Post Hospital Stay Colitis Treatment

After Olivia's colitis caused her to have a prolapsed rectum (I'll spare you the photos), it was determined it would be best to completely take her off all hay. Olivia's total protein levels (albumin + globulin) were off the charts low indicating her colon was ulcerated and leaking protein out. When doing a tap of her lower belly, protein levels were high, confirming the colon was leaking the protein. The level we were most concerned about was her albumin level, which in mid December was 1.2 resulting in a total of protein level of 2.5. Normal albumin levels for the adult range is between 2.3 and 3.8 and total protein levels are 5.4 to 7.8.

We switched Olivia's grain from Triple Crown Growth to Triple Crown Senior, as the Senior is a complete feed and a better option for digestibility given seniors with no teeth can eat it. We slowly increased the amount until she was being fed about 5lbs 4x a day.  She had lost probably 200+ pounds in 1 month which was significant for her. Every rib was visible as well as her spine and tailbone.

Her medication concoction consisted of:

  • 10 Sucralfates 2x a day (this is a medication that coats the colon and stomach to alleviate discomfort)
  • Gastroguard (later switched to Abler's omeprazole)- given 2 hours BEFORE the sucralfates to allow for absorption 
  • Assure Plus in AM/PM feed
  • Probiotic (My favorite and arguably the most effective on Olivia is the gel paste by Probios)
This daily treatment was also on top of bandage changes for her knee AND a lidocaine steroid gel concoction applied to her rectum every few hours.

To say the guys at my barn who care for our horses are amazing is a complete understatement! It took a village to get Olivia healthy, but with the most amazing care in the world, she got there! I always promised I would do everything in my power for her and exceptional care is something I take extremely seriously. There are, hands down, no better caretakers in this world than the guys who work at our barn.  These guys love these horses like their own and I couldn't be more blessed to have them caring for Olivia.

As Olivia's blood work slowly but surely showed positive trends over the next several months we were able to begin adding hay products back into her diet. She did a full 2 months with absolutely zero hay. We first started back with Triple Crown's Alfalfa Forage Blend soaked in water with Flaxseed Oil added for lubrication. After doing some research on different oils, I chose flaxseed oil due to its high content of omega 3's. Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid (EFA) that supports immune health, aids in reduction of inflammation, and also supports in the prevention of gastric ulcers. Within several weeks we slowly increased her allotment of this until she was getting a full 1 gallon size bucket full of this wetted and oiled concoction. From there, we added back just a handful (like 1/8 of a flake) of regular long stemmed fescue orchard mixed hay, soaked and oiled as well. We increased it over several weeks alongside the Alfalfa forage she was getting. During this process we continued with blood work to watch her progress internally. Eventually, with the advice of my vet, we started giving her small amounts of regular dry hay. She tolerated it just fine with no symptoms of discomfort.

Today, she is back to eating just regular hay out of a slow feeder hay net, her grain ration has decreased, and she is off the sucralfates, Assure Plus, and omeprezale. She is healthy and happy and sassy as ever with just a Smartpak that gives her prebiotics, probiotics, omega 3's as well as some garlic flakes for immune support.

Dull coat but starting to gain weight

Back home. Post mane falling out. Good weight gain & healthy coat returning


  1. Well she is just gorgeous and so lucky to have you, and the great care team she had. That horse just needed to be with you and certainly was a fighter! Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. You guys have been to hell and back more than once. Glad she pulled through again.


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