In Times of Trouble My Horse Tribe is There!

“Biasini is….not too well.” Those are words no horse owner wants to hear.  “Not well” usually means that they have some level of colic. Colic is an intestinal upset that can, in some cases, require surgery and can be fatal. So to get that call from the barn last Monday afternoon was not good. My coach’s assistant Lynsey Rowan continued. “He didn’t eat his afternoon meal and he’s pawing and flipping his lip. He’s not in real distress but he’s not right.”

“Call Rob.” Was my reply.  Rob Remlinger is my vet.  I got in the car and drove to the barn. When I arrived Lynsey was walking Biasini. I took over. When Rob arrived he took Biasini’s vitals. All were within normal parameters. That was a good sign. He gave him a small dose of a pain reliever and I continued to walk him. Then Rob did a rectal exam and did not find anything too concerning.

For the next few hours I would walk Biasini for 10 minutes and then put him in his stall for 20 minutes. He seemed to be quite bright, was no longer exhibiting signs of discomfort even after the pain medication had worn off.  Rob advised that he could be given a small amount of hay to eat scattered on the floor of his stall.

I left the barn feeling confident that Biasini had a reaction to the long trip from Florida (30 hours) and the extreme change in weather from heat and humidity to temperatures around freezing and so much ice from a freezing rain storm that the horses were not able to be turned out.

The next morning the phone rang. “Biasini didn’t eat his breakfast and he’s pawing again.”  I got into my car and drove to the barn. Minutes after I arrived Rob was there as well. He checked vitals and again they were near normal. He did another rectal exam and did not find any displacement or blockage. But now Biasini was flipping his upper lip (a sign that the horse is in pain or discomfort) quite often and he had started to look ‘zoned out’.  We made the decision to send him to the large animal hospital at the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph an hour and a half away.

OVC-1405375

On arriving at the College he was taken into a room for colic evaluation.  The vet, Dr. Dustin Dennis,  introduced himself and he already had the information on Biasini as Rob had phoned in with the history.  A technician rolled in a portable ultrasound machine. Biasini was put into a restricted space so he could not move around too much and could not kick Dr. Dennis who did a rectal exam and ultrasound of his belly, and his lungs.   He told me that sometimes after a long transport horses can develop pneumonia and it presents as a colic. Biasini’s lungs were clear. The ultrasound also showed no blockage or impaction in his intestines.

But horses are very large animals and an ultrasound cannot see all of the intestinal area.

While this was being done the vet assistants  braided two parts of Biasini’s mane and tied an IV line onto his mane. Then they inserted an IV into his neck. Later when they put him into a stall, in the hospital ward, they would attach large bags of fluids to that line and hang the bags from the ceiling.  The line was expandable so Biasini could move around easily in the stall. Through the  IV line they could also administer any medications they felt he needed.

I went home and the text messages began to pour in. Friends,who had been at the barn when we left, asked how Biasini was doing. While I had been at the barn, they all knew what was happening. One friend had offered to drive me to the OVC if I was too upset to drive, another had silently come up and given me a hug.  They were all pulling for me and for my horse and asking if there was anything they could do to help. They are my Horse Tribe.  I called on a friend who is a Reiki Master who works with horses and asked her to help and send healing to Biasini. She responded immediately that she would. Another member of my Horse Tribe.

The next morning I got a call to say he was doing well overnight and had passed a large quantity of manure . The diagnosis was that he had passed an impaction or blockage. They were going to do a gastric scope to see if he had ulcers. Ulcers in a horse can cause them to display symptoms of colic so I had asked them to check this out.  When they had finished they called to tell me that he did have a couple of small pre-ulcers and a small ulcer. These were all just minor but would be helped by an acid blocking  medication to be taken for 28 days. I told them I would be down to visit him in the afternoon.My vet, Rob,  called and said he also had the update. This vet has been in my Horse Tribe for 15 years.

OVC-1307507

When I got to Biasini’s ward and looked into his stall he gave me a look that let me know he was very annoyed at being left there.  I went into his stall and gave him a rub down with a towel. He enjoyed that. Then as I left he started to nibble the wood shavings on the floor of the stall.OVC-1310557

So I had to put on a muzzle to stop that. He gave me a look that said: “did you really have to put this thing on me?”

