21 March 2011


With horses, colic is probably the most prevalent disease that occurs (or at least that's what I seem to hear all the time from trainers I've worked with, friends with horses, etc etc). But really, colic is just a blanket term for so many problems that occur with the equine digestive tract. So when one of the horses at my equine placement became colicky, a wide array of ideas went skittering through my head. So many things can go wrong with the GIT (gastro-intestinal tract) of a horse. Impaction, torsion, intussusception, etc ad nauseam.

Anyway, Trilly (the horse) was acting off all day yesterday. Stretching her head down, pacing in her stall, and the big important: not eating and not passing any feces. BIG problems. So vet comes down, I become his shadow. White mucous membranes, slow capillary refill time, little to no gut sounds...all bad signs. He was nice enough to let me borrow his stethoscope so I could take a listen to the gut and see if anything was happening (which really, there was nothing to hear). I got a load of good information from him, which I have to say I probably won't forget. Too bad the practice he works at doesn't take veterinary students!

Good news: Trilly is doing much better. Diagnosis was probable impaction. She was tubed and given a mixture of electrolytes, probiotics, epsom salts, and a human medicine that aids with constipation (hint: it works). Main problem that probably caused the impaction was the fact that she's been on stall rest for 10 days due to an abscess (poor thing).

Lesson to take away from this: it's really cool to have some validation in what I've learned thus far, and to actually KNOW what he was talking about!

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