First­hand ac­count of sand colic treat­ment

EQUUS - - Letters -

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

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