OVC-1329177
Biasini’s ward. His stall is on the left by the red bucket. Each stall has a chart for the ‘patient’ and some stalls have advisory notes if the horse is a stallion or needs special attention.

On my way out of the ward I felt sad that Biasini was there. But there were other horses in much more difficult situations. One  pony and two horses, who had bandaging on their middles, were recovering from colic surgery. Two others had bandaging on their legs from surgeries. There were also three mares and foals. I do not know why they were there but the little ones looked through the bars of the stalls with their big eyes and I hoped they would be going home soon.

Thursday they gave me an update that Biasini was doing well and they had begun to reintroduce food to him; a mash and small quantity of hay. After a colic this is a process that they take very slowly.

Today, Friday, Biasini was given the all clear to come home. I found him in his hospital stall looking bright and enjoying his hay.OVC-1354436

He is home now and for the weekend he will be on a diet of small quantities of hay and several feeds of soaked hay cubes. Monday we will start to gradually get him back onto his regular diet. That process will take 5-7 days.

I will continue to worry a bit until I have seen time pass and know that he is back to being 100%. But it would have been a very different experience without the support of my Horse Tribe. These are my barn friends, my coaches, my vet, the barn manager, the Reiki Master, they are all part of the Horse Tribe and I am so grateful for them all!

 

85 Comments Add yours

    1. anne leueen says:

      He is ok thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. anne leueen says:

      He is ok thank you for letting me know that.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. ajhorsegal says:

    My horse colic ones

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I’m sorry to hear that. It is a tough one.

      Like

      1. ajhorsegal says:

        My horse collided once too. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      2. anne leueen says:

        hope your horse recovered well!

        Like

  2. ajhorsegal says:

    If my horse firework got sick I would freak out I freak out with my animals gets a scratch so I would definitely freak if he did what your horse did

    Liked by 3 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      It is frightening to have my horse get sick. I have had horses get sick before and I know that colic can be very serious. But I do not want my horse to be anxious or nervous and getting even worse because he knows I am upset. It is better for me to be as calm as I can be and that will help my horse to be calmer. I like to do ear pulls ( taking hold of his ear and then gently pulling it from the base to the tip of the ear). He likes this and it calms him and me as well. Thank you for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. athling2001 says:

    I am so glad to hear he is okay!!!!! Whew. About scared me to death when I saw the post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      I’m sorry it gave you a fright! It is so difficult to deal with horses and colic. One other horse that was there the same time as Biasini had been admitted for a bad infection after dental surgery. The infection cleared but then he colicked and they had to do surgery on him. Sadly he died during the operation. It is every horse owners nightmare. I am still giving thanks that Biasini was spared.

      Like

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for the re-blog!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. dray0308 says:

        You are welcome!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Elizabeth says:

    SO glad nothing serious was wrong with Biasini!!! ❤ Glad to hear he is back to normal and doing well!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you! He did have an impaction but he cleared it himself so he did not have to have surgery, That was such a relief!

      Like

  5. Phew! I’m so glad it wasn’t the awful colic!
    It’s good to hear that Biasini is doing better, but may I ask how you’re holding up?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      I’m ok actually. I just need to stop wondering if he will remain well. That may take a bit of time. It was very lucky that he passed the impaction and did not need surgery. The surgery is so difficult and the recovery uncertain. Thanks for commenting and for your concern over me! I appreciate it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hopefully better days are ahead. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. anne leueen says:

        Thank you . He seems to be back to his normal cheeky self so I hope that will continue!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Gymah says:

    I’m so glad everything turned out alright. Sending healing thoughts to Biasini and for his recovery to be quick.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you! I really appreciate those healing thoughts and Biasini does too!

      Like

  7. geekkat says:

    So glad to hear he made it through with no major issues!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Me too! The colic surgery is so problematic I am giving thanks that he passed the impaction without that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. geekkat says:

        Surgery is never a good option unless necessary…so glad it did not come to that.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. anne leueen says:

        Colic surgery is very difficult and the outcome can be very poor even when the horse survives the surgery. So , yes, i am very grateful we did not have that!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Love you Biasini hope to see your happy face soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Subbashini! I will give this message to Biasini.

