Firsthand account of sand colic treatment
I read “The Best Way to Treat Sand Colic” (Medical Front, EQUUS 474) with interest because I had my horse treated that way---repeated tubing with psyllium and/or magnesium sulfate---last April with great success. I feel very lucky that the veterinarian I saw knew of the treatment because it saved me an expensive and unnecessary surgery.
Bailey had colicked three times in about a year. The first two resulted in a nephrosplenic displacement---when the colon becomes entrapped over the ligament that connects the left kidney and the spleen. Fortunately, both were fixed with drugs, and surgery wasn’t necessary. The third colic resolved itself quickly with nothing more than Banamine; however, the worry about a potential displacement was very stressful. I decided that if Bailey was going to have ongoing issues with colic, I should do something to lessen the danger, so I hauled him across the state to Washington State University–Pullman for a nephrosplenic ablation, a procedure to suture the space over the ligament shut so it cannot entrap the colon.
After describing Bailey’s history, which included diarrhea before each episode, the veterinarian in charge of the case asked about sand. I explained that my veterinarian had been unable to hear any. But the WSU veterinarian went to have a listen to Bailey’s gut, and after about five minutes, he said, “There’s sand.” He ordered an x-ray, and boy was there a lot of white stuff in there.
We decided to hold off on the ablation surgery and address the sand since it seemed to be the likely culprit causing the colic. For seven days, Bailey received mineral oil and then a pound of Metamucil each day via a nasogastric tube. I am happy to say it worked, and the treatment just about cleared out all of the sand.
It has now been more than a year and so far, so good. Bailey has remained happy and healthy. So glad you are spreading the word about this easierthan-surgery treatment. Amy Sutton Poulsbo, Washington