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Old 02-22-2011, 03:08 PM  
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Arabian Horse Health Issue-Update

My 19 year old arabian mare has had some health issues, strange ones. She will have small colic episodes that can be "fixed" with a shot of banamine. My vet was just out, said her teeth could be done but not something that would cause these small episodes. He said she sounds like she might have ulcers, gut is a little overactive on one side. So we are putting her on UGuard for a week and then getting her teeth done. If this does not fix it then he wants to pull blood. She does not act sick but what would the signs be if she had cancer or those little stones that arabians are prone to getting? She is extremely sensitive to any weather change etc
Any input would be nice especially from those that are familar with the breed
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:16 PM  
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Well, colic is, as you probably know, just a term for abdominal pain, most in the digestive system, but can also be in the reproductive system of a mare
The banamine just treats the pain, and will do nothing for the actual cause
What signs is she showing? Other than that, I know of no case of colic that is breed specific, as most colics are dependant on management , feed, water consumption. Endoleiths , if that is what you are thinking about, are associated with feeding lots of alfafa hay and other areas of high mineral content
Rolling, pawing, sweating,increased or decreased gut sounds, off feed, are some signs of colic
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:38 PM  
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You can do blood or do an internal, and the vet could possibly feel obstructions. asap
my mare was acting the same way as yours, and not to have you be upset, it was cancer. sorry.
she had enlarged Kidney on one side and the vet could not feel the other, and her spleen was enlarged also.
She developed diarreaha and I had to give her 90cc pepto bismol two times a day. did not help. She was 25.
I hope your mare is ok, and you just need to monitor her food, perhaps not enough water or her food is too dry.
good luck
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:11 PM  
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Sounds consistent with ulcers to me. My mare who had ulcers would have very small episodes of colic. She wouldn't touch her feed or want to eat anything and half an hour later she would eat her supper and be just fine. The small episodes are a warning sign for ulcers. My mare ended up having a bad colic before she was diagnosed. She went down for 6 hours, was dehydrated, anemic, and feverish. They had to pump her full of fluids and gave her a bunch of meds. She recovered just fine, but I have to watch her very carefully for any signs that she might get ulcers again.

What little stones are you referring to? Enteroliths?
http://evrp.lsu.edu/healthtips/Enteroliths-Colic.htm

What are you feeding her? If she has ulcers you should reduce grain, and feed alfalfa hay. If she has enteroliths, you should not feed alfalfa.

As for cancer, maybe this will help answer your question: http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=16197

I would not worry too much. Most likely it is ulcers.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:04 PM  
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She is not fed alfalfa hay but she is fed alfalfa pellets with 14% pellet twice a day plus coastal 3x a day. She is of good weight, well my vet would probably tell me she could lose a few pounds. I thought at one time these episodes were female related so had her ultrasounded and ovaries etc looked good. She is not dehydrated, drinks very well. He said one side sounded overactive so I would agree sounds like ulcers but I am a worry wart and I could tell he was thinking something else but didn't want to worry me yet
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:58 PM  
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Well this is very interesting.

My Arab will be 25 April 1st. I rescued him as a starving horse poster child with an injured vertebra when he was 7 and frankly I wasn't sure he'd make it a few years much less 18 years.

I said that to say I have always blamed his issues on the fact that he was starved so bad but, maybe I shouldn't.

The vet was just out to draw blood on him and my 23 yo TWH who is insulin resistant.

The vet palpated my Arab and found him to be "slighltly sensitive" over his right kidney. When the blood results came back, his liver and kidney enzymes were in perfect order.

The vet then said he wasn't sure why Streeter would be sensitive but it could be his life long issues with the injured vertebra. That didn't make sense because the little fella has been seeing a chiro/acupuncturist, as-needed, since I've owned him.

I have worried about cancer, especially since I lost an Arab/Saddlebred to cancer when the horse was 29.

Streeter, my current Arab, developed ulcer issues about six years ago and without fail I have to put him on Ranitidine, long about December. Liquid Omeprazole works fantastic but I have to pay $150 for a 30 day supply and I just can't afford that with all the expense I put into my other horse that is IR.

I recently added timothy/alfalfa cubes to his diet. I soak them into mush that is just ugly but he loves the stuff. I measure one dry pound twice daily and soak it in hot water for half hour before I give it to him.

It "seems" to have enabled me to take him off the Ranitidine of which he was getting (20) 150 mg people tabs daily with the vets approval.

Life is a contradiction in my pasture because this fella needs the green grass to come on but two of my other horses are insulin resistant and can't have much grass. The fourth horse is the only one that's normal, unless I drag his mental state into the pot

I am curious what blood line the OP's Arab is? Streeter was sired by Backstreet and has several crosses to both Raffles and Raseyn.

Your plight sounds so similar that I have to wonder about the gene pool.

Streeter has always been very low on muscle yet he is a hardy fella at 13.3H. He has healthy, oversized, size 1 hooves that I wish were on my Walking Horses.

His eyes are bright and he remains ever-the-trickster and 2nd in command in my herd of four. His little elder self still does not have a problem bossing two of the big Walking Horses around.

The vet is telling me not to worry as long as he is eating, drinking and recycling in the same manner he always has.

