What’s Your Horse Colic Contingency Plan?
Being well-prepared for colic could mean the difference between life and death
Her name means miracle. And that’s what Valutha Milagra—or, more affectionately, “Luta”—is. Luta survived an extremely serious colic and two back-to-back colic surgeries after ingesting a porcupine quill at 11 months old. Today, at 8 years old, Luta’s digestive system is tricky, risky, and unreliable. But the beautiful Andalusian is alive, thriving, and “playful, mischievous, and energetic,” says owner Judy Rutherford of Rutherford Rubicon Farm, near Saskatoon, Canada.
While Luta’s survival might seem like a miracle, it’s not entirely. Rutherford’s sharp observation skills, quick thinking, and readiness for an emergency had a lot to do with the outcome. Because no matter how careful you are and how much you guard your horses against it, colic can happen. An estimated 10% of horses colic every year—and up to 10% of those will need intensive medical or surgical care.
The survivors are usually the ones blessed by living under the care of well-prepared humans. Here’s how you can be one of those
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