Repeat colic for 10 months, every test you could imagine, finally SOLVED

Just wanted to share in a broad form - my poor horse was suffering from repeat gas colic episodes for nearly a year. It was bad - very bad - and we had reached the point in July where it was last ditch efforts or euthanize.

I got a recommendation for an internal specialist that travels in our area, and she is someone at the vanguard of gut health. Deeply connected across the country with practicing vets, researchers, hospitals, universities, etc.

Her approach - gastroscopy, pH testing, bacterial analysis - solved the riddle of why my poor guy was not healing ulcers, and why he was colicking so often and so badly. He is doing so very well now - very bright, happy, and has never felt better under saddle. He is finally using his whole body to move, instead of holding his back to reduce gut pain.

I’m happy to share more details with anyone, but since I’ve seen so many threads recently about colic, I wanted to offer this up as an option for horses and owners who are pointed towards exploratory surgery, without a full understanding of the internal workings of the gut.

I do know, of course, that many colics are impaction, twist, etc., but this was specifically for severe but resolving gas colics.

Just reach out if you want to learn anything more about our journey.

ETA - so apparently this initial post was considered too vague, so the more robust explanation is below.

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Would love if you could share the story or at least the diagnosis/resolution!

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Me too, do tell, your story may help someone else also.

Happy for you that your horse is doing so well, congratulations! :sunglasses:

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So what was the etiology?
Don’t keep us in suspense!

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Yes please! A summary would be nice!

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Can you just tell us? lol

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I’d think it would be easier to just put the information here, instead of having to reply to everyone who might PM you. Besides, hiding info behind PMs keeps any lurkers from benefiting

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What a strange thread to start. Feel like I wasted a click on it.

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Makes it sound like a stealthy way to advertise some product whether it is or not.

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Exactly. I think we can all benefit from those findings, even if we don’t have the same scenario currently. I always want to learn. I have a horse who used to have bi-weekly gas colics and it took me a year to get a diagnosis and a treatment that worked. Sharing what we know helps others.

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I think you should be able to ascertain from the replies posted that your information posted here would be appreciated by the community.

@JB I don’t see OP asking for PMs, OTOH, I don’t see why the resolution wasn’t just posted. :woman_shrugging:

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I guess I see “reach out” as “send me a message” LOL

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Count me in as someone who would love to learn more! Thank you!!!

Just spill it here for all of us who have a general interest, regardless of having any skin in the particular “game”.

@starsandsun
@Moderator_1

Exactly

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I see this as ‘pm me’ :woman_shrugging:

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Reads like bait for a MAJIKAL cure :money_mouth_face:

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Wow - sorry that so many are waiting for a sales product to be unveiled … and I had zero idea people wanted the whole story but here it is (well most of it).

Horse has been battling ulcers for 3.5 years; tried feed changes, constant tweaking on and off ulcerguard, ordered supplements from around the world - nothing worked for long. Multiple gastroscopies did show initial healing with full dose of UG and misoprostol over 4 months. And then they returned. This was the way it went for a very long time.

Evidence of discomfort showed up in persistent, unrelenting grinding after 10 minutes of riding, and back muscles basically tight, frozen in place and not using topline for work.

Fast forward 3-ish years, and grinding still not resolved. Horse feels remarkably uncomfortable, and more like a bag of parts than using himself correctly. Was basically trying every once in a while to ride, but it was awful for both of us.

Then, one day his manure starts looking weird - like big puffy dinner rolls, with an oddly sweet smell. Initially, no concern from vets. The manure weirdness continues for another month, he got a vaccine, and by the next day was having severe gas colic. Shipped to New Bolton, he resolved overnight on fluids and pain meds. Kept him for observation - seemed fine and came home after 3 days.

Within a week had coliced again - back to New Bolton. Again, resolved with fluids and pain meds. Manure still weird.

Received another routine vaccination after 3-4 weeks - within 24 hours coliced again, and back to New Bolton. Again, resolved with fluids and pain meds.

Everyone involved gets on a conference call, decides if he colics again, they will keep for extended period of time. He colics within another week, goes back, stays at NBC for 2 weeks, gets fecal matter transplant every day, continues to have mini colics every single day, multiple times day and night, and it takes 2 weeks before he stops those. He comes home. NBC wanted to do exploratory surgery at this point, but I could not agree.

6 weeks or so goes by, colics again. This time, had vaccine 2 days earlier. Goes to NBC, resolves. Had a long discussion about whether if it was exploratory surgery time, it would probably be a sterile autopsy since nothing seems obvious after 12 gastroscopies, abdominal ultrasounds, biopsies, etc. I still cannot agree.

Maybe another 4 weeks go by, colics again. This time, I’m not shipping - the outlay of $$ has been over $40k at this point - months back he was put on bethanachol and misoprostol daily and that cost a fortune and added quickly to the total. I’d have to pull out the calendar for the past year, but I’m pretty sure we shipped to NBC at least 6 times, for stays ranging from 3-14 days.

New internist gets on a conference call about what’s been going on for past 10 months. We set appointment for her to come check stomach and digestive health. Because he’s lost so much weight through this ordeal, we test his blood and insulin levels and decide that there’s no risk in using dex and prednisolone - he would probably be euthanized if we couldn’t get colic under control. He starts on a massive dose, twice per day. Try after 7 days to reduce to once a day, colics again but resolves within 24 hours. We go back to twice a day, and after that, he continued to visibly improve - manure also began to look normal after many months.

At the first appointment, internist uses ultrasound and sees thickening and inflammation at various places in small intestine and colon. Pulls stomach fluid and tests for pH - it was nearly 5 and should have been between 1-2. Sends sample to lab and he has heavy overgrowth of pseudomonas, acinotobacter, serratia marscensens, and rhodococcus. That’s some nasty stuff that has gotten out of control due, vets believe, to imbalance in stomach acid. I do not know much about these bacteria, but I work with many people in science and when I say “pseudomonas” they are all shocked.

As soon as results are available, he goes on 21 days of enrofloxacin. Within 5 days, the change is beyond remarkable. He is using his whole body when he moves, he is happy, his eye is bright, and it was a complete game changer. Re-tested at 21 days, and only light overgrowth of pseudomonas remained, so back on enrofloxacin for 2 more weeks. He starts to feel as amazing as he did when he was five. Ultrasound indicate no areas of inflammation or thickening where it was present before, and stomach is now gorgeous - all ulcery red spots have disappeared, and for the first time ever on gastroscopy, he has the healthy stringy mucous.

So, no - no miracle cure. Just a vet who was dogged in her need to understand the whole digestive process. The working theory is that the dysfunction in the stomach caused improperly digested food to get pushed through the small intestine and to colon, where gas resulted and caused excruciating pain.

Oh also - for the first time in nearly 4 years he doesn’t grind, is super willing to take contact, and is re-building the kind of muscle a 10 year old should have. And, fwiw, his manure is perfect and gorgeous.

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Wrong guess!

Nope.

Not a guess so much as a personal opinion of what it sounded like. Glad you posted the story.

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