Life after colic surgery

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Hi all, we are 9 days post-surgery so I am hoping if there are others who have been in this position, could you please tell me your experiences of life after op? My mare had a cecal bypass & I am told her prospects of returning to full work are good. 1 week into our 4 weeks box rest and we are both bored, so I would love to hear your recovery stories (or setbacks!) & what your horses are doing now. I am constantly stressing about whether or not we are out of the "danger zone" yet, so distract me please! ;)
 

be positive

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I had one operated on rather a long time ago, he lived a full and normal life afterwards competing, hunting and generally being treated the same as my others apart from a few minor scares that were easily resolved until he had to be pts with a serious bout 11 years or so after the surgery, he was by then in his early 20's so had done well, the only management issue long term was he was definitely best out as much as possible and on a soft hay that was easy to digest.

It is still early days for yours but the worst is over, the box rest will finish, mine had nearer 8 weeks from what I remember with several 'interesting' in hand grazing sessions each day, she will be bored but put that out of your mind, she is recovering from serious surgery so keeping her relaxed and quiet is a priority it will soon be over, best of luck.
 
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Thank you be positive, its nice to hear he was able to go out & enjoy himself again afterwards.

Mine is already 19 so surgery was a tough decision, and something I have always said I would never do! But after long discussions with my vet it was surgery or PTS so I had to give her the chance. She has so far been very well behaved during her daily grass snacks, I am hoping this will continue. The worst part is she has no company during the day when all the others get turned out, which makes her understandably rather cross!
 

scats

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I had one with a cecal impaction. He had another 4 amazing years after surgery and then we sadly lost him to colic. It was a bit of a rocky road at times, he became quite prone to colic episodes, but nothing that a painkiller and muscle relaxant couldn’t sort.
The day that that didn’t sort it, we called it a day.
 
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My pony had his caecum bypassed in 2012, he started veteran showing last year ! I made a small pen when I started to turn him out after his box rest as he can be very Welsh. I’m always careful to feed the same feed and I soak his hay. Good luck with yours.
 
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My pony had colic surgery 3 months ago, hes made a really good recovery
Its been the scariest thing I have to say, as it came from nowhere with no change to his feed or routine. His wound always looked good and healed well. We had 5 weeks of box rest whilst I fed sloppy food and anxiously counted poo's and monitored fluids and inhand grazing, then 5 weeks of very restricted turnout. Hes just had his last vet check and all ok
He will be ridden again in the spring, my boy is 17 and went to Rossdales - the care was exemplary
Good luck
 
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One of my horses had colic surgery, his colon had got trapped behind his spleen, he carried on in endurance for several years including winning his FEI3* 160km ride, he's happily retired now due to different issues :)
 

Lindylouanne

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Mini had colic surgery 10 months ago with complications which kept her in the horspital for three weeks. Hay is always soaked as is tiny feed and other than one small grumbling colic which was resolved within one vet trip she leads a normal life.
 
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My boy in my profile picture had surgery for multiple twists. In hand grazing became 'interesting' and I end up having to wear hat, gloves, use lunge line, bridle etc. To break up the box rest, I also used to get him out on the yard and groom him a couple of times a day, it was March time so was shedding winter coat. He did colic after a few weeks of surgery and then a bad bout 4 months later for which he went to hospital again for a couple of days. He also coliced requiring a vet call about 2 or 3 times a year afterwards however he also did this pre surgery. He lived another 10 years after surgery, returned to full ridden work and competing etc, I sadly lost him last January for a non colic related problem. Best of luck with your horse.
 
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Thank you all for your stories! I am starting to feel like we are over the worst and just need to see out the rest of the boring part of recovery. We are 10 days into box rest and I think she has now gotten used to indoor life. In hand grazing remains uneventful thankfully! Only 18 days until she can have some time in a small paddock (not that I am counting) :rolleyes:
 

hopscotch bandit

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Thank you be positive, its nice to hear he was able to go out & enjoy himself again afterwards.

Mine is already 19 so surgery was a tough decision, and something I have always said I would never do! But after long discussions with my vet it was surgery or PTS so I had to give her the chance.
Interesting to see your viewpoint. I have one who used to be quite colicky (spasmodic) and has had numerous gassy colic episodes over the years and fortunately has recovered well after each episode without surgical intervention and the vet and I finally made the connection to a period of wet weather that then turned mild which somehow affected her. Vet also felt there was some connection to dehydration so she has been given wet hay since that connection was made which was when she had her 2nd left dorsal displacement/nephrosplenic entrapment a couple of years ago.

