I just had a feeling when I saw my trainer was calling me. We’ve all been there. But she never calls me. Always texts. So when her name popped up on caller ID, I knew. Colic.
Apparently Gus had been fine in the morning but when it came time for lunch, he was lying down in his stall (first odd thing) and not tapping for his grain (immediate red flag). So new trainer called the vet and then called me. I got there shortly after the vet did. It was an impact colic but the vet wasn’t super worried and thought it could be “flushed” out, as it were. He tubed Gus, cleaned him out, and quickly hooked him up to a bag of fluids. I just held his head and told him if he wanted a day off that badly all he had to do was ask.
Privately I was dying inside.
It’s not that I haven’t been around colicing horses, but this is actually the first time one of my horses has coliced. And it was Gus, my sweet boy who tries so hard for me. I couldn’t stand the listlessness in his eyes. I honestly didn’t know what we were going to do if the vet had determined we needed to take him to UGA. I didn’t want to have to make that choice.
About ten minutes into the bag of fluids, the sedative started to wear off and Gus started checking out everything curiously. I started to become hopeful. At about twenty minutes he was fully alert. And by 30 minutes he was tapping for his grain. It was lunch time after all, where was his?
We weren’t out of the clear yet but we had definitely found the path. I left him seething in his stall (his buddies were not only getting lunch but also turned out and he was stuck in his stall, how rude!) for an hour or so. The vet didn’t expect him to poop for several hours but thought that if he was still perky after the fluids, I could take him out to graze. Gus was eager for that and dragged me around the farm looking for the best patches.
Gus stayed alert throughout the evening and new trainer gave him another bag of fluids just to make sure he was hydrated throughout the night. I am so thankful for all of the help from New Trainer. Besides the extra fluid and the alfalfa soup, she also checked on him several times during the night. I had complete faith that he was in the best of hands and that I’d know in a heartbeat if we back tracked. But in the morning, all was good and Gus had passed the impaction, was demanding breakfast, and back to his normal self.