      Like

  9. Miss A says:

    Oh little Biasini…so scary. Happy you had your tribe in the time of need. Sending happy thoughts and warm hugs to you and horsey !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      It was scary both for BIasini and for me. I am grateful it turned out well. Thanks so much for the happy thoughts and the hugs! Much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh you handsome boy, feel better soon x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you. I think he is feeling much better and is quite energetic!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. doar nicole says:

    It felt beyond worrisome at first, to read the bad news, so to say, but then so happy to see that you were able to handle it all so well there, step by step, yes. Amazing how comforting it can be to have such extraordinary support, very glad to read and reread about it, thank you for sharing. Wishing Biasini a complete recovery, and happy days there, looking forward to seeing that you have left all these uneasy moments behind.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Nicole! I really appreciate your supportive and kind comment. Today (Saturday) Biasini is feeling well and quite energetic.

      Like

  12. Alli Farkas says:

    Been there…(sigh)…so good to know that everything “came out” all right!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      I said to another blogger that i think there is a Blogger Horse Tribe. Colic is the worst nightmare as it has so many possible outcomes and so many of those are dreadful. Thank you for the sympathy and understanding Alli.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. shiarrael says:

    Oh my goodness, my heart was beating in my throat for a minute there … soon as I read colic, the horse person’s nightmare 😰

    I’m so glad Biasini is doing well enough to go home, and that you had your tribe to stand with you during that fright!
    Hugs for you and Biasini and best wishes for a speedy recovery! 💗

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      It really is the worst nightmare isn’t it! I am so grateful the impaction passed once he was at the OVC and on IV fluids and did not have to have surgery. Thanks for your support. I seem to have a Blogger Horse Tribe as well!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. shiarrael says:

        Horse Tribe bonds cross oceans 😊
        I didn’t think it was possible to get so attached to a horse and his human at such a distance either but … well, I suppose a shared love for our equine buddies doesn’t care about such unimportant details.

        You know one of the first thoughts I had when reading this post (after the “oh no, oh no, let him be ok, please let him be ok…”) was how well you handled it, even though inside you must have been a mess. The fact you didn’t hesitate to get him to the hospital and had no qualms about leaning on your local Tribe because Biasini’s health was in the balance.
        You’re my role model! And he’s a lucky boy, to have you as his human!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. anne leueen says:

        I think that some things come with age and learning to make definite decisions expeditiously is one of them. And accepting the support of friends is a blessing that i am so grateful for. I must also confess that my upbringing was British and remaining calm and carrying on was what I was trained and reared to do! 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m glad to hear your boy is on the mend. It’s very scary when they’re unwell, isn’t it? Mine has struggled with ulcers too, but I think they’re a much better alternative to colic. And I think every horse owner knows exactly what you mean by having a tribe 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for this comment. It is just so difficult to remain calm and optimistic when faced with colic. I am glad the decision was made to send him to the OVC . I think otherwise the impaction might have taken a different turn. Ulcers are a tricky one. I had a horse previously with ulcers and it was hard to manage. I have a lot of the ulcer protocols in place already for Biasini and I will monitor him closely. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes it’s very stressful being in emergency situations with them, and I agree it’s better to find out sooner rather than later what’s going on. My gelding has been on several courses of ulcer treatment but scoping isn’t readily available here so following up on it is hard. He had other issues though, which we’ve now got under control, so I’m hoping that’s had a positive effect on the ulcers too. All the best with Biasini – he sounds like he’s in good hands there 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. anne leueen says:

        Thank you and I send positive thoughts for your horse as well!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. A Horse Tribe is worth its weight in gold. So glad he is back home and doing well

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you! And yes the Horse Tribe can be life savers!

