My horse has more lives than a cat!

Novel incoming, but this horses (to me) is a miracle!

They say a cat has 9 lives….well Sullivan (12 year old Hanoverian) is on about life number 6! I got him as an unbroke 3 year old, and when he was 4 he had his first life….severed extensor tendon! A month at the vets, he also had a bone sequestron that needed to be removed, along with a big chunk of hind leg! He healed in incredibly well, and I was back on him 5 months later with no obvious signs of such a bad injury except for a scar!

When he turned 6 the colicing started! First colic, the dreaded “his intestine has flipped onto his spleen”…we managed to get away with a few days at the vets and they gave medications which shrunk thinks back and avoided colic surgery……life number 2!

A few months later…colic twice so we scoped….sigh ulcers! Ulcers in both parts of his stomach along with ulcers at the pyloric spyhincter! What followed was a year and a half of scoping monthly, ulcerguard and many other medications, each time hoping the ulcers would clear up! To look at him, you’d have no idea he was suffering, except for the colic…and yet at every scope, there were those awful, incidious things! After a year and half of treatment we were on our last hope….Sulfa antibiotics as a last resort! Voila, for some reason the pyloric ulcers started clearing up and after 3 months he was discharged….life number 3

Fast forward nearly 5 years….we’ve been happily showing and he’s living permanently on omeprazole with no more colic…he’s now 12! BAM the day I go in for my surgery (March 16 2021) he colics….sigh….ulcers are back and his pyloric spyhincter is almost closed! So sulfracate is now added 3 times a day and we try again……life number 4

Doing well, Sullivan is back to normal, ….4 months later the dreaded call “Sullivan is colicing “…vet comes out and FOUR buckets of stomach reflux is drained, he’s shipped off to the vet and I say “my goodbye “….I figure his stomach can no longer drain and this is “the end”. So they scope and I get a call “it’s not his ulcers, they look better than ever! There’s now a polyp and it’s flopping over the pyloric sphincter “. Home he comes while they attempt to locate a cauterizing unit and we hope he doesn’t colic again….life number 5

1.5 months later they still haven’t got the equipment but he went back today for a rescope so a decision can be made for his future! I’m thinking he’s not coming home when I get the call “you’re not going to believe this but the polyps has shrunk, we no longer need to do surgery” WTH? How or why they have no idea….they’re thinking maybe it was caused by parasites (we had to deworm for a month after they found it)….but the vets are stumped! We will do follow up scopes every 6 months to monitor but everything is looking good! Oh and he will live on sulfracate……life number SIX! I am beyond happy, shocked, amazed……I needed to write it all down LOL


Jingles for Sullivan’s continued recovery. He’s lucky to have such a kind observant owner.

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I’m sorry but by the time I got to the last one I laughed out loud.

May Sullivan have a long life with you.

Just asking what else did you do for the ulcers? More turn out? More hay?

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He’s turned all day , everyday (my barn turnouts from 7.30am to about 3pm)……he also gets his hay in Haynet when he’s in his stall, plus hay given to him outside in his paddock….I pay a bit extra so he is NEVER without hay in front of him! His other feed is, seniors in the morning, then at dinner senior feed, soaked beet pulp, oil and equine power. Currently he gets his omeprazole at 6am and then 1 hour later his sulfracate and then his second dose of sulfracate at 5pm! The vet is happy with the feed program he’s on, as he did stay healthy for 5 years, so they didn’t want to change any of it (plus he’s a “suspicious eater”……change something and he will refuse to eat it)!

For the original ulcers, we tried everything……misoprostal, Rylene, another medication I can’t remember the name of, that forces the stomach to empty….the list seemed huge and endless!

We tried him on field turnout……but a) that’s how he severed his extensor tendon and b) our older school horses don’t appreciate a rambunctious 12 year old, who wants to “play hard”……although all that’s now currently “insurable “ after all these claims IS 3 legs……so shrug LOL

He sounds really expensive :anguished:

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He is! I could’ve bought a GP jumper by now…. but luckily insurance has paid for most of his actual treatments….I’ve had 3 major medical claims upto $10,000 each (first claim his extensor injury and insurance paid for the entire thing…including all medications) year and half of ulcer treatment, (claim 2) ….insurance paid nearly the entire amount….thankfully as Ulcerguard is expensive, this final polyp….3rd and final claim….insurance paid as it’s not “pre existing “….

Now his monthly medications I pay for….he’s on generic liquid omeprazole and sulfracate….in Canada it costs me about $150 per month total….so not too bad! When I go to an away show, (ie TBird) I put him on the expensive stuff (Ulcerguard) which is about $800 for 14 days

But, I got this horse as a “free trade” (from spruce meadows….they took back a horse I had that hated being a jumper and she’s now happily one of their parade horses and they gave me one of their “name the foals” horses!) and he’s become my hunter of a lifetime!

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Sim is not quite in your category, however:

He suffered from severe separation anxiety and continually careened around his paddock. I doubted training him as no point because he would hurt himself. He did hurt himself. He hit his hip on the fence. He lost a lot of weight as in pain.
Did I mention that he was given to us?

A chiropractor visit fixed that and we fixed the anxiety by letting him out to wander from horse to horse. I started retraining him.

He cut his leg behind his hoof and denerved himself. Lying there sedated to get his cast on I thought sadly he would not be ridden again.

A couple of months later we were riding him again.

I put an electric fence across a cattle grid in his paddock to keep him off it. It was a corner of the paddock, no grass there. He wouldn’t go there anyway would he?

He got into it. This thing is so heavy that hubby can’t lift it. Luckily it was not deep and round poles, not sharp edged square poles.

We came home to the cattle grid moved and Sim not wanting to walk.

Very quickly he started walking again and we were back riding him again.

In my case I think of it as only the good die young. Sim will live forever.


Sounds about the same! It’s always the “free ones”! LOL. My vet also thinks Sullivan is going to be the horse that ends up living until he’s 40…because “why not” !