Tummy Ache

You know that feeling? The one when you have been out for the most amazing meal, eaten far too much, had a couple glasses of wine. You feel fat, full and contents, and go to bed feeling good about the world. Then, about an hour after you’ve gone to bed, your digestive system catches up on the evenings events, and you spend the next 30 minutes locked in the bathroom while your body goes through a fully automated emmergency evacuation procedure. Well, that was me on Wednesday night. So, when my alarm went off on Thorsday morning, I resolved to have half an hours lie I n. Ripley had other ideas though. He must have been listening for the alarm, because, no sooner had I turned it off and snuggled down, , than he started a song and dance act, whining and marching about on the laminate, right outside the bedroom door. I’m so glad he did!

So, having been forced from my slumbers by an elderly Labrador, I set about my usual routine, feed cats, spend and feed dogs, check and feed horses, tea and wake Hal. Usually when I arrive on the yard there are 4 hungry heads hanging over doors, Leonie is kicking the door, and Florence is wickering and snickering away, telling me all about it. On Thursday though something was a miss. It was a bit too quiet. Leo was certainly giving her door the usual abuse, but there was no commentary coming from the end stable. Asleep perhaps? Walking up the yard, saying good morning, and gibing everyone a rub in that special place on the forehead, , I was disturbed when Florence was still lingering at the back of her box when I got to her door. Had Sapphire kicked the partition down in the night, trapping Flo at the back? Cautiously I stepped into the stable to check. No, the partition was fine. Which wasn’t the case for Floremce. Stood stock still, sweating heavily, and panting. Please don’t let this be what I think it is! Giving everyone their breakfast haynet , my fears were confirmed when Florence’s only reaction was to let out a quiet groan.


Head collar on, walking a remarkably compliant Flo up and the yard. Phone emmergency vet. Phone, and wake, Hal. Get called by vet. Keep walking. Please don’t try to roll. Hal comes out, opens gate for vet, and takes over walking. Vet arrives a remarkable 30 minutes after my first phone call.

Temperature fine. Heart and respiratory rate elevated. Gut silent. Rectal examination normal.

There’s nothing for it, she has to be flushed!

The problem was that Flo had to be sedated, but the vet couldn’t find a vein. However, once this was sorted, and a sedative and anti spasmodic administered, the procedure could commence. A tube was passed up Florence’s nose and down into her stomach. The vet having to be very careful to time this with swallowing so as not to pass the tube into her lungs! Then, some plain warm water was gradually poured I’m. After a while some electrolyte was added to the water, and the procedure repeated. The tube having been removed, , we were told to keep Flo in, with no hay, until she did a poo. Then she could have a small hay net. We arranged to check in with the vet again at about 3.30, it still wasn’t 9.00 when the vet left us.

We turned Leomie and Breeze out, but left Nurse Sapphire in to keep Florence company., and retired to the house for breakfast.
Florence was very obviously feeling better, and wasn’t vest pleased about being confined to barracks with no food. Unfortunately, she appeared to have no intention of having a poo! By 3.30 Flo was getting increasingly cross, but still hadn’t delivered the goods. The vet suggested letting her graze for an hour to hopefully stimulate the gut. So Flo and Sapphire spent a happy hour on the lawn. Worryingly though, still no poo by 4.30. So the vet came back and flushed her again!!

This time, as the tube was removed Floremce sneezed and farted violently 3 times. That had to be a good sign didn’t it?! The vet suggested a small haynet might stimulate the gut. However, if nothing had happened by 8.00 to let her know. She also left me with a tub of probiotic which I was to start feeding Flo immediately.

Thankfully, when I went to check Flo just before 8 I found her standing over a fresh pile as if it were a new born foal! What a relief! A quick text exchange with the vet, and I was able to leave Florence tucking into a small feed.

I can’t tell you how glad I am that Ripley wouldn’t let me go back to sleep. I dread to think what might have happened if I hadn’t gone down to the yard when I did. I’m delighted to say that Florence is as right as rain again now.

That was really scarey. I don’t want to go through that again please.

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