A belly ache, who likes them? This is rather a silly question. For horses it can be dangerous, very dangerous and painful. In the horse world it is called colic, and it can kill a horse in a most painful way. Unlike humans, horses cannot regurgitate, which only compounds this dreadful equine illness. Causes for colic are many; too cold of water in winter water troughs (keep heaters in troughs), sand colic, feed colic, plants can cause troubles as well. The hardest type is the one that cannot be figured out. What did the horse get into? This was the question here at Blue Rock Horses & Farm a couple days ago.
One of the best things about being on the farm all day everyday is that an eye can be kept on the animals. Big windows beg being looked out throughout the day, and this is how this PFO knew Duke was not well. He was lying down. Horses lie down so that was not the red flag. Rather, it was who was down that caused the second glance. This horse has not ever been seen lying down, and not only that, he looked uncomfortable even from the distance.
Being quiet and observant with animals is a huge plus in many ways. Their mannerisms, dispositions, and way of going are as different for them as with people. It was easy to see this horse was not well. First thought? What did he get into? A times this question is never answered. He roused himself up, but only briefly. Then, the telltale sign of colic—he kicked at his belly, took a couple steps, and down he went again.
These are the times I miss my mother the most. Straining to hear her voice giving advice on how to manage a sick horse. “Hay, give the horse hay and let him rest, watch carefully. Would not hurt to give him some Pepto-Bismal after awhile if you feel he needs it.”
Two hours later of non-stop watch brought a sigh of relief over the farm. He had eaten all his hay and looking far more his normal self. Though it took the whole day to recover. Upon going out the fourth time to listen to his belly, check his breathing and temperature a couple other snoopy critters were very interested in how he was feeling. All is well that ends well. True, so true!