Nemo’s bladder procedure

We arrived earlier this week to find Nemo in la-la land, with trainer Patty holding him steady and giving him some love. It was odd, and kinda sad to see Mr. Personality all doped up. Brad relieved Patty, and took over care of his sweet sleepy boy. Vet Dave was able to make it earlier then expected, and we had just missed his procedure. We were however able to see the end result, and talk about the procedure with him.

They sedated Nemo in order to be able to insert a catheter to flush what I believe was a sterile saline solution through his bladder. They used a clear bag of sorts, at the end of a clear tube to pump it in. What came out was an entire bucket full of watered down urine, and at the bottom was an unbelievable amount of thick butter colored calcium slurry. The calcium was a consistency similar to very fine sand, that clung to the bottom of the pail.
We were all in awe not only at the amount, but how it sunk and hung to the bottom of the bucket. No wonder Nemo had trouble pushing it out. Poor guy.

Dave had manually worked Nemo’s bladder to push the calcium out, and said his bladder felt much smaller without all that stuff in there. He did another ultrasound, things looked good. Dave finished up by giving him a preventive shot of penicillin, and told us to watch him for an infection from the catheter. I asked what to look for. He said constant short bursts of urine, and that if Nemo was to get an infection it would show up within the next couple days. He also suggested when we take him home and put him back in the pasture, to put small salt shavings in his grain during the summer to keep him drinking water. His hope is now that the calcium build-up has been removed, it will be easier for Nemo to push out a regular amount. In our vet’s 25 years of active practice, Nemo is only his third case. With all the bajillion horses in and out of Patty's training facility (also in the past 25 years) she had never heard of, or seen, calcium build-up. It is that rare.

Brad put Nemo back in his stall to finish waking up, while Patty & I tacked up and went out to an open field to ride. Altho I felt bad Brad couldn’t join us, we had an awesome ride – just the two of us (well four, including our mounts). She has such a pretty farm, and with all the rain we’ve had – it felt so good to be outside. After our field ride, we went on a short trail ride on her property, and then headed inside so she could work with her next appointment while I did some arena work. I asked Brad if he wanted to ride Koda, and he did for a little bit. Not sure if it was my saddle, or my pooped pony, or combination there of - but he wasn’t too thrilled.

Nemo had started to lie down in his stall, and we all got a little concerned. I suggested Brad walk him now that he was awake, while Patty called vet Dave. He wasn’t rolling, but kept lying down. She thought he was just uncomfortable, and needed some bute. She was right, that’s exactly what vet Dave said. So Patty gave him some, as well as a block of salt to push around. Nemo seemed better, and started to eat. I think she could tell we didn’t want to leave, and assured us she would check on him. It was SO hard to leave Nemo…if he was home, we would have slept by his side and never left. In Patty we trust, so we headed home. Brad drove up the next morning to see Nemo, and said he was his old self. They were getting ready to work him. It was business as usual.


Rising Rainbow said...

Interesting situation, I've never heard of it. What do they figure causes it?

Glad to hear tha Nemo is better now.

Anonymous said...

I think I lost my first comment - so glad his problem was figured out and fixed - hope he stays fine!

Jeni said...

Poor Nemo.. Hopefully this is a one time deal?

aurora said...

Rising, they don't know exactly what caused the calcium to build-up. Horses produce a lot of calcium, and naturally excrete it. Nemo didn't. They figure his bladder must not have been strong enough to push it out, they hope it will without the accumulation. Time will tell. Our vet isn't worried, doesn't seem to think it's a serious problem. However we will keep an eye on him.

Nemo seems more relaxed, and is back to full streams. Funny to look forward to simple body functions.

Thanks for the good wishes everyone!

Sherry Sikstrom said...

Sounds like an interesting procedure. Hope all goes well and he recovers nicley

allhorsestuff said...

Wowee...Poor Guy. That Is Quite The Procedure.
You've Got Great Skilled Help, All Around You!
Thank GoD