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The rest of the colic reply for Tom A
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Saddlebum    Posted 07-09-2002 at 19:46:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
Keep getting a page that says this message cannot be added. Grrrr.

You can listen for your donkey's gut sounds on either side, by his flanks. You should be able to hear sounds at any given time with the nekkid ear, but a cheap stethiscope is also helpful. A bad sign is hearing loud sounds on one side and no sounds on the other.

Listen to him while he's feeling well, and familiarize yourself with what is normal. Ditto for taking his pulse, respiration and temperature. An equine in the early stages of colic may sweat profusely, may have a very fast P/R count (as if he's been working hard) and may have a spiking temp. He may get very restless, and may turn around and stare at his flank or kick at it, or may simply put his head down and walk around aimlessly.

screaminghollow    Posted 07-10-2002 at 20:07:13       [Reply]  [Send Email]
around these parts Potomac Horse Fever is unfortunately common. We had two out of seven come down with it last year. Despite shots. A common side effect is colic. We called the vet who held out little hope because of the colic. She suggested a therapeutic trailer ride. Said to load the mare up and drive like a maniac down the bumpiest road we knew. My buddy came over immediately and he ran like the proverbial bat outahell down these country roads. I swear the truck and trailer went airborn a few times. We stopped top check her out and found crap spewed all over the back of the trailer. It worked. Apparently colic is often caused when the intestine twists and blocks the path of the digesting food. the theory is that the bumps and jumps of the trailer ride combined with the pressure of the food pushing through actually push the gut back into position.

Tom A -- Many thanks to all of you!    Posted 07-10-2002 at 04:08:04       [Reply]  [Send Email]
What a great wealth of info you have all given me, I thank you for it.

We've read quite a few books, get advice from the Rescue place, and of course the short time with the mule have taught us a little but it just doesn't compare with hearing what y'all have to say. I am planning to copy all your advice to my little 'farm journal' where I store useful information.

Thanks again, my friends.

Tom A
"Under God," whether everyone believes it or not

Saddlebum Last Part (really!!!)    Posted 07-09-2002 at 19:53:13       [Reply]  [No Email]
Anything that doesn't look normal bears watching. If he starts laying down (other than to roll for a good back scratch, which is normal) at weird times or refuses feed/hay suddenly, take notice and take action. If he starts stretching and isn't producing anything (seems to be straining) call the vet. Better to call the vet sooner than later.

I always call the vet when I think we have a potential colic, and I've owned horses more than 30 years. Better safe than sorry. The good side is, most colics that are caught early turn out fine. The vet will usually administer a pain reliever like banamine, and if it's gas, the horse will often begin to pass poop. He may also tube the horse/donkey with electrolytes and mineral oil.

One last note, if your little guy does exhibit these symptoms, try to keep him comfortable and quiet. If he wants to lay down, and will do so without thrashing around, let him. Remember how you feel when you have a tummyache? Don't try to keep him up and walking at all costs...that used to be the school of thought, but now it is thought that too much walking can throw the animal into shock or exhaustion, and make the situation worse. A little walking, though, may encourage the blockage to pass (sometimes a trailer ride has the same effect...just like driving the baby around in the car!)

Okay, that is it: "Colic 101"...hope this helps, and I hope and pray you never have to use any of this info. You might want to invest in Ruth B. James' wonderful book, "How to be Your Own Veterinarian...Sometimes." Less than $30 and worth every penny.

Bless you for taking on this old boy and giving him a loving life in his twilight years!

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