Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
Hannah Russell
Features Writer
8:00 PM 12th May 2021

May With Little Alf – Emergency Vets

It’s over a month since Little Alf’s birthday and so much has been happening here at the stables. We’ve been a little quiet online over the last few months as we had a scary week with Little Alf just after his birthday.

I went down to the field one morning as usual to feed the ponies and Alfie was stood in the corner of his field and looked quite hunched up as if something wasn’t right.
It’s always an awful feeling when one of your animals is poorly.

I called him over to his food bucket, but he wouldn’t eat his breakfast, so I knew instantly something was wrong as Alf and the rest of the ponies always eat their breakfast. So I grabbed his headcollar and headed up to the stables with him.

Once he was in his stable and in a quieter environment, I could hear his tummy rumbling rather loudly and he was trying to hoof his stomach as if he was in pain. He was quiet and just stood in the corner. I phoned the vets, and they came straight away. Using the stethoscope to listen to his heartbeat they could hardly hear it due to his tummy rumbling so loudly.

The vet diagnosed him with having colic. Colic is the leading medical cause of death in horses and can be extremely serious if left untreated. Colic can include a simple blockage, a spasm in the colon or torsion in the digestive track. Unfortunately, they don’t know to this day what exactly causes horses to colic, but it can be changes in diet, rich grass, changes to the elements and environment or something even smaller.

Due to the change in weather over the last month with it being hot and cold and some days icy we’ve had lots of spring grass shooting up which is sugary grass, and we think this must have upset Little Alf's stomach. He’s so small anyway, big changes can really affect him.

The vet Becky from Wensleydale Vets was amazing and treated him with a couple of shots of medication (pain relief) and he had a course of 5 days medication as well as monitoring him and walking him out and about to make sure his systems were moving.

It was extremely worrying but within 48 hours he seemed to be feeling a lot better and after his medication he was back to his old self within a week.

This week the weather seems to have got more like summertime and we are hoping it stays that way!