Monday, November 25, 2013

Catching up, part three: Colic scare

In addition to the Abscess Ordeal, we had our first colic episode. Thank heaven it was mild, because it was scary enough as it was.

I'd taken him into the indoor arena to walk him around, get his feet moving and give his brain something to work on, because he's going rather stir-crazy in his stall. Poor kiddo. So we did circles, serpentines, spirals in and out, follow-me, et cetera. Not much more than 10-15 minutes. He seemed a little more interested in nosing at the sand than usual, pawed a bit, but I wasn't terrifically concerned; maybe he was a little more sluggish than I expected, but I figured he was just having a case of the blahs.

But when I brought him back to the crossties, it was clear that we had A Problem. He was sweating hard, through his winter coat, and getting sweatier -- like we'd run cross-country kind of sweaty. He was kicking at his belly and pawing some. Just altogether exhibiting all the signs of Distress. :/ I checked his gums, and they refilled okay, but not quite how I'd expect Then Apollo started breathing hard and fast, again like we'd run cross-country: his nostrils were wide and pink, and I counted 60 breaths before I stopped counting to send a text to TW for advice/help and ask if I should go ahead and give Banamine or wait.

TW advised putting him in a stall and letting him do his thing, walking away and just listening to see what he got up to. He lay down, flopped over flat out, then got back up again, pawing ... He had also not eaten much of his hay at all. Odd, for him: he loves food, like most horses. At that point TW and MT both came out to help. MT pulled out some Banamine and a stethoscope, did a skin tent test and checked his gums, pressed on his back and haunches area, et cetera. Apollo was a bit dehydrated, heart rate high, respiration high, and continued to paw and be uncomfortable.

20-30 minutes later, things started to look better: Apollo was more comfortable, if still unhappy, and his vitals had gotten almost back to normal. Whew. TW and MT felt like it was clear for them to go back in the house, and TW said that she'd check on him in a couple of hours, see how he was. If he was back to uncomfortable and actively unwell, we'd haul him out to the vet hospital for treatment. I hung around for a bit longer, then decided that standing around fretting wasn't going to help anyone, and besides ... it's been damn cold here. So I went home and put my phone on the charger and put the charger right next to my hand.

TW texted me an hour and a half later that Apollo was up and snuffling around for stray bits of hay we might have left when we pulled the uneaten food out of his stall. HALLELUJAH!!

I had prepared myself for colic surgery and the subsequent rehab, honestly. I was ready and willing to go there. The vet hospital might have shot me on sight for owing them some money, but I'd have died with a note in my hand saying SAVE MY HORSE. ;) Plus, that's why I pay for horse insurance: things like that. And the Abscess Ordeal. I heart insurance.

So that was mild, thank heaven. I managed to keep my cool, thank heaven. And now we know what colic looks like on Apollo. I was pretty worried there for a while, though. Even though I had plans A through D ready to go based on circumstances -- having plans and safeguards in place makes me a MUCH saner girl -- I was worried. I wasn't freaked out like I was when he got the gash on his leg, but I was worried. I've seen horses come through colic surgery, so it wasn't an unknown quantity, which also helps me stay calm. And of course I've seen the worst-case scenario of colic surgery, too, so no mystery there. BUT THAT WASN'T GOING TO HAPPEN TO US.

Truly -- if I were the sort, I'd say that I wasn't horribly concerned because I know God has a plan for us. I'm not that overt sort, though. I still felt at the time, and still feel, that that was not the end of the road for me and Apollo. We have much more riding and love and partnership ahead of us. It's a pit-of-the-stomach sort of feeling, and I'd swear to it. Not sure why, but there you have it. Faith. :)

I had TED clip him, too, last week, because he WILL be ridable and need it this winter. :) And he now has a cutie mark! He's no longer a blank flank!
Get it?


  1. Love the hip mark! I"m glad he was okay after the colic scare.

  2. :) That feeling. So glad you still have it.

  3. Yay! Apollo got his cutie mark! I bet he feels special now... :D

    bonita of A Riding Habit

  4. love the mark, perfect! And I think you further fueled my need to look into insurance.

  5. Bah! Abscess + colic = yikes! Super cute clip =)