I went to my church mission fundraiser dinner last night and when I got home--going on 11 PM--I found Toby colicking.
He was pawing, looking at his side, and trying to go down to roll.
I rushed back into the house changed quickly into a warm layer of clothes and raced back out to start walking him. After about 10 minute of that, I called the vet. She called back within 15 minutes and told me to try to keep him on his feet while she headed over.
Now, it was snowing and cold out there. I managed to keep him up and walking for perhaps 30 minutes before he finally just stopped dead and would not move at all. He had, by then dropped a fairly big pile of manure, so I was hoping he'd feel better, but instead he just stood there despite all my efforts to make him walk.
So we stood.
But then, his legs crumpled and down he went. He rolled, though I tried to stop him and then just lay on side for a while before finally propping himself back up on his belly on the rock hard, snow covered riding arena. I could not get him up, so again, I just stood there with him, waiting for the vet.
It takes, on a good day, at least 30-40 minutes or so to get to my house from where the vet on call lives, and the weather slowed her down. Still, I'd say she was here in under an hour.
By that time, Toby was back on his feet and not showing much in the way of pain. Dr. Parisio and I both agreed, however, not to take any chances. Toby was still "gassy" and although he seemed much better, we decided "better safe than sorry," especially since it was after midnight on a Saturday/Sunday.
She gave him some Banimine and a tranquilizer and with a bit of hard work managed to get a gastric tube into his stomach to dose him with water/electrolytes and mineral oil. After I walked him some more to make sure he was not going to have any bad reaction to the tubing. I settled him in his stall--minus any hay or other food, and headed back into the house to warm up for an hour or so.
I went back out around 2 AM or so and walked him for another 20 minutes and then came back inside to get some sleep.
This morning, he looked bright and happy, but we are taking the cautious route. He had minimal hay for breakfast, a soggy mash and some well soaked alfalfa cubes. Then I left him in while I was a church.
When I got home, I checked to see if there was manure in the stall--there was--and I finally decided to let him out with his buddies. With Toby, it's kind of tricky. If he stays locked in his stall, he frets and fusses as soon as Tucker and Chance disappear from sight--even if they only go to the other side of the barn. It's hard to say, but I think his anxiety is worse than the potential danger of his being out. I certainly don't think getting hysterical is good for a tummyache.
Hopefully, he is OK, but I'm keeping an eye on him. If I see any signs of discomfort, I'll be right on it.
Meantime, I bless my vet's office for having a good answering service and even better emergency care.