She is literally micromanaged in terms of her pasture management and with her feeds following all the rules like wetting hay, introducing new feeds gradually, strip grazing, changing hay over slowly, etc, etc, etc. She is in her early twenties and I've always said over the age of 18 I wouldn't put her through surgery. But reading your post it must have been such a tough decision for you to have to decide. I don't think I could bear to have to make such a decision, knowing that I have that influence over whether she lives or dies. She has other issues so I think in her case it would be slightly easier to make that call but I really hope I am never faced with such a dilemma.

I do hope your girl recovers well. In the meantime to prevent boredom you could always put a radio on quietly in the corner of the stable outside on some classical programme or talk show station and put a stable mirror up to give her something interesting to listen to and look at. If you hang lots of little nets around the stable it will keep her interest and maybe some likits or treats hanging from the ceiling (but ask your vet first if that's ok).
 
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Interesting to see your viewpoint. I have one who used to be quite colicky (spasmodic) and has had numerous gassy colic episodes over the years and fortunately has recovered well after each episode without surgical intervention and the vet and I finally made the connection to a period of wet weather that then turned mild which somehow affected her. Vet also felt there was some connection to dehydration so she has been given wet hay since that connection was made which was when she had her 2nd left dorsal displacement/nephrosplenic entrapment a couple of years ago.

She is literally micromanaged in terms of her pasture management and with her feeds following all the rules like wetting hay, introducing new feeds gradually, strip grazing, changing hay over slowly, etc, etc, etc. She is in her early twenties and I've always said over the age of 18 I wouldn't put her through surgery. But reading your post it must have been such a tough decision for you to have to decide. I don't think I could bear to have to make such a decision, knowing that I have that influence over whether she lives or dies. She has other issues so I think in her case it would be slightly easier to make that call but I really hope I am never faced with such a dilemma.

I do hope your girl recovers well. In the meantime to prevent boredom you could always put a radio on quietly in the corner of the stable outside on some classical programme or talk show station and put a stable mirror up to give her something interesting to listen to and look at. If you hang lots of little nets around the stable it will keep her interest and maybe some likits or treats hanging from the ceiling (but ask your vet first if that's ok).
Thank you, yes it was really tough. My main influencers were that she had (until that point) never colicked before & is otherwise fit & well apart from slightly arthritic hocks. Also the colic was originally thought to be an impaction which after 4 days of fluids & tubing hadn't shifted, so surgery was the next step as it obviously wasn't going anywhere with conservative treatment. We discussed beforehand that if it became apparent during surgery that it was not a simple impaction then it could likely be the caecum, and that this still had a very positive prognosis, subject to recovery. So she went in for surgery on the basis that if they found anything "nastier" than the cecal impaction or anything that reduced her chances to <70% they were to call me during surgery for a decision. I think if I hadn't tried I would never have forgiven myself for not giving her the chance, and forever wondered if I could have saved her.

I am told that she should return to life & work as normal, with no special dietary or management requirements - though I will probably continue to soak her hay, to be on the safe side! Annoyingly we have an american barn, so there is nowhere to hang anything from, though she is enjoying her radio! Last bandage change this evening, then it comes off completely on Sunday - digging out her bed Sunday morning to give her a fresh one will be fun after 2 weeks :oops:
 
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Sorry to hear about your mare and I hope she makes a swift recovery.
My girl was taken to Rossdales two years ago for emergency colic surgery - a twisted colon, as bad as it can be really. The odds were definitely not in her favour but she surprised everyone and I brought her home a fortnight later. Recovery was not straight forward. We had lots of setbacks - minor spasmodic colics then a bad impaction which required another stay in horspital. She'd never had colic prior to all this. However, last year was a good year with no colic at all and she is in full work and looks fantastic.

Of course, she is micro-managed - a choice of soft hay (soaked) and also haylage fed from the floor (she's fussy). Feeds are all fed wet and throughout winter I add warm water to her feed and also to her drinking water in the stable - she likes tepid water, it encourages her to drink and stops her tummy getting chilled. She's turned out everyday no matter what the weather. In really cold weather she wears a snuggy hoods jams fleece with belly cover to keep her tummy warmer (she seems sensitive to cold now). I keep a close eye on poo to make sure there's plenty and it's the right consistancy!

My advice would be - keep the hay and feed wet, feed small qtys but more often (my girl was on full livery so she was fed small (fibre only) bucket feeds four times a day to pass the time while on box rest. I walked her twice a day but with hindsight, three times, even four would have been better and may have stopped her getting an impaction colic.

Good luck op and keep us updated x
 
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