Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Medical Marathon

Dr. Stouffer and her assistant were here for almost two hours this afternoon getting some insight into Raven's episodic colic. Here's a review of their observations in their order of importance (as ranked by me):

  • Rectal examination revealed a buildup of manure around the pelvic flexure, which is apparently typical in tapeworm infestations. A fecal sample will be sent for analysis and Raven was wormed with Equimax after the examination.
  • Raven's manure was a little dry. This suggests that her colics may be due to small impactions rather than gas buildup. To keep things moving along I will start supplementing her feed with corn oil and electrolytes (to encourage more drinking) as of tonight.
  • Examination of her manure reveals that Raven is not fully digesting her feed. She was sedated and floated, but it appears that she has been over-floated in the past and her teeth do not grind together properly. I will also start supplementing her feed with a probiotic tonight to assist digestion.
  • Raven has several swollen bug bites down her neck and on her belly. This is new over the past week, but the histamine in her system might also be causing some internal swelling.
  • Apparently Raven's vulva is a bit...er...floppy. Intake of air through the vulva can cause the reproductive region to swell up, thereby leaving less room for the intestines. I'm told it's common to have the top half sewn shut to prevent this -- a procedure I should consider for her.
  • Raven's soles remain soft after having her shoes pulled, and pain in her feet might be leading to endemic stress which might, in turn, be precipitating the colic. I'm not very concerned about this, but I appreciate the holistic approach and I will discuss it with Christina Cline on Friday.

Overall I am happy to have some avenues to pursue -- I did not expect any smoking guns. Dr. Stouffer took blood and fecal samples away with her and left behind some Banamine and some Buscopam in case of emergencies. She also recommended keeping milk of magnesia or PeptoBismol on hand. Either would help to ease the pain of ulcers, providing good evidence that we should progress to an endoscopic examination.

4 comments:

jewelee said...

Sending some positive vibes your way for some sunny weather and a break from your medical marathon and mud!

dp said...

Thanks! It is not raining at this very moment, so maybe things are looking up.

Chris said...

Do you breed with your mare at all? I normally work on a horse stud and we caslick a lot of the mares (sew up their vulva) if they tend to windsuck, as it's called or have poor conformation that can encourage infection but the annoyance is that every year that the mare is due to foal, just before the caslick needs to be opened up and restitched after she's been bred again. Can get costly!

dp said...

Raven has been bred several times in the past, but never by me. The did point out a former caslick scar, but we don't know when it was done or removed. I will not be breeding Raven at all -- I firmly believe that there are already too many horses in the world without me getting involved.