Running late from work last night, I got to the barn with the intention of longeing briefly and then heading out to meet the boyfriend for a movie date.
Got to the barn, kissed Tris on the nose on my way past his stall, and went into the tack room to grab the longe line. When I got back to his stall, he was lying down.
My brain went into immediate overdrive. I watched him for a minute or two, and he was alert and looking at me. He stayed lying down when I got into his stall, but that’s not unusual for him – when I catch him napping, he’s happy to have me come in and sit with him.
I put a halter on him and asked him to get up, and he did so immediately. Three piles of manure in the stall, half a bucket of water gone, and the hay he’d gotten ~2 hours ago was eaten to every last scrap. He was interested in me but perhaps a bit quieter than normal. Good gut sounds – but perhaps slower on his left side?
I put him on the cross ties and grabbed his antacids; he ate them a bit more slowly, less enthusiastically than he usually does. He dropped two of them out of his mouth, and at that moment the barn owner came in and I explained to her what I was seeing. I offered him the antacids again and he ate them happily. Usually when I feed them to him before I ride, he mugs me for more, and he was just a little too quiet this time.
I put him on the longe line for about 20 minutes of WTC. He was perhaps a bit lazy again, but he moved out easily enough and did some stretching. I did some belly lifts with him, listened to gut sounds again – still fine – and he passed some gas on the walk back to his stall, then again in his stall. I started to feel a bit better at that.
I picked out his stall, and left the stall guard up so he could poke his head out. Manure was normal, not too dry or too wet. He begged shamelessly for dinner, and we gave him half his grain. I fed him 12 simethicone tablets (generic Gas-X), which he ate with more enthusiasm than the antacids, and headed in to town for the movie. After the movie, I drove back to the barn and he was acting totally normally.
I’m still not sure if I overreacted or if I woke him up from a nap and that’s why he was sluggish. Either way, he’s pulled out of it just fine, and the incident caused me to double-check the banamine paste in my tack trunk. It expired this fall, so I asked my vet for two more tubes – one for my tack trunk, one for the trailer!