Saturday, November 15, 2014

Impaction Colic

Emi is currently in the hospital due to impaction colic. I went out to feed Thursday night around 7:30pm and fed grain first (as usual). While the horses were eating I dumped my wheelbarrow and filled a hay net before stopping back by Emi's stall. Normally we chat while Roz finishes up his grain. Instead of being her normal curious self Emi was standing in the middle of the stall with her ears back. I stood watching her and she moved over to the wall, pawing at it and then rubbing along it before she circled to lay down. At that point I knew something was going wrong and I was trying to figure out if her hives might be what was bothering her. I grabbed my thermometer and got her halter on. Her temp was 100.7.

I called the vet and he said he'd be there with in an hour, maybe sooner. I stood outside watching her and texted a few friends to let them know what was going on. Emi continued to get up, lay down, wander around, flank watch, stand with her ears back etc. By the time the vet arrived I had reinforcement too, in the form of April and Tarra. The vet performed a quick physical, sedated her for a rectal exam and tubing. There were no remarkable findings beyond a slightly elevated temp and heart rate. They administered some banamine and told me to watch her over the next 2 hours. If she started acting painful again they said I should take her in. April, Tarra and I sat out in the barn visiting while we kept an eye on Emi. My dad had hooked the trailer up before the vet arrived, and my mom brought us hot chocolate and brownies. Sitting in the barn with a sick horse on a freezing cold night is made much better with friends and chocolate!

In about an hour Emi started to wake up and began backing up and flank watching again. At that point we all agreed it was time to just take her in. April called ahead and we got the baby loaded up. She was such a good girl and loaded easily. We are super blessed to live about 20 minutes from a vet school (which happens to be where I work). They were ready for her when we arrived and they quickly drew some blood and set an IV catheter.  We got a weight on her of 815lbs before they sedated her for a belly tap. Both her blood work and belly tap looked good. They got her settled in to a stall with IV fluids and said they'd keep an eye on her overnight. If things continued to go okay they would get her going on feed in the morning and hopefully send her home with me Friday afternoon.



We left her at the hospital about 1:30am with the understanding that they would call if something changed during the night. At that point they said no news was good news. Apparently Emi did pretty well during the night but then began displaying colic symptoms around 8am on Friday. The performed another rectal exam and determined that she did have an impaction in her large colon. The hope was that they could continue to provide medical support to her and that she would be able to break down the impaction on her own, although surgery was a possibility. Of course I was thinking worst case scenario and was feeling sick over the thought of my 17 month old filly undergoing colic surgery.


When I arrived to visit her on Friday afternoon she was laying down and did seem uncomfortable. After she got up I took her for a walk, groomed her, and just hung out. For a couple hours she was quite bright and acting like her normal self. One of the doctors working on her case told me that she has a "winning personality." Right before I left for the night they passed a nasogastric tube to give her warm water and epsom salt. After they pulled the tube out she got a pretty bad bloody nose. I felt so bad leaving her, but a little over an hour later the doctor called to tell me that they had performed another rectal exam. The impaction felt smaller and softer, so we were headed in the right direction.


This morning I arrived around 9am and again took Emi for a walk. She was quite perky and we had a nice 15 minute walk before heading back to her stall.  They tubed her again, this time with warm water and electrolytes. They used the other side of her nose and everything went smoothly. I went back in later today and the doctor was just getting ready to do another rectal exam. She could not feel the impaction and the feces that she found were very soft. With that news she said they'd be starting her back on hay tonight and if all goes well Emi can return home tomorrow. 



I am so relieved that she is doing better and I hope that things continue to go smoothly so that she can come home. It's no fun having a sick baby girl.

31 comments:

  1. Fingers crossed and all good thoughts you way. Pull through Emi!

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  2. Poor Emi! Glad she's heading in the right direction.

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  3. So scary! Glad she's doing better :)

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  4. What a relief! I hope all continues to go well. I can't imagine the worry and stress you must have been under. Sending positive thoughts your way!

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    1. Yes, I've definitely been feeling the stress. It felt so good to get a good report tonight.

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  5. Sending Emi lots of get well soon wishes :)

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  6. Oh, so glad it looks like she'll avoid surgery!

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    1. Yes! I'm feeling much better about that and can't way to have her home.

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  7. Poor sweet baby, look at that face! She looks like she is being on her best behavior. I hope she can return to you as soon as possible, all safe and sound.

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    1. She is being a very good girl. The staff really likes her. :)

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  8. It's heartbreaking to see your sweet baby in pain in the hospital. I hope she's still improving and gets to come home. *hugs*

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  9. So scary! Glad you and the vet were right on top of it.

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  10. Poor little gal!! Hugs to you. Hope she recovers fast!

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  11. So glad it sounds like things are going in the right direction. What an awful and scary few days.

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  12. I'm so sorry she got sick :( Keeping y'all in my thoughts and prayers. I just lost my boy to colic, I know how scary it is!

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    1. Yes, it's very scary. I'm sorry you lost your boy.

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  13. Hope she continues to improve. I always fear colic this time of year with the temperture changes. So glad you don't have to have surgery.

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    1. Well I will be fearing it from now on. Ugh!

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  14. Sending lots of prayers your way :)

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    1. Thank you! She has a lot of people rooting for her.

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  15. poor girl! sounds so scary - but likes she's getting the best possible care. good luck and hope things continue to improve!!

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  16. So glad she's doing better and is more like her old self!!

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  17. Oh my gosh -- how scary. I'm glad Emi is doing better though!!

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