|Photo copyright Wings, 2014; all rights reserved.|
Fair warning: If frank discussions of equine colic and its effects and byproducts will disgust you, you may want to skip this post entirely.
From Ice's perspective, yesterday was probably the worst day yet in this whole process. It was certainly his most uncomfortable.
The bloating was obvious, and clearly painful — the kind of bloat that resembles ordinary colic much more than it does the sand colic that he actually has. Inability to pass more than a little of the usual liquid diarrhea, although with a slight change to the consistency, finally. Not precisely loss of appetite, since he badly wanted eat; simply that after a couple of mouthfuls, he felt too sick to eat anything more. Lots of posturing, lots of lying down (which is fine, provided that he doesn't thrash or roll), lots of plain old misery.
And the hell of it was, I was actually pretty sure that all of this was, in the long run, a GOOD thing.
Because all of this is a direct byproduct of the psyllium I'd finally, through various machinations, managed to get into his system over the past few days. That and the flaxseed powder. And they were both working exactly as intended, which is to say, the psyllium works just like it does in humans: It causes peristalsis, causes the lower intestine to spasm, and that action moves what's in the gut along to where it's supposed to go (which is to say, OUT of the body). Unfortunately, also just like it does in humans, it causes gas to build up, hence the bloating and extreme discomfort. The flaxseed, on the other hand, turns gelatinous when wet, and it coats both the inside of the intestine and what's in it, helping to grab onto bits of sand that have loosened from the impaction and carry them on out.
Yesterday afternoon, the vet said that he didn't sound like he was making enough progress, and that she'd be out to tube him again this morning.
Last evening, Wings went out to check on him, and promptly yelled for me to come outside — and, of course, my first thought was, Oh, God, what's wrong with him now?
And there's Wings, bent over a pile in the pen. A pile, not a puddle. Still lots of liquid, but also a few small clumps of the usual shape and size mixed in. For the first time in more than two weeks.
Now, we did not see it happen, so there's an outside chance (very, very outside) that it might not be his. But Spock was shut in the stall; only Ice and Harmony were together in that pen, and we'd already seen what Harmony had produced yesterday evening. This was an entirely different consistency, brilliant green (from the pasture grass), and, yes, loaded with sand. I walked across the pen and found a couple more small piles that were entirely normal-looking but for the brilliant green color and presence of sand in them. I checked on him early this morning, and there's much more out there that appears to be his.
The vet is checking in with us in a while. I think it's a safe bet that she will not be tubing him today.
So here's yet another heart-felt thank-you to everyone who has been with us along the way over the past two weeks.