Monday, June 22, 2009

Horse Enema

I feel desperate.
It is 4AM in the morning.
I am sitting on dew dampened ground with Cheyenne's head in my lap. I can hear the gallon of mineral oil rolling around in her stomach, grumbling in there...sloshing when she walks and stretches.

She is covered in old hay and dirt, mud clings in clumps to her mane. She has rubbed her face in the dirt also. This is not the normal horse I know who generally hates being dirty...and she looks awful. She has aged so badly in the past 24 hours that it scares me.

I hold her head close to mine and her eyes close as I rub her cheeks, eyes, ears, and scrub under her chin...all her favorite places. I think, girl, don't check out on me now. We've been together for 17 years.
17 years.
That is a long time.
Fear overcomes me and I hold her head with both hands and rub my face against hers and plead with her as tears drip down my face.
'Cheyenne, don't leave me. Girl, we have to get over this.'

I checked her gums, and thankfully they are pink and not white like last night. Then I do the pinch test. She is not dehydrated either. So the meds and IV's have done there job.

I think 'twisted gut' and know that I've seen it before and she isn't showing classic signs of it.

She just is plugged up and has a bad stomach ache.

She groans softly and nickers to her foal, Sundance prances around and tries to nurse.
A glow shows to the east, sunrise is coming. It has been a long night.

I watch the glow brighten into a sunrise through the clouds and see rays of sunlight and take them as rays of hope.

I get her up and start walking her, my arm draped over her neck, I hold onto her mane and she walks with me. Sundance darts back and forth.

She stops and strains. She grunts and groans.

I wipe the tears from my eyes and run to the house to wake hubby. He needed his rest, but now I needed his help. I pour him coffee and he takes his turn out walking Cheyenne as I get ready for work.
[having a sick horse is not an option for calling in]

I leave for work, tears in my eyes and hope on my mind. What is the vet going to say?

Later I get a call at work.
It is hubby. He'd waited until a decent hour to call the vet [after all he'd been here late!]. They discuss Chey and Rich asks if he can give her a 'Horsie Enema'. The vet says go for it and then call him, he would take his vet clothes to church and run out if this didn't work.

Rich prepares a solution of warm soapy water in a large syringe. He lubricates his arm with KY jelly and goes 'in'. He injects the warm water and feels Cheyenne make a big push. Swiftly he pulls out his arm and steps back.
Cheyenne ... well what other way to say this, but she has an explosive bowel movement, spraying mineral oil and manure every which way.

After a few moments of this, she looks bright eyed and comfortable.
She is nickering for food, takes a big drink and begins her day as if nothing bad had occured.

Equine are amazing animals. Fragile, yet so incredibly strong.

And yes gross as it is, the Horse Enema did come to the rescue.


  1. I too, Like Cheyenne, am very relieved. I was almost afraid to open your blog this morning. It's so good to hear that it was just one of those old girl things. Let's hope that she is totally over this bloated upset stomach ..after all she's got that pretty little foal to raise. Good news, and I'm happy for you all.

  2. thank you so much, I cannot say how much it means to me that everyone...even strangers expressed concern over Cheyenne's plight.

    Mule people and horse people are generous with their feelings.

  3. Sooooo happy for you! I had a mare once that I loved dearly, and she had tummy problems on a regular basis.. one time I really thought she would never get back up again, it was so bad, she was so tired and I thought she would give up, but she pulled through! :))
    Hope Cheyenne continues to get back to normal!

  4. Hey Val that sounds like wonderful news. Last time we dealt with that we lost a mare 6 weeks before foaling with an impacted bowel. My husband posted her and she had a beautiful long legged buckskin john mule. I wish the very best for your Chey and her beautiful baby girl. It's so heartbreaking!!

  5. Anonymous9:49 AM

    I am chocked up...this is sooo touching and i am so happy for you and cheyennethough its 2011 now and i dont know how she is now. i love my mare to the bottom of my soul and she is like your cheyenne.


Please include at least your first name if you are commenting Anonymously. Thank you.