Well of course I jinxed things… having waxed lyrical that Cerefin was progressing well, no colic bla bla… from looking good to BAM… Colic L she was in pain groaning, rolling about and not looking at all well, which brought back all those awful memories that we thought we’d passed. So with the local vet away we enlisted the help of Jan our fabulous neighbour and Jess our equally wonderful trainer to help us get her mobile, loaded into a float and off to the Gatton UNI for an emergency admission.
It felt odd to be arriving in distress with a sick horse again. The staff were amazing, caring and committed to Cerefin’s wellbeing and after drenching 11 litres of foul, fermented, soup out of her bloated and distended tummy, scans and observations her small intestine was shown to be enlarged causing a blockage and a LOT of pain for our little darling, well big darling.. she’s 16.3hh now. Next drenching, another 8 litres drained and subsequent 48 hours of repeated drenching kept bringing back fluid that just shouldn’t be there but, she was responding to drugs and the swelling slowly reduced allowing her system to begin processing again. The alternative, if the colon swelling didn’t reduce, was surgery and that brings a host of other worries, possible infections and rejections that we just didn’t want to consider.
Each visit was wracked with worry; she was so weak, so listless, eyes all glassy, head lolling. Mind you, she still managed to dislodge and break the inserted catheter several times despite the heavy swaddling and tape applied. Cerefin has developed a track record for trashing these things as soon as they are inserted so the staff were exceptionally vigilant in protecting the site – but their efforts were in vein.. ha ha. For me it was a sign she was still being annoyed by something, reacting to something and if she can trash the catheter, she can trash the colic too. We just spent time waiting, watching the drench results, being with her, crying quietly as there was nothing more we could do.
By Thursday morning the need to consider surgery passed, she was on the mend and if the plan to reintroduce feed through the next 24 hours was successful, she might be allowed to come home on Friday. Friday finally arrived and she was discharged, got home and the plan was to keep her in the crush yard for a week whilst she recovered strength and condition.
Due to the surgery as a very young foal where her intestinal tract was realigned to accommodate a new opening into the stomach (long long story), Cerefin may be susceptible to bouts of colic as sections of the tract are in different positions now and may rub, pinch etc.. the UNI think this particular colic event was bacterial in nature as there were several other horses admitted with the same presentation, but it’s something we’ll have to keep a sharp eye on in future. On their recommendation we feed her 4 times a day now to reduce the consumed load on her system, fingers crossed this keeps her out of the colic zone.
Cerefin of course, once home, was very keen to get back with the girls and all our efforts to keep her calm in this small yard did nothing, running around the yard most days at a compressed gallop, calling and pacing whenever they were not within sight. So after just 4 days we put her back in the main paddock and her behaviour calmed immediately and all was well. Cheeky thing is at that teenager stage, I want it…. I want it now hysterics .. as soon as she was in the paddock there were initial hello’s sort out the pecking order and it was off to the favourite spot for snoozes with the girls – the only difference is the dividing fence and 20 metres… If it calms the waters let em do it.. sigh.
Amazing how adaptable the horses are to changes in the routine, as we now have Duchess and Aurora in the main paddock as well, we had to organise feeds so that the slow eating Cerefin gets all hers, the piglet with foal can’t race off to anyone else’s and Pearl the bossy boots is fed last so that she’s still eating by the time the others finish and NO ONE dares to steal her food so they are all safe from her.
Pearl however has been seen to share her hay with Cerefin, not sure if this is because Cerefin just ignores Pearl’s protests and eats it anyway or that Pearl is becoming less bossy and sharing better…. who knows, it is so nice to see, b u t .. can’t see her sharing with Duchess any time soon, maybe getting mellow but not THAT mellow yet !!!.
Smiles all round now when the girls gallop about the place with little Aurora keeping pace at the rear, 3 blacks and the half grey in the dying light is marvellous to watch. Salazar gets all agitated as a portion of these paddocks he can’t see through the house yard and calls, paces, canters about until they emerge one end or the other. We also placed all the minis in Greg’s paddock so that we didn’t have to contend with them bossing not only Cerefin but little Aurora as well, this has worked a treat.
Greg’s condition has calmed over the years (was very aggressive) so he’s been living in his own paddock, separated from the girls. Monorchidism is the state of having only one testicle within the scrotum, which was removed years ago but his 2nd testicle migrated to his chest wall (at birth they think) and is the size of an orange apparently and produces testosterone so he thinks he’s still a stallion, but he’s not. Sadly the testosterone production isn’t regulated properly so it wasn’t switching off, hence the aggression…. but time has reduced the aggression so he’s safe now to leave with the girls permanently. Of course he’s served them all now and thought what a great improvement until the girls were over all the excitement and relegated him back to the other end of the paddock…. he is respectful of them, maybe a little scared ha ha but they aren’t bashing him up and there’s enough room for all of them to have their own space, so good it has worked out so well.
Dare I say we are all plodding along nicely now… the BIG herd and the little herd are all happy. Of course breeding season is now upon us and preparations for Pearl and Duchess progress. Scans this week to see where we are at is the next date in the diary. Wasn’t planning on a blog quite so soon but there you go, enjoy J