To walk or not

I just returned from not so sunny San Diego and the Dude Ranchers’ Association meeting.  While there I was able to have an enjoyable evening dining with Gene Kilgore.  Gene has been promoting dude ranching since 1987, and we are the fortunate recipients of the Kilgore Network’s Best Ranches.  We are honored to receive this award.  Thank you Gene!

While at the convention, I gave a little presentation on how we handle colic here at the Home Ranch.  I have been working with veterinarians for over 30 years on what exactly to do with a colic horse.  A couple of observations:

  •  A horse that is under 20 years of age, you have better than a 50/50 chance of survival
  • A horse that is over 20 years of age, you have a less that 50/50 chance of survival.

Our mode of operation for a colic horse is to treat with Banamine and let them go.  We no longer walk the horse – as I have personally walked probably 5 horses to death.  They need the energy to fight the ailment.  It is also thought that to walk a horse keeps in from rolling and twisting his intestines.
We once did an autopsy on a colic horse that we knew he rolled – his intestines were not twisted.

I expected that my presentation would be somewhat controversial, only to find that most of my fellow ranchers have reached the same conclusion.

Related to that  – A vet professor once told his class “If a call comes in for a colic horse, you drop everything and get to the farm as fast as possible.  Because, if the horse dies before you get there you’ve lost a billing.”

We’ll see you in a week, with another Campfire Chat.


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