*sigh*…another emergency vet bill tonight. My fault — the horses came off the pastures about a week ago. I’ve been rotating them in turnout out onto the smaller grass pastures I let grow the last few months so they all get a little grass time a couple of times a week. I didn’t even think anything of it since they were all out on grass all summer, and none of the horses have had any trouble — sometimes they only get an hour or two or sometimes I put a couple in my front pasture which is pretty lush. Well Scotti and Rhythm have been out a couple of times for short periods but today they were out for most of the day. Around 3pm I looked outside and noticed Scotti lying down, but thought he was just enjoying a chance to lie down on the soft ground for a nap. He was up later, but then not long after he laid down again. Then when I went to bring him in he was docile…too docile for Scotti, he always has to try to be Naughty and he didn’t once. And then I fed him his grain and instead of diving into it, he took a bite, and then started doing his infamous lip in the air, which is when I knew something was wrong because that is what he does whenever he is scared, upset, hurting, anxious, or excited. I was in the process of trying to take his vitals and on the phone with Hannah when he laid down on the mats in the shelter — ok, now definitely not ok. I checked his gum color and freaked out when from what he would let me look at was dark blackish/purplish color and at that point Hannah decided he needed to be seen. I took him out for a walk and he was pretty quiet and well behaved and then finally he passed a small pile of manure and was making a lot of gas noises and he immediately perked right up, just as Hannah’s truck pulled in. The dark gums turned out to be pigment (guess buckskins can have black points on their gums too!) but he was definitely having a gas colic and we gave him some banamine and by then he was perky enough to give us quite a bit of trouble…Naughty Scotti was back.
But THEN we went to put him back in his paddock and found Rhythm lying down. Sure enough, same thing was going on with him, he was burping gassy stuff and making lots of gurgling noises, so he got himself some banamine also.
So I guess I am going to have to be pretty careful with the lush grass I “saved” and make sure the horses are only on it sparingly. The funny thing is I had been using that pasture all week — Wishes, Slam, Vanna, Annie and Jasmine had all been out there for hours at a time without a problem. Anyway I am just kicking myself for not being more careful about it.