View Full Version : Stress and Colic?

17-04-07, 02:45 PM
I have an 18y.o Irish Draft Gelding who is enjoying a gentle life following being rescued from a riding school a few years ago.

Until now he has been fine but during the past month or so he came down with a bit of dehydration and impacted stools and we needed the vet out to help him pass these rock hard poos.

It followed two new horses being introduced to his paddock the same day, one mare and one gelding. My boy has spent his time since then stressing over the herd ratio and we think he may have neglected himself/drinking during this time.

I am unhappy that two horses came at once and all have had some form of problem since. He is usually in with two other mares and one other gelding who recently left.

Today at 06:30 I had a call to say he was in a bad way (he lives out) and he is now at the Royal Vet College in observation after being admitted with colic/mild dehydration.

Yesterday he was moved into the paddock next door so as his fields could be sprayed - along with his other friends, but nearer to the mares field and once again they all ran around like nutters.

Am I being paranoid that there is too much change happening at this yard for him and he is not coping with the stress of the changes and organising the herd etc. Since his fellow gelding left a month ago he has taken all of this responsibility upon himself and I think he has worked himself into a state.

I am waiting for the vet to call but it would seem that he is doing OK and not a surgical colic case thank God.

Anyone have any similar experiences and ideas as to a way to approach my livery manager with a way forward. I am considering stabling him from next winter onwards and this is possible where I am - but being such a big lad he may get stiff so not defiantely the best option.

Confused and stressed myself from a bit of a manic day!

Thank to anyone with any thoughts.

17-04-07, 02:49 PM
Gosh how awful. All a bit of coincidence isn't it? Have you been giving him electrolytes as routine in his feed since the first attack???

They usually settle down (the horses that is), but it has been so warm that he could becoming dehydrated from the running around.

Difficult one....

17-04-07, 02:53 PM
I am sorry to hear this, sounds like a combination of new horses, moving paddocks and change in weather to me

17-04-07, 03:40 PM
Poor man, he doesnt sound a happy bunny.

It may be an obvious one, but is there a constant water supply to the field?

You could give him cod liver oil in his daily feed to help loosen him.

Paint it Lucky
17-04-07, 06:30 PM
Would it be possible to either move him to a new field with one or two other horses that he already knows and gets on with? Or move the two new horses to another field?

17-04-07, 09:12 PM
I'm also interested in this topic as it has been suggested now that my horse who keeps getting gassy colic is attention seeking.... He's only done this since the new horse arrived last november.... and is now on attack number 5....

Anyone else had any problems like this?

17-04-07, 09:20 PM
your horse is the bloody exception to every vet book ever published!!! http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

17-04-07, 09:29 PM
Thanks for that Dougie!!! (Bless ya - you must have the patience of a saint to put up with me wittering down the phone garbled nonsense about has he or hasn't he!!!)
Go research attention seeking colic please! If it is attention seeking I shall be sending him to you so you can give him one on one attention!

17-04-07, 10:10 PM
no worries i dont mind in the slightest...as long as my favourite ginger beast is fine http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

ah he can come live up here...can stay in our garnden and can hack him to and from work, put him in field while at work

17-04-07, 11:14 PM
Not wishing to make things sound worse but i have just had a nightmare with my horse - she has had stomach ulcers. The symptoms are sometimes reoccuring colic - might be worth asking you vet to look into it. I hope he gets better soon.

18-04-07, 11:32 AM
Maybe he is stressed from the mix of horses in his 'herd'. If you are going to mix mares and geldings then you should only really have one gelding in with each 'herd' of mares....otherwise the boys fight over the girls....
Perhaps you could buy electric tape and put him in with one (quiet) companion for a while to see if he settles.
Or move yard?
S http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

18-04-07, 12:24 PM
Hi everyone - thanks so much for your messages - he has had a good night and the Royal Vet College at Berkshire is AMAZING (not to mention the bloody georgous 'Cloony-like' vet!!)

He has had a full internal scan - been rehydrated and starved for 24 hours - they are going to introduce him to grass later this afternoon for a short while to see how he deals with this, but they are really pleased with his progress and think the demon colic has passed, with nothing sinister going on internally as far as they can see.

I do think that the combination of him losing his male companion - who went out on loan, and then having a new mare and gelding arrive in his field on the same day (which he also shares with 2 mares) sent him over the edge - I think he got very stressed re. his position in the herd and when we had the vet out to deal with his consiptation a couple of weeks after this had happened I think he didn't really recover from this completely before he was moved on Monday for the spraying. It all became too much AND new sweet grass tips were popping through.

So, fingers crossed he is going to be OK. I am going to discuss future management with the RVC when he is allowed home and expect that a quiet life is now needed for the poor lad - I will need to address this with the livery yard which I am tentative about as the owner is a little defensive about it all - but the 2 new horses coming in on the same day to the same field was a terrible decision - dont you agree??

Am going to visit him in a couple of hours and am SO excited!!

Will update again when I know any more.

Keep those horses chilled out in the meantime!!!


18-04-07, 06:33 PM
Glad to hear you horse is on the mend. Stress can play a part in colic symptoms. But as for the idea of horses getting colic as attention seeking, that has got to be one of the most ridiculous comments I have ever come across.