The Phone Call Horse People Dread

Colic. It’s a word that makes a horse person’s stomach turn. I’ve lost two horses over the years to severe colic cases; the last one was two years ago. I was packing up at the office to head to the barn last night when I got a call that went like this.

Barn Owner: “Hey Rebecca. Listen, she’s not bad but Nibbles has been getting up a down since she ate her grain. She’s also biting at her sides…”


Me: “Okay, can you halter her and get her standing? I’m leaving now.”

Unfortunately, I work downtown and it takes me an hour to get to the barn during rush hour. On my way out, I called the vet and he actually beat me there. The wonderful barn owner handwalked Nibbles until I got there. I decided to have the vet on call (Dr. Griffin) out because I don’t know how to give an IV injection and he strongly cautioned me against giving it IM.

photo 1-7

By the time I got there, Nibbles was 95% herself. In fact, she never broke a sweat. The vet did give her 10cc Banamine IV but that’s it. Five minutes later, she was pooping and nibbling for hay scraps off the ground. Freaking. Horse. I stayed with her for the next hour and she was totally fine, having great gurgling gut sounds.

Freaking. Horse.

Freaking. Horse.

So Nibbles got a spa night in the end. I picked her tail and curried everywhere and scratched her itchy spots. We kept her in for a few hours then turned her back out Dr. Griffin recommended. This morning, the Barn Owner texted me to say she looks 100% back to normal but she’ll keep her eyes peeled. As for what caused it, the vet said to watch her closely for any behavioral changes but it may have just been a freak incident where something upset her enough to make her act colicky.

I’m giving her another day off to be sure then I’ll hop back on. Sigh. I guess it’s a good problem to have when you have the vet out on an emergency call that turned out to not be much of an emergency?


9 thoughts on “The Phone Call Horse People Dread

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