Desert Horses

Welcome to my horse blog, Desert Horses. We live in the desert southwest, near Palm Springs, CA, but board our horses up in our local mountains where it is cooler in the summer. I have 4 horses, all rescues. Here is the ranch up the mountains where the horses stay, October, 2015. That's Scout in the arena.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Quad colicked! Scary day!











As we drove into the ranch yesterday morning, about 10:00, I, of course, glanced over to do a quick "head count". Quad was down. My heart immediately jumped up into my throat. Oh, no! I did see his head move, and ran over to see him. Cathy came out and said she had already called our vet (THANK YOU, Cathy!) He was colicking. He did get up a couple of times, and then go back down. He kept looking at his hind end. There was one pile of poop, then he pooped again, but he couldn't pee at all. Doc was out on another emergency, so about 40 minutes later, he came and checked his temperature and vital signs. Quad was the perfect gentleman (of course!) and Doc announced he was full of sand. (sigh...) This is a constant problem in our desert and mountains. I have a program of feeding the horses in feeders off the ground and I bought 6 rubber mats this summer for them. I also give them beet pulp and psyllium on weekends. Still, however, they ALL insist on pulling their alfalfa OUT of their feeders and eating it on the sandy ground (pulling out hair!!!) So, for Quad, we pulled 5 rubber mats out of other corrals and we have now lined his pen with these. He got tubed and was pooping about an hour later. Phew. That was just too scary! As for the others, hubby is off on Monday and Tuesday and on Tuesday he will drive out to a couple of restaurant suppliers in our area and see how much their rubbers mats are. I paid $50.00 EACH for the ones I bought and we probably need to buy 5 more, so they aren't cheap. But, then, neither are vet visits! Any ideas/suggestions? The problem, like I said, is that they ALL pull their hay out of their feeders and then spread it all over tarnation! After Doc left, Quad was DEMANDING his dinner, but we had to wait until he pooped! He is just so sweet, it is hard to see him not feeling his best. Do you see him looking for dinner? "What kind of a place IS this?" he's thinking!!!

15 comments:

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Oh no. Poor Quad. It always seems the vet is at some other emergency when your horse colics. My horses pull all of their hay out of their feeders too. I remember Sydney saying something about some people in Canada inventing a new type of feeder. I haven't seen it advertised anywhere yet. Unless you keep them in quarantine and completely away from sand, it's very difficult to keep horses from ingesting sand.

Cheryl Ann said...

Someone should invent an "anti-sand colic" feeder! I'll probably have to line 5 corrals with rubber mats and then keep the sand OFF the rubber mats!

Holly said...

can you use hay bags or hay pillows so they can' eat off/near the ground but not get the sand? These are expensive too, but if it would be a good compromise....

http://paddockparadise.wetpaint.com/page/Small-Mesh+Hay+Nets

http://millerharness.com/product.asp?pn=X4-27286&Small+Mesh+Hay+Net=&bhcd2=1252246206

with the small mesh, I think they couldn't get their foot caught either.

Kate said...

Colic is very scary. Hay nets (the ones with the small not the large holes) can keep hay off the ground, but I don't know that I'd feel comfortable leaving a horse unattended with one of those.

Glad Quad is feeling better - does he drink enough water? My mare has had impaction colic twice, largely because she doesn't drink enough. I add plain (non-iodized) table salt to her feed now.

Cactus Jack Splash said...

I am so glad he is better. Quad has touched a soft spot in my heart, I just love this guy and have never even seen him.
Sand is a pain and impossible to keep out of their feed.
Have you tried putting down corn cob bedding? The boarding facility where I keep Scooby uses it to keep dirt out of the hay. They use tubs and mats, but the horses pull out their hay too.

Molly said...

Not poor little Quad. Of all the sweeties! I'm so glad he is feeling better and am so sorry you had to got through that.
I think maybe a feeder that makes them pull the hay through bars would work. Have you seen hay bags in horse trailers? Kind of that idea. Of course that doesn't solve the vacuum they do after the hay is gone.

Dusty Devoe said...

We lived at the beach for awhile, and Dusty was on a product called Sand Clear. I never had any problems with colic. Hope Wuad is on the road to recovery!

~JarieLyn~ said...

I wish I had some ideas for you. I'm glad Quad is okay. I'll see if my husband can come up with any ideas. He's usually pretty good at stuff like this.

Katharine Swan said...

I've heard people swear by Sand Clear myself. Perhaps it's worth a try?

It amazes me how expensive those rubber mats are. Even on Craigslist they run about that -- USED. Ridiculous! I've heard you can use sections of conveyor belts, but I don't know where you'd get those, or if they'd be any cheaper.

One Red Horse said...

Colic is so freakin' scary. Sorry for you and Quad. Betcha didn't need this on your 3 day weekend (or anytime, of course).

Cheryl Ann said...

I'm REALLY good at keeping an eye on the horses after Sunni sand colicked two years ago. They get psyllium and beet pulp every weekend, which my vet said was fine. I can't get up there 7 days in a row to do the psyllium for 7 days...He was down again today and the vet came back and tubed him and gave him mineral oil (again). Our mountains are just FULL of sand and ALL the horses are at risk of sand colic. In fact, he listened to the stallion across from Quad and said he had sand, too.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

How scary! It's impossible to keep horses from ingesting sand. I hope the mats work. That's terrible they cost so much. gah!

Who feeds your horses every day? Can't they feed your horses Sand Clear along with their feed everyday, too?

I'm glad your handsome boy made it through. I bet you grew a grey hair or two over it, though. :(

~Lisa

Mikey said...

And it always happens on a holiday weekend :) I'm so glad he's ok. Yeah, we've gone thru our own hell with sand down here. I actually quit feeding psyllium a few years back and have had a LOT less colic. Mine pull hay out of the feeders too. I think it's just a habit.

arlene said...

I saw some thick stall mats at our feed store for $42 each. They were big, maybe 4' x 12'.
Even after my horses have eaten their hay they go around picking little bits of alfalfa leaf and stuff out of our sandy ground.

Linda said...

My worst nightmare as well--especially at this dry time of year. I've taken to spraying down the ground around their feeders until it's good and wet. I spray their hay a bit, too, to keep the leaf from flaking all over the place. The rubber mats are EXPENSIVE!!