      Like

  16. Emma Cownie says:

    I had to scroll to the end of this to make sure that Biasini was OK and on the mend. How did he make the journey back from Florida? Did he fly? What a lot of worry for you. I do hope he’s 100% again soon.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      He came back from FL in a horse transport by road. It’s a 30 hour trip and he had a stall with water and hay. He made the trip fine but i think the adjustment to severely cold weather and then due to the ice storm no turnout is what caused him to get bunged up and resulted in an impaction. It was very lucky that once he got to the hospital that with IV fluids it passed overnight and did not require surgery. Don’t worry if the outcome had been bad I would have made that clear in the first few senttences!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Emma Cownie says:

        I am glad you don’t do suspense. I would have been too much for me. Yes, the severe change in temperature must have been a terrible shock to his system.Poor chap.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. That must have been so scary. I was scared just reading about it in your post! Xx I am so glad Biasini is doing much better and nearly back to his usual self. 🙂give him a big hug from me and Dizzy. Xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      I will give him a hug from you and Dizzy for sure. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. N says:

    I am so glad that Biasini is doing well now and I hope he gets to 100% really really soon!
    Sending you and him some love. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks so much! I found inspiration in your poem yesterday. The opening lines about the sun always being there even if we can’t see it during the dark night.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. N says:

        I am so glad Ann, that makes me really happy!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. anne leueen says:

        If it’s ok with you i would like to use those first two lines in the 3 Day 3 quotes challenge that i’ve been tagged for. I’m going to start it next week. I will name you as the author of course!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. N says:

        Of couse, I would be honored! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  19. So scary! I’m glad to hear he’s doing better, but that is not an experience any horse person wants to go through. Biasni is lucky to have you and your Horse Tribe for support and to give him the best quality of care.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you. I appreciate your supportive comment as a fellow horse person.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Joan says:

    I have experienced the heartbreak of seeing my beloved horse in a clinic facility suffering a colic so I know what you were going through and I am so relieved that there was a happy ending for you and Biasini! Wishing Biasini a speedy recovery and good health! 🥕🐴💖💖💖

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Joan. I think a colic is such a dreadful ordeal for both horse and owner and there is always the threat of having to put them through surgery if it does not resolve. I hope your horse came though the colic. Thank you for your good wishes they are much appreciated.

      Like

  21. Praise God for your horse tried! We all need one of those!

    Liked by 2 people

  22. sandyjwhite says:

    I’m so glad Biasini is on the mend, Anne. I hope he continues to make
    steady progress. You are fortunate to have such a wonderful tribe of
    supporters. Big pat on the nose for Biasini when next you see him!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Sandy. I will give him that pat.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Good girl for not “waiting to see” but rather, taking swift direct action to get him in to the Clinic. You warded off who knows what kind of disaster!!! :)) Phew :)) Dawn

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes! I’m not a wait and see person in these situations and my vet is supportive of that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good wisdom from years of experience! :))

        Liked by 1 person

      2. anne leueen says:

        You know it too I’m sure! Thanks for the support.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Robyn says:

    Oh my goodness! How scary! So gald to hear he is home and doing better. Praying for a continued and speedy recovery!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks so much Robyn!

      Like

  25. Katrin says:

    Oh how scary! I’m glad you have such a great team and tribe. And so glad biasini is on the mend. Fingers crossed recovery continues to go well.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Cyranny says:

    I was worried, as I was going through this post, that it might end on a very bad note… I am so glad Biasini is doing better after all the worrying! That a lovely Horse Tribe you have, and I am happy these people are there to support you…

    Sending you my warmest thoughts, Anne. And my best “get well soon” wishes to Biasini, of course!!

    *Hugs*

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Cyranny says:

        Give Biasini a pat for me when you go see him 🙂 xx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. anne leueen says:

        I will. Thank you!

        Like

  27. Frank Prem says:

    Traumatic for all concerned. Best wishes for best outcomes Anne.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Frank!

      Liked by 1 person

  28. I am so attached to Biasini by now, I am so so thankful he is okay and what a great tribe you have.You love that horse so much! Will send good thoughts and prayers your way Anne.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you so much . I really appreciate your positive thoughts and prayers.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. cagedunn says:

    I hope all goes well; will be offering up all I can in his support

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      thank you. I am very grateful.

      Liked by 1 person

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