As some of you know, after 25 miles (out of the planned 50 miles) at the Merrickville Endurance ride last Sunday our beautiful Vienna started showing signs of colic. She was treated at the ride and showed improvement, but then took a turn for the worse.
The cause of proximal enteritis is believed to be endotoxemia from Salmonella or Clostridium bacteria. The source is unknown. Basically, there is no way to predict or prevent infection, and it's not due to poor environmental management, overworking/underconditioning, or mismanagement during competition (the three things I automatically started to obsess about). It was just "one of those things."
After proximal enteritis, most horses are completely fine for the rest of their lives. Some are at higher risk for laminitis because of all the inflammation, and some liver damage is possible. Vienna will be treated for ulcers and remain on preventative ulcer protocols to ensure that her gut bacteria gets all the help it needs after such a traumatic event.
Last weekend, Sarah Workun completed her second 50 mile ride (her first was three years ago!) - and the second 50 mile ride in pouring rain!! 20-year-old FS Starlet completed her fourth 50 mile ride - her first with her best buddy Sarah.
Fancie Footwork (Vienna) completed 25 fantastic miles in the lead with Lau Ren before starting to colic. Lauren was a fearless leader and force de nature on trail (as usual!), then immediately dedicated herself to ensuring Vienna's recovery. An incredible horsewoman all around.
(A note: Vienna had responded very well to treatment and seemed to be on the mend, or we would never have gone back on trail with the other two horses. It is a decision that is very difficult to live with. Once it was clear that Vienna needed further emergency treatment, she was rushed to hospital immediately. Infinite gratitude and thanks to Sarah and Lauren for clearing up camp alone and getting Sasha and Starlet safely home, as well as so many people at the ride assisting us).