Tracy and I went for a lovely leisurely ride yesterday. I was on Bali, Tracy on Merlin, mostly roadwork, walking and trotting with a couple of short canters.. We were out for about an hour and a half. As we came back along the lane a couple of hundred yards from home, Merlin started staggering and his legs seemed to buckle underneath him. Colic! We lost a lovely young mare to colic a year and a half ago, she was only a 2 yr old but had a big kink in her colon which basically was fatal, so it strikes terror into our hearts!
I could do nothing but watch as he went down as if to roll with Tracy on top… She fell sideways and he lurched up and trotted off.. But then stopped , his legs buckling again..Tracy caught him and we hurried back to HQ and quickly put him in the top paddock, whipped his tack off and he rolled and rolled, he was suddenly drenched with sweat and staggering, rolling and then sometimes lying down flat as if he were about to die. Tracy phoned the vet we watched as poor Merlin pawed the ground, hurled himself to the ground and thrashed about. It started to rain heavily! . Oh joy!
In the olden days we would force them to walk and prevent them from rolling. Nowadays, the vets tell us that we should let them do whatever they want, that rolling about makes no difference to the result, it just depends on the type of colic.
We waited, watched and fretted as he continued to hurl himself about, then someone walked down the lane by the paddock spooking him and he leapt up, trotted round, neighed loudly and started eating! Two minutes later, the lovely Chris from Liphook Equine Hospital arrived with a veterinary trainee and on thorough examination, (which involved a very long disposable glove) he announced that there was nothing wrong at all. The trainee had a good listen too and could also find nothing wrong! Yes .. As quick as it had started, he was suddenly better as if nothing had happened except he was still plastered in mud and sweat, so at least the vet could see we had not been exaggerating! Our horses often manage to make us look very foolish! It seems Merlin is a bit of a drama queen when it comes to pain!
These are the kind of things Animal Aunts deal with regularly when they are house sitting, colic in horses, epileptic fits in dogs and even horses, sudden unexplained illnesses which require treatment, but that is part of everyday life as an Animal Aunt, always expect the unexpected! Here is Merlin this morning looking absolutely fine!