Lost Another Member of the Family

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MiniNHF

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I haven't been on much since May after my gelding went down after a horse show with injuries because I have been so consumed with going down there every other day to tend to him and meet the chiro/therapist.

This past July 14th, we lost him to a partial or fully twisted colon which we thought was just an impaction colic due to he doesn't really show his true pain till his body cant take it any more. He was at the clinic when he passed away and was going to get surgery that morning.

His loss has been devastating not just to myself, but my niece who showed him, the breeder where he is boarded at, her assistant trainer, and the handful of youth that attend shows with us and who have showed him over the year. He was a very loved horse and is sorely missed.

I just want to let people know how it came to this point so its a learning experience because this was an unusual occurance that myself and the barn owner have never experienced, even myself with big horses.

In April I had done a combined driving event that was supposed to be in an arena with wood chips to accommodate the minis due to the sand. Well when we got there that wasn't the case and the event/owner said it was only 3" and the minis would be fine. Well my cart ended up sinking and I had to pull up half way through my dressage test because my boy literally gave up; now this is a mini who is 100% fit for registered showing and he couldn't even complete the test.

I made sure days after that and heading into our next big show in May that was registered he didn't hurt himself. He never showed any signs at all at any time (but believe it or not he was hurt and was hiding it).

When we were at the four day show in May on the second to last day we noticed he wouldn't keep his one hind hoof where it was supposed to be in halter and he was starting to stand at his stall a little camped under. But he was moving fine at the trot and even long lining in the cart to make sure he was still good for classes. So we figured he might be a little stiff or sore so we just watched him and on the way home on the fourth day we gave him some banamine and put him in a bigger stall to make him more comfortable for the 4 hour ride home.

I called the chiro on that Monday to come out and look at him the following day, well the following day when we got there, his entire body was locked up from head to hoof, I mean literally all his muscles were contracted and he was in pain. Ive never seen anything like it in my life and the day before the barn owner said he was perfectly fine (which he was). It took 3 hours to get his body temp to come up (it had dropped) and to get his muscles relaxed and back in place. To keep the story short, it has originated from his hind end where the chiro and vet were 99% sure it was from that show in April. So the horse was on stall rest for 3 months with only minimal walking every day so that he wouldn't reinjure himself and he was not allowed out with his buddies because even though he felt well he still wasn't but of course animals do not know that and he liked to act like a little kid outside.

In July about 6 days before he passed he went off his feed and was acting a little colicy so the vet was called out that following morning and for 6 days straight we kept treating him. He would act uncomfortable but nothing violent or even worrisome, even the vet who is an excellent vet, did not have concern yet that he needed to be taken to a clinic etc. on the 4th and 5th day we started bags of IV's to see if we could get the impaction to pass. He was still hydrated at that point, gums looked good etc and was on very limited banamine etc for pain.

On the 6th day I got a call in the morning with the vet at the barn that the horse needed to go to the clinic NOW. Apparently within a few hours his condition took a complete nose dive. His heart rate was up, his breathing was up, he was constantly kicking and just agitated and upset and his stomach had bloated and he looked like a pregnant mare. I raced down to the barn (that was 30 mins away) and we hauled him to local clinic that was willing to take him on. When we got there they put him on an IV with a bunch of antibiotics etc and the vet said it was either an impaction or partial twisted colon. He became stable on the antibiotics while we were there and even with blood tests he showed very little sign of infection in his body so we decided to wait and do the surgery in the morning to determine what the problem was.

About 6:30 the next morning I got a call from the clinic thinking they were going to let me know he was going to go into surgery but they called to tell me they just lost him. They said they worked on him for 30 mins trying to save him but he ended up just laying down and passing. The vet said he wasn't thrashing or anything of that nature, it was like his body gave up. At that point the vet said he was 90% sure it was a partial or fully twisted colon but in all his years (guy is well into his 60s, ive known him since I was little) even his staff they have never seen a horse with a twist ever go down that quickly and he thinks because he wouldn't exhibit a lot of pain or discomfort it was deceiving to us how bad the situation really was.

He was that kind of horse, he wanted to please his owners and would just push on, which was a blessing and a curse.

They say hind sight is 20/20 and I beat myself up so much that I put myself into the doctors office in pain from my nerves being shot for almost 3 days straight.

I just wanted to let everyone know of this situation because horses can be like people and hide their pain and keep pushing on and no one is the wiser. First horse I have ever done that and really have a twisted colon. I have been fortunate with only mild colics etc.

He was only 4 years old and had such a bright future. Only a year into driving and could compete with the best of them, and pulled a supreme in the stock halter horse class which was his debut this year in and my first supreme which I was just so tickled for. He could jump, do versatility, drive, and competitive in halter, this was a true all around gelding and he was shown in amateur, youth and COOL classes (girl was in a wheel chair). This horse was such a blessing to all of us, we just cant believe he is gone. It will be very hard to try and fill his spot I know that.

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chandab

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Seems inadequate to say, but the only words that come

so sorry for your loss.
 

MiniNHF

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Thank you everyone who posted so far. It was a snow ball of complications that just added onto the original problem. The colic wouldn't have happened if we kept him more active but listening to the chiros etc to keep him stall bound with minimal activity being just hand walking was the best way to get him to recover and not reinjure himself since it was going to be a long slow road to recovery. No one really thought about the inactivity causing colic. After the fact, I started researching and the number one cause of impactions etc is by horses being stall bound for injuries especially muscle/skeletal problems like my boy was having and recovering from.

I hate to say you live and you learn but this is not the learning experience outcome I would have ever wanted
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amysue

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I am so very sorry for your loss. Please do not beat yourself up over this, I know it is heartbreaking, but you really did do everything in your power to try to save him.
 

Debby - LB

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I'm so very sorry you have lost your beautiful boy It's obvious he was very much loved and very well cared for. I know it has to hurt terribly but please don't look for reasons and worry about it to the point of blaming yourself just think of all the good times and memories you shared.
 
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Ryan Johnson

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Im so sorry you have been through this, I remember reading about the show when you posted on the driving forum.

What a beautiful boy he was and sounds like he had the temperament and personality to match.

So sorry for your loss,

Ryan
 

MiniNHF

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Thank you, I at least have my one boy to fill my time. The hardest part is I cannot fill that spot till well into next year after our new property is bought and paid for
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Cayuse

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I am sorry for your loss. I have had two pass over the "rainbow bridge" in this past year. Both from colic. One a displacement and the other a probable strangulating lipoma. It knocks you for a loop.

You did everything you could, he was lucky to have you.
 

dalvers63

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So sorry to hear about the loss of your boy. I remember when you posted about his getting hurt. My thoughts are with you and your family
 

Miniv

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I agree that the word "sorry" just doesn't cover it...... Blessings to you and to all who he touched in his beautiful, brilliant short life.
 

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