Had a bit of a scare with the yellow horse; Fina refused her carrots in the bucket on Thursday evening, and after looking her over and walking her around a bit I called my friend Jennie to consult; she kindly came over, and as there was obviously something wrong, I called out the vet who arrived about 10 pm by which time it was dark. Basically it was mild colic or a blockage, she was in discomfort, although she passed two lots of poo, but had no interest in grass or eating. The vet sedated her (a little too successfully, we had a job to keep her on her feet) and tubed her, injected her, gave her paraffin, then a drip; and after listening again to her vitals, detected movement inside and finally left after midnight. Next morning Fina was okay but not herself, she had pooed, but was still not very interested in eating. It was pouring with rain and she looked cold and shell-shocked, and tired; she made only feeble efforts to move or graze; so when it wasn't improving by itself, I got them both out to look for some tasty tempting grass. While Lucie flung herself on it enthusiastically, Fina was still just picking. Eventually the reflex kicked back in but after a while she would just stand and rest. I spent the day either grazing them or resting under the shelter of the garage, and after several phone discussions with the vet, by mid-afternoon I felt she was reviving and starting to be more alert, and I could hear gut rumbles. Once she passed some poo I felt happier.
My best guess on what caused it is eating some mouldy hay which is lying at the edge of the field and didn't get baled. Why she should find this more attractive than the green grass which is now regrowing a bit I can't imagine. I caught her choosing to eat the black stuff when I was grazing her. Now I'm going to have to go and clear it all up but at least all seems well again, thank goodness! What a worry these horses give us, and I thought my two were sensible eaters, rustic ponies, out 24/7. It seems one can never be sure what they're going to get up to.
What was interesting is how introverted Fina became; it was as if she went into shock and I wonder how long it would have taken her to come out of it. She just seemed to shut down, maybe that was her way of recovering but it seemed to me she needed help to restart the vital processes of eating. We all know how it feels after a bout of gastro, when you are almost nervous to eat anything and have lost the normal desire and food reflex; well that is how it is for me. I have had rare (thank goodness!) cases of colic before with horses, but never seen this reaction.