Help a constipated horse?
March 13, 2010 9:52 AM   Subscribe

My niece lives in New Mexico where she has a small ranch and stable. One of her horses is very ill with constipation. The horse is at the vet's and they are using standard treatment (oil?) but so far with very little result. Any advice, the situation is getting pretty severe and my niece is worried sick.
posted by Tullyogallaghan to Pets & Animals (5 answers total)
If the horse is under veterinary care it is probably getting appropriate treatment. Is this simple constipation or a case of colic -- or, depending on the soil in your area, possibly sand colic?
If severe enough, colic can require (expensive and not always succesful) surgery, or can be managed with walking, oiling and medication. It really depends on the cause.
posted by mmf at 10:15 AM on March 13, 2010

If the horse is at a competent vet clinic then she's doing all she can for it already.

Google "Impaction colic" if you want to know more.
posted by fshgrl at 10:35 AM on March 13, 2010

Colic is terrifying. The only thing your niece can do is talk with the vet about managing causes and prevention: sand in the pasture, maybe the horse is not chewing well and needs softened food... But sometimes it is just random bad luck. Otherwise, watch the vets work and pet the horse and encourage him to hang in there.

(IF the blockage passes with oil/pumping/etc., the horse will bounce right back immediately. But colic is soooo unpredictable...)
posted by anaelith at 11:00 AM on March 13, 2010

I'm not usually a fan of natural remedies, but I've seen For the Love of the Horse cure laminitis after three vets recommended putting a horse down.

I would get in touch with them or post on their forums.
posted by Pants! at 3:19 PM on March 13, 2010

Thanks for all the advice! I heard from my niece that the "deed is done" and her horse is doing much better.
Thanks again!
posted by Tullyogallaghan at 9:24 AM on March 15, 2010

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