- breaking a leg in a groundhog hole;
- laminitis; and,
I had never experienced any of these before, but in December I was introduced to colic.
On a cold day in early December Starlet was found laying down next to the hay bale. She was incredibly still, didn't move her head, and didn't want to get up. Neighbour Madison and hubby Bryan brought out blankets to cover her up - she wasn't wearing a blanket, which is usual for her - while I called the vet and raced home. By the time I got there Starlet had got up herself and Madison and Bryan had her in the barn.
The vet diagnosed Starlet with impaction colic. She used water in a nasogastric tube - distressing to watch, and probably pretty unpleasant to experience - to pump out Starlet's stomach. Once no more hay was coming out (and lots and lots of water had gone in), the vet left and we converted two cross-ties to a temporary stall.
Root cause analysis points to sudden and deep sub-freezing temperatures resulting in a decreased desire to drink water; compounded by the fact that the dummy horse owner (me) had forgotten to plug in the trough heater, making the water extra cold and unpleasant. Starlet's temperature was also low, so she probably lay down at some point on the cold ground and caught a bit of a chill in her bones (she's 19), also not encouraging her to get up and drink (or move around).