Simon had “Mild Gut Discomfort”

February 9, 2015

On Saturday Simon and upped the anti, and doubled our ride time.  We have been doing 5-7 miles or so recently to get us back into some type of trail riding condition.  Saturday we did a longer conditioning ride that was about 13 miles.  Saturday we were also having a winter heat wave with temperatures in the upper 50s.  It was really nice and the perfect day to put on some miles.  We didn’t push the pace too much, but we did step it up, finishing in a little under 3 hours.  Simon was still peppy and energetic at the end.  The trail head was also only about 15 minutes from home, which is lovely.

We got home and I put Simon out.  He got a nice roll in, and hit up the water, than waited impatiently for dinner to be served.  I did a few barn chores and then brought dinner out just a bit later.  He scarfed his food down with plenty of gusto while I filled the hay barrels.

When I went back by to take his halter off and release him to the hay he looked mopey and off.  He just stood there.  I went about releasing the other ponies and finished filling the hay barrels and he was still standing there looking rather despondent.  I did some other out-door chores, and checked in on him every ten minutes or so.  The next check in he was laying down.  Then he was standing, then he was laying down again.  So I pulled him out of the field and hooked him to the grooming tie to observe him.

He started to kick at his belly and kept swatting his tail.  I listened to his belly and heard gut sounds.  He gave off a pathetic pony moan when I went to get the thermometer.  Following Murphy’s law, the thermometer was not working, swell.  This is about the time a horsey friend gave me a call.  We briefly discussed Simon’s situation and I hung up to call the vet for some professional advice.

With the call placed, I went back to observing Simon while I waited for a return call.  Simon let out a rather loud fart, and then seemed to perk  back up.  He nosed at my pocket for a cookie and stopped all signs of distress.  The vet returned my call about 15 minutes later and while we were discussing the situation, Simon farted again and then tried to untie himself to reach the hay nearby.

The vet hedged that Simon probably had some mild gut discomfort, and the passing gas probably helped relieve this.  I was careful to explain that Simon is a rather sensitive and dramatic pony, and this would not be out of character for him.  The vet said to call back if his symptoms returned or I felt the need.  I put Simon out in the private paddock in front of the house for the night, noting the level of water.  Simon dove his head right to the ground and started to eagerly crop the grass.

I checked on him a few times, noting how greedily he was eating, that he had perked back up and that he was following me around the paddock (while I looked for fresh poo) and was eagerly muzzling for treats that he was sure were in my pockets.  After he had pooped, and was clearly back to his usual self, I called it a night and went to bed.

In the morning he had drank plenty, and was eager to go back into the field with his buddies.  I gave him the day off and kept an eye on him, but he seemed to remain his usual self.

What did I learn from this experience?  I need to redo my equine first aid kit.  I also need to refresh myself on basic equine emergency first aid.

What was I pleased about?  I noticed Simon did not seem himself very quickly and was attentive and observant.  I know my ponies personality and could see the changes taking place and what was normal and not normal.  I did not panic or get flustered.  It was really nice to have the ponies at home for this situation, and to have the ability to separate Simon into a small private and observable paddock.

The sum: Simon showed about 45 minutes of uncharacteristic mopey-ness, and then about 15-20 minutes of more recognizable colic symptoms including laying down, kicking his belly and swatting his tail.  The drastic weather change and long ride, combined with Simon bolting his feed seemed to be the combined culprit.  I am happy that everything worked out and both Simon and my wallet did not suffer.

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1 Comment

  1. There is nothing worst than a colicky horse. I hope it’s all behind Simon.


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