I noticed my post titles aren't very creative, they're to the point. Red got out of his stall last night and into the turnout. There wasn't any food in it, but it messed up my system of knowing how much manure he's passed and how much water he's drank. When I came into the barn today, instead of a Red horse standing there with his head out, I had a gray horse standing with his head out in Red's stall--that would be Shadow.
The vet is having me soak Red's hay in warm water now. I think that's an excellent idea. My vet has been wonderful at monitoring the whole situation. He calls morning and evening every day to give me directions on how to proceed.
There were so many piles of "formed" manure yesterday, I wasn't worried anymore about that--the drinking situation was bothering me though. Since the vet told me to soak his hay, I took the opportunity to REALLY soak his hay. I poured about 3 gallons of warm water onto it. I did the same this morning, so all the alfalfa flake was floating and Red had to practically drink it. He was hungry, so he ate it all.
I'm so worried about the water (because he looks "sucked in" at the flanks--could this come from being off of food for two days??), I plan to take it out warm to him every couple of hours. The vet said warm water stimulates the gut, too, so I'll be taking care of both problems. I just want to see him FULLY back to normal.
His temp is normal. His appetite is normal. His energy level is normal. I just need the drinking back to normal and we're good.
Here's an article on dehydration I found. Click here. This person has some interesting on ideas on how to provide water to horses--also on making weekly mashes--a concept I've often thought about to ward off colic--in particular sand colic, but haven't ever done on a regular basis. I was thinking, though, that it would be a good business idea, to develop a mash--mix all the ingredients, and then sell it like that where the person only has to add warm water. Does something like that already exist??