Easy for him to say, so I am interested in whatever thoughts, comments are posted on this thread.

EDITED TO ADD: None of my horses have been fed grain since the 23 yo became insulin resistant nearly four years ago. Everyone gets pelleted rice bran, Omega-3 Horseshine, EquiPride vit/min supplement with a pre-probiotic in it.

The Arab also has four molars missing so gets coastal bermuda in his stall and picks the "flufflies" from the mixed grass hay that I throw out in the morning; although he prefers to search grass of which there isn't much this time of year.

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Old 02-24-2011, 02:06 PM  
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enteroliths are the "stones" that form in horses intestinal tracts. I saw one the size of a Toddlers head removed from an ASB during colic surgery. Weighed over 7#'s.

For some reason arabians are more prone to them.
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:59 PM  
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She is a polish arabian, 5 crosses to Bask. She is dainty, petite, full of p&v, bosses my mare around. She doesn't get used any as my daughter outgrew her but she will be with us forever as she was her first horse. We have owned her the past 9 years. She was a halter horse and a broodmare the first 10 years of her life, never starved or abused in anyway. We are her second owner.
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:06 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recklesshoundog View Post
enteroliths are the "stones" that form in horses intestinal tracts. I saw one the size of a Toddlers head removed from an ASB during colic surgery. Weighed over 7#'s.

For some reason arabians are more prone to them.
I looked this up and now I wonder about the rice bran I feed this fella. I have never fed him alfalfa until I got these timothy/alfalfa cubes last month

It is specifically for horses and calcium fortified to keep the cal/phos ratio appropriate.

I feed the rice bran for the fat as he is a hard keeper. It takes as much or more to keep him in good weight (850#) as it does my Walking Horses.

Streeter is also Polish bred and was always a lesson horse for young children when he's not being a pasture ornament. His vertebra injury kept him from being a trail horse for me. We don't do lessons anymore; these days he gives little children happy horse memories whenever someone with grandchildren come to visit
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:50 PM  
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my mare was polish bred, also and was never sick a day in her life. always the boss mare and all my horses knew it.
and when she got sick she let me know it.
here is a photo of her in her younger days, she turned almost all white as she got older.

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Old 02-24-2011, 06:17 PM  
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I sure wish mine wouldn't get sick. Over the past two years during the spring/summer months she would do this whole colic thing for 2-3 months in a row. Normally with her heat cycles, so I thought maybe something was going on with her ovaries etc that was causing pain. So during one of her episodes I took her into the clinic and had her ultrasounded, everything looked normal. I was told by this vet at the time that heat cycles could not cause colic symptoms. Of course didn't believe them, their cycles must cause discomfort like ours do or maybe I was grasping at straws. This is her first episode this year. Hoping that the teeth float and putting her on UGuard fixes whatever issue is going on but I am willing to do what it takes to try and find the underlying cause.
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:36 PM  
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Well my vet was just out again, my little arab had another colic episode. Second one now in a week. So he came out, no gut sounds, painful so after pain meds, banamine, 2 liters of fluids. He then tubed her no gas or reflux. Her stomach seems more round than normal but no gas so he took blood and is going to check out everything on that end. Once we get those results back then we are looking into changing her feed program. Currently she gets
1 lb 14% pellet 2x a day
2 cups soaked beet pulp ( just once a day)
Plus coastal hay 3x a day and a flake of alfalfa once a day

He said I need to cut out the beet pulp as it can cause issues due to the way it expands, it can cause stomach irritation. But I have to slowly wean her off of the beet pulp as he said you can't quit cold turkey on it.

So hopefully will have her blood results back by tomorrow and can see what is going on internally.
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:52 PM  
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I have a polish bred mare who has several bouts of colic before I got her. It was found she, too, had ulcers. She was treated for them and she hasn't had any more problems since I have had her.

I have also heard Arabians are more prone to those -stones- and particularly if they are fed alfalfa. I would check with your vet and ask him about feeding your horse even the alfalfa pellets.
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:55 PM  
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Will ask him as soon as he calls with the blood results. I felt so bad for him, he had just walked in the door when I called bothering him to get back out to help me.
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:50 AM  
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Well blood results showed all organ function is excellent but she is severly anemic. He thinks she may have a bleeding ulcer. So she is getting more alfalfa hay,less coastal. She is on UGuard but I am considering having her scoped just for confirmation. If we are treating an ulcer great but what happens if we aren't and there is something else going on. I could easily be doing all of this and treating the wrong thing. Have another colic episode and that bill would easily pay for the scope. So should I have it done to confirm his suspicions and make sure we are treating the right thing. Plus if it is a bleeding ulcer I need to be more aggressive with treatment right?
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:49 AM  
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Ugard is VERY expensive, I understand. A friend of mine in CA has a horse that colic'd frequently so she went to putting ALOE VERA juice in his water and feed and she never had to use Ugard again. The horse was an arabian, too.
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Old 03-03-2011, 03:57 PM  
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The UGuard is actually pretty inexpensive, it runs about $20-25 a month which is a whole lot less than a colic bill
Now UlcerGuard is very expensive, it is $46 for a tube which is 4 doses and you are supposed to give a dose a day
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