Friday, September 23, 2011


It's been almost a month since Estes colicked ... she's still pretty weak and not putting on any weight.  She's still pooping sand and uncomfortable off and on during the day.

She's been on beet pulp all summer, Mom has added senior feed to the aminos that she was already feeding and the horses are now on free-feed hay.  I'm taking Estes out for short rides only once a week (when I'm up there).  The vet told us it could take a month for all of the sand to clear, but I think it's going to take a little longer.  The psyllium seems to make her more comfortable, but she doesn't pass much sand with it.  The sand moves better when she's not on the psyllium, but she's more uncomfortable.

So...I know she was on death's door, but does anyone have any idea how long it will take her to start feeling more like herself?  Any suggestions?


Cheyenne said...

I`m sorry to hear this. I know its not much comfort, but we dont have the sand issue here. But having said that, Colic effects can take some time to leave the body. The shock to the horses system is considerable.

Most of our Colic here is severe worm compaction, in young ones or older horses where the gut twists, causing colic.
Give her time, like you are doing, she has a good partner in you.

Shirley said...

Here's a link:

It seems that vigorous trotting is recommended, as it shakes the sand loose. So perhaps if there is no one who is there to ride her, maybe she could be longed at a brisk trot every day?

Sydney said...

I know we had a horse come from the US someplace at my aunts standardbred barn. He had a high amount of sand and had coliced and didn't feel right. They dosed him with ulcer medication and it made him feel a whole lot better in the time he passed his sand.

Allenspark Lodge said...

Will have to check into this; I have suspected ulcers with her before, as the Mustangs can make her quite uncomfortable at times, and I know longer trailering her upsets her. Maybe she has a resident ulcer.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

That was an interesting and informative article that Shirley posted. I've never dealt with sand colic and even when I lived in AZ, never noticed my horses passing much sand.

I know with your guy's set-up, it's difficult to separate the horses, but you might want to invest in buying a couple of 16' panels and making Estes her own pen in a corner. You could put her in that pen at night with plenty of hay so she can eat undisturbed and at her leisure.

I would also look into getting a couple of those rubber mats to put down to put the hay on. If Estes could be kept by herself (at least at meal time or at night), it would be possible for you to feed her alfalfa, which from the article, sounds like is beneficial to help purge the sand and will help her gain weight.

An added advantage by keeping Estes separate, would be that she could lay down and rest without being disturbed. I don't know if the other horses bother her enough to interrupt her nap time, but being able to sleep is very important to older horses. All horses really, but the younger and the older horses need it the most and they are often the ones that can't get it when in herd situations.

I will say one thing about beet pulp...I have never soaked it for hours on end. When I feed it, I spray it liberally with water, stir it all up to make sure that all of the beet pulp gets wet and it is 'soupy' and then I feed it. I've never had a problem with colic or choke issues doing it this way on any type of horse-bad teeth, young or old horses.

There comes a time in every horse's life, when they need that little extra and you just have to figure out how to make it work. Good luck getting Estes back to her normal self.

Once Upon an Equine said...

I'm sorry Estes is still not feeling like herself. I've not had experience with sand colic, but it is a concern where I live too, with sandy soil.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Interesting theory on the trotting. I'm sure she'll be up to par soon. It just takes time.