Having Wednesday off of work I had a lazy morning. I then got up around 3pm and went to see Trinity. When I got there I noticed that she was rolling in her stall. I thought nothing of it wand went to give her a kiss. She had been loosing weight so I brought her out some new grain and fat supplements to help her put on some winter weight. As a treat I dumped about a half scoop of grain in her feed bucket. When I did I noticed there was still morning grain in there...WEIRD! Trinity went in for some grain, so I decided to let her be and work with Frosty Pants. I tacked Frosty up and went for a ride around the property to introduce her to new things. When I rode back past Trinity's stall she was still staring at the grain with some in her mouth but not chewing... She wanted to eat but just couldn't. I knew these signs...
Baby girls was sick... I wasn't sure how bad she was, so I took her out to the arena where the barn owner was riding. He then told me she had been feeling yucky that morning so he took her and put her on the walker and gave her some Banamine (a muscle relaxer). He said that his daughters saw her poop so they put her back in her stall. Hearing this I knew that she had been sick since morning and proceeded to call the vet. Dr. Rice raced out and took one look at her. By this point she was barely able to stand and her legs were collapsing beneath her. He told me that she HAD to go to the hospital. Different from four years ago with a mare I barely knew, I was NOT letting my best friend die. We threw her in the trailer and the barn owners daughters raced her to the hospital with me right behind.
When we got there the emergency vets did their thing and gave her a couple tries to get better on her own, but quickly realized she would need surgery. I told them I didn't care...SAVE HER LIFE!
As I watched the surgery it became clear that this was no ordinary colic. Trinity had over 100lbs of sand in her stomach. The amazing surgical vet was able to remove all of the sand without taking out any of Trinity's soft tissue. This means that she will not be prone to colic any more than a normal horse in the future. Her colon had been displaced and flipped to the wrong side of her body! The vet said that if she had stayed in a stall over night because we had decided to try to fix the problem with medication, her stomach would have exploded and she would not have survived. Talk about an eye opening experience!
I called my normal vet and spoke with him shortly after the surgery and he told me that after conferring with the surgical vet he thinks that the colic in January was the start of the sand colic. He thinks we had cleared it enough back then but didn't get everything. Even though I had been giving her a supplement to clear sand out of the system, there was so much that nothing could have helped. The self-care barn that she was out was covered in gravel dust, which when ingested had basically turned to concrete inside of her stomach.
Trinity recovered from surgery amazingly well. The vet was shocked how easily she came out of anesthesia and stood back up. Trinity stayed at the emergency clinic for another week to make sure that she was doing okay and was back to her normal self. Well, it only took about 5 hours before she was acting like her normal snotty self. A befor and after picture shows the amazing transformation of removing 100lbs of sand from a horses stomach.
About a week before the colic (100lbs of sand still int he belly)
After surgery (100lbs of sand GONE)...
We had been wondering why this silly mare kept getting a bigger and bigger belly but you could still see her ribs. We now know that it was because the sand impaction just kept getting bigger and bigger and she wasn't absorbing any of the nutrients. Therefore, she was basically starving! I feel so bad that I couldn't have known or done anything else to help her. Every vet assures me that there was nothing I could have done, but that doesn't mean I don't keep kicking myself in the ass. She was at self-care. Self-care is supposed to mean that I could have prevented everything because I was her primary caretaker....
Trinity post-op day 2...saying "FEED ME!"
"Mom, they won't feed me here!"
Post-op Day 5, last day of IV fluids and antibiotics
They had to muzzle her, because she was eating the shavings!
Post op Day 5, last day of Belly Bandage and about to go home!
7 Days Post-Op, Back Home but on stall rest
7 Days Post-Op, Very skinny and no muscle tone.
Trinity is doing well now and is back home. Dr. Rice came to take out her staples and run blood work. Her white cell count had doubled (a great sign) and the incision was completely closed and looked great! She is on solid stall rest for 2 whole months. She can not do anything. Anytime I take her out for a hand walks she and Frosty scream to each other. It is very sad... At month 3 she will be allowed to go back to her stall with run; however, she will not be allowed back to work until the New Year. The boyfriend and I have decided to allow her to rest through the Winter with maybe some light lunging and leg-up in the indoor arena come January and February; however, we are mostly going to work on getting Frosty ready so we can trail ride together in the Spring. Bitter Sweet, but I have my big mare still with me. The bill hurt...BAD...but I wasn't about to not save her. She is my rock in everything, and she fights for me, so I will fight for her!
Post-Op Day 14
My Goofy Mare...
Alive...and thats all I care about!