The Art of Natural Dressage

Colic Risk Alert!!!
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Author:  Donald Redux [ Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Colic Risk Alert!!!

Remember folks, that this is over much of the world, north and south temperate zones mostly, the season for new grass growth in the northern half of the planet, and for fall sugar and starch storage in grasses in the south portion.

This means that many of our horses, more especially the hispanic, arabian, ponies, minis, and donkeys are at high risk of colic, laminitis, and deadly founder.

Those four categories of Equine I listed are prone to a metabolic anomaly called Insulin Resistance. It is similar to Type II diabetes in humans. Horses that evolved, I think, in sparcer forage seen to be the most likely victims of a metabolism set for survival in such harsh surroundings.

We need to keep these breeds and types more slender, and exercised (this is a biggie as idle equines of this type up their risk considerably).

We need also to keep sugary treats such as carrots and sweetened feeds away from them. As spring and fall approach we need to limit their time on grass, or the amount they can consume in a given amount of time more limited ... even if it means putting a grazing muzzle on them.

Many of you might remember Atlea's history and the struggles we had to get her through her first winter here without worsening her laminitis caused by her IR health status. She's well now but always on special diet and restrictions about access to grass, poor thing.

A major component, as it is for all equines, is to avoid any incidents of heavy feeding in a short period of time, and space smaller feedings throughout the day and night. All, not just IR horses, benefit by this schedule as many here know already.

We change their lives so, but not so much their metabolism for the better, when we breed them to type, and confine and manipulate their environment away from the norm for them, all day and night grazing and movement.

Thanks for reading and good health to all your equine friends.

And now it's time to go to the barn and reload Bonnie and Altea's 24/7 slow feeder for another day and night's load of hay.


Author:  Luara [ Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Colic Risk Alert!!!

Hi, Donald!

Do you know how does these colics (spring and fall) happen? I'm not finding it out, and I've never heard of it in my country's literature. Do you think that tropical climate (minimum 10degrees C) would totally avoid it?

Do you, or anyone else here, knows of other risks of colics associated with forage?

I'm not sure if this thread would be the right one for my next question, but what's the big difference between offering hay and offering grass? As far as I can see, hay is simply dried grass, isn't it? (I've only read about it in english, too, while around here it's thought to be all the same).

I have moved to a new barn, that seemed to be all better than the one we were before (IT HAS PADDOCKS and 3x grains per day instead of 2x, more pleasurable surroundings), and two weeks later (last thursday) my dear mare needed surgery for colic, because the forage wasn't passing through the thiner(?) intestines (and also the thicker one had moved to the wrong place, but the vets thinks this was after that). I had always thought that GRAINS were the villains, but there were only forage stopping there! (her grains include oats that can be noticed even on her feces). Now I wonder what could have happened. The vet wants to introduce her grains again.
She is a 7 year old idle lusitano (not knowing how to work her in an AND like way, since I'm new around here but I don't like the other methods since a long time, I mostly share territory and cuddle/crowd her), but she doesn't seem fat to my eyes. I watched the surgery and noticed she has lipidic polips one her intestines, though, but well, she has one on her skin too, since I took her from the pasture (at age 4 and a half) where she lived since birth, and those horses (brood mares and fillies) would have grains only once every two days.

Well, she's recovering well, but I still wonder what might have happened, and how to avoid that it happens again in the future.
And also I'm really curious about this seasonal grass dangers of colder climates, even if it doesn't happen around here!

Author:  Morgan [ Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Colic Risk Alert!!!

Hi Luara,
Donald I hope will give you the whole story regarding feed and grazing....

I wanted to say that it's not only food and eating that can cause colic. There are many more reasons why a horse can colic and stress (moving to a new barn, new herd) and water intake are two that come to mind immediately. In a hot climate I would definitely check to see if my horse is drinking enough especially if there are horses in the herd that guard resources and don't allow certain horses to drink, or if the algae/bacteria level in the water is high (due to heat and sun) and the horse is only drinking the bare minimum due to the quality of the water?

It's very worrying when a horse gets colic and I hope you can find out what caused it so you can avoid it in the future. :f:

Author:  Luara [ Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Colic Risk Alert!!!

Hi Annette, thank you for your message!

The herd problem would be the lack of it (most people around here think that horses will hurt each other if set loose together), but she didn't have a proper herd before anyway. And she didn't care to check the colt on the other side of the fence when she arrived to the new place. The first day I noticed she was going often to the water in her stall, so I thought it was ok, but well... I didn't keep track of how much she was actually drinking, or the following days! Gotta check it with the place's owner! Maybe, since she changed from hay to fresh forage, she also thought she needed to drink less than she actually should...?
Oh, and she was in heat when the colic happened. Could it be relevant too? (her heat isn't much loud).

Author:  Morgan [ Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Colic Risk Alert!!!

Not sure if the mare being in heat has anything to do with it but here's a quick overview I found by googling:
I forgot about internal parasites too......a heavy worm burden can cause colic as well.
From my experience though it's usually the stressed horses that colic......if there is no food change etc, so I would look closely at the lifestyle and management and see if you can make changes there?

Author:  Luara [ Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Colic Risk Alert!!!

I wonder how long does it take between the factor (food, stress) and the colic... Since she underwent surgery, known fact for her is: there was forage blocking her small intestine (and large intestine out of place, what was thought to be consequence of the blockage). No oats noticed in the blocking contents.
She had moved barn two weeks before, and half or one and a half a week before (I don't recall precisely), arived a new mare at the place. I was told my mare got as agitated in her box as a stallion would.

I'm thinking it was the water intake that wasn't enough. The groom said she wasn't drinking much water. He thinks she's just like that, but...

Well, she's still recovering from surgery (it was last week). Willing to eat very little yet, and the surgeon asked at leas two months before allowing her to move freely in the paddock again, to avoid any lethal accident!

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