Gut Feelings and Sign Language

Horses are not very verbal. Oh I know that in the movies they are always whinnying and neighing and snorting and nickering but to be honest that is just the sound department filling in so we know they are “horses”. In real life horses are quiet for the most part.  The first day of a horse show with horses arriving and getting settled into the horse show stabling then there is a lot of calling between the horses  a sort of “Hey! I’m in stall 22 where are you?” and  “Fred…where are you? I’m over here!”  But when horses are in pain they are silent. We have to follow the signs they give us.

One of the most painful and potentially  dangerous situations for a horse is colic. This is an intestinal upset that can be caused by a twisted intestine or a blockage.  How do we know the horse is in pain and colicking?  They do not whine or whimper.  They will try to get down and roll and when they stand up instead of shaking off the dirt they will just paw and get down to roll again. They will bite at their sides. Their respiration rate and heart rate go up. They will not eat.  These are the signs and this is the language we must observe and act upon quickly.

With Biasini I am always on the alert for any signs of intestinal discomfort from ulcers. These could be stomach ulcers or hindgut ulcers . Both are common, in the horse population, now that we have altered their lifestyle which was designed to be living outside and moving and eating 24/7.  As some of you may already know I had a horse, Tommie, who had persistent ulcers that over time resisted even the gold standard medication. With ulcers he was unable to take any form of pain medication, so when he developed further health issues I had to have him put down. Since then I will go to great lengths to avoid having my horse develop ulcers. I always observe Biasini and see what his “gut feelings” may be.

If Biasini is particularly grumpy when being  groomed I will see if he reacts more on the right side near his flank. This to me is an indicator that he may have some hindgut discomfort. Then I will start him on RegenerEQ.  This is an Omega Alpha product and I have been using it since I got Biasini three years ago.  I give him  a course of it and the grumpy-when-groomed-on-the-right disappears.   I may do this three or four times a year. IMG_5601

I also give him Omega Alpha’s Gastra-FX, by syringe,  before riding him. Every time I ride!  I give him a brush, pick out his feet , put on his leg wraps and then it is time for the Gastra-FX. He looks forward to this as a treat and if I do not give it right after the leg wraps go on he will start pawing!  I do this as a preventative.  I just do not want another horse with ulcers.

IMG_5526

I have written about both of these products before and wanted to do so again as I am just about to start Biasini on the RegenerEQ for another couple of weeks.  He was grumpy when groomed yesterday on the right side. I must follow the “sign language” when he communicates his “gut feelings”.

30 Comments Add yours

  1. I read that over 90% of ex racehorses have ulcers so I started feeding moo different deeds and added some turmeric to his diet. He is putting on weight every day
    He wasn’t at a point where he needed a vet at all or I would have called one of course! Glad all is much better x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks for the comment and good to know your changes are helping your horse!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Absolutely wonderful! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. youngeventhorseblog says:

    So good to see such stringent ulcer prevention (and completely understandable as to why given what happened with Tommie).

    Too many people just do not seem to realise how prevalent the issue is in performance horses.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Hear! Hear! And thank you for this comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. dray0308 says:

        You are welcome!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. nathaswami says:

    A horse owner has to be a half vet ! In my village, where veterinary assistance was many miles away, a few of the village folk could pin-point the disease of the farm animals by feeling them with their hands and checking the dung.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I think that is great in a place where vets are not available locally. Thank you for this comment it is interesting to know how things are handled in other places.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Tina Schell says:

    “If we could talk to the animals” – Bah Humbug – who says we can’t?!?! You surely can Anne. Very informative post.

    Like

  6. sandyjwhite says:

    Another interesting post, Anne. I can see now how critical it is to be observant of the cues Biasini gives you so you can be proactive in responding to his needs. Not unlike what a good physician does with patients unable or unwilling to communicate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes exactly! Babies, small children, people with autism and others who for various reasons cannot speak or communicate. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Judy says:

    My horse was a chronic colicer. I spent countless hours walking him. It improved when I became more consistent about giving him electrolytes. Biasini is so gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Some horses do seem to have a tendency to colic. It is good to know that the electrolytes helped him. Perhaps they encouraged him to drink more and have less impaction or in human terms “constipation’. Thanks for your comment it is good to hear from horse owners who have had the problems described.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Animals, and even humans that don’t have speech or are silent, can tell us a lot if we will just listen!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes! The key is we must learn how to listen to them. You are so right.. Thank you for this comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. anne leueen says:

        Have a happy weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Emma Cownie says:

    For some reason the horsey books I read as a child often had a bout of colic as a period of high drama in the story – the horses had to kept from lying down and the heroine had to stay up all night to keep the horse moving. Are horses less likely to develop colic is they are outside in fields?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I think that even wild horses could develop colic. But if they live outside and can be moving and grazing 24/7 it is less likely. If the horse is in work then they need extra food as the grazing is not enough calories for them. Also it just seems that some horses are more prone to it especially if they are stabled and fed on a schedule. I can imagine that it would provide drama in a story. I’ve been through it a couple of times in the past and it is a nerve wracking experience. Thank for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Emma Cownie says:

        Thank you for all that information.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. anne leueen says:

        You are most welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. We hope Biasini feels better soon and wish you all a wonderful weekend ☺💖 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you. Biasini is fine but I just know that he is having some discomfort. I had a great lesson on him yesterday and I know he just needs that bit of extra help so it does not develop further. Have a good weekend. It’s raining here!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Anne 💜 Hopefully you will have nipped whatever was bothering Biasini in the bud this way. It is dry here with an icy wind – the winter coats and woolly hats are back out here! 😉💨🍁🍂

        Like

      2. anne leueen says:

        Winter is inevitable in the Northern Hemisphere! Anyway….enjoy the weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

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