Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fighting Sand

UPDATE: (10/28/11) Vet came and tubed Jazzy with a gallon of psyllium the consistency of set-up jello, chased with a gallon of warm water. She is feeling a bit better - even ate her supper. It was so stinking cold (didn't even reach 40 degrees) I put a blanket on her. She is feeling MUCH better! Hopefully, she will start eating better and things will get moving. She also has access to a very small part of the pasture, so she can nibble as she feels like it.

UPDATE: The vet was out on Wednesday to check Jazzy. She wasn't dehydrated but vet confirmed sand colic. Jazzy is passing manure, so vet said to keep doing what we're doing. Jazzy is still uncomfortable and not eating normally, but is not in dire emergency status. Just watch and check.

A couple posts ago, I asked opinions about concrete under mats in the stalls. As you know (and can see in the picture) I have an open barn. The stalls have no doors on the outside, so I can't lock the horses in. It's more like a shedrow or loafing shed. You also know I have been fighting dust and the horses using the stalls as toilets.

So we brought in clean course sand to "help". In hindsight, it wasn't very smart after all. The horses drag it up onto the mats so I have to sweep the mats every time before I feed. They also spread their hay. What does this mean? They ingest the sand.

Now we have one mare (Jazzy) that is having issues with sand colic. I noticed on Sunday that she had left the pasture. I had turned out to clean and do some winter prep work with the tractor. She didn't roll and hasn't yet, but she is off her feed and not drinking much. And she lays down a lot.

Sunday night, we took her for a ride in the trailer. She passes a little bit of what Mike described as "moss". We brought her home and put her in the arena. She ran around, farted a lot, and pooped some more sludge. I got in the trailer and scooped up as much as I could and put it in a bucket. After running water in the bucket, there was sand in the bottom. I could actually feel the grain in the "moss".

Monday, Mike looked for some psyllium and though he tries really hard, he didn't quite know what to look for. So he bought some plain, unflavored metamucil. I added that to a few cup of whole oats, which she ate. Later that evening, she pooped again, but not as much as I had hoped.

After feeding, I did the bucket test on all the horses. There are three others that are passing sand. (Lucy, Ticket, and Chili) They are all on the metamucil too until I can find some psyllium.

Tuesday morning, using a flashlight, I looked for evidence of pooping during the night. I found a good sized pile that looked to be normal. It wasn't. The turds were hard and dense. But at least things were moving. Mike watched her through the day and I spent over an hour in the barn tonight. Jazzy is still off her feed and I have yet to see her drink. She looks dehydrated, but her skin relaxes like normal and she looks better than she did this morning.

I turned her out in the arena for thirty minutes where she trotted around and called for her boyfriend. Then she stopped and pooped. I went to the tackroom and got a latex glove and played with the pile. The turds were looser, more normal. The last little "plop" was looser still.

So back to the barn she went. If she is still off her feed tomorrow, Mike will call the vet out to tube her and get some fluid in her. We have pretty much decided that we are going to pour the concrete as soon as possible.


mrscravitz said...

What I have started to do is give for ONE WEEK a month, usually the first week, A cup of WHEAT BRAN mixed with water to make a mush. This will also help clear the sand..Before that though, I got the METAMUCIL that is Psylium (sp)and would chop up and apple, use a bit of olive oil, and mix a good two heaping TBLs of Metamucil and the horses just ate it up. Look for the ORIGINAL Metamusil, it is Psylium.

Anonymous said...

You can buy psyllium at Fred Meyer in the bulk spices section,as well as in the organic supplements section. You can also get "sand clear" and other brands cheaply off of horse.com. Hope that helps a little.