gas colic, I will first administer pepto bismol (about 10-20cc for an adult). I will give Banamine if they are uncomfortable enough to be rolling and painful, but typically the Pepto and sometimes walking a bit if they are painful resolves it fairly quickly. I don't think it's a good idea to administer a lot of different things, I keep it simple. I will use electrolytes in their feed, or a paste to keep them drinking as needed.

I know my horses normal habits well, their pain tolerance, and can usually tell when they are bad, and when it's something I can handle myself and wait before calling the vet.

Remember if you give Mineral oil be sure to flavor it with something, it has no taste and can be aspirated and cause pneumonia.
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