I'm going to tell you all a story that is very hard to say. I need to say it for Ivan.
Ivan didn't die from a colic with complications. We found insidious little pieces of metal inside of him resembling hypodermic needles. The piece we measured was 2 1/4" long and looked a little chewed on. They're not remnants of fencing, and they're not nails. I've held them in my hand myself, and they will puncture your skin if you put them between your forefinger and thumb. The vet thought that there was more, but I didn't want him to go digging and prolonging it just to search for the rest. He had a couple of holes, one of which was large enough to poke your finger through in his ileum. There was no saving him. He was just so stoic that he never let on.
Because of the state of his organ tissue, these pieces were in him for a very long time... many months, maybe even a couple years, we just can't tell. Ivan NEVER GAVE ANY INDICATION. He never had a fever. His white blood cell count was normal. His heart rate was always normal. Additionally, a friend mentioned that for Ivan's body to have ignored it for long until it finally punctured through his organ walls, it was likely surgical steel, or else his body would have rejected it long ago. What we pulled out of him was not anything standard that you might find lying around the barn yard, and surgical steel is not what you usually find as scrap metal around a farm. Even so, there's no way to tell for sure if it was intentional or malicious. It just was. Even the vet and his staff said they had never seen anything like it, even Beverly with her 20 years of experience on the job.
He was so brave all the way until the end. I sat with him on his last day, and we loved on each other while he laid in his stall. I held his head in my lap for one last time. I kissed his face and told him I'd see him when he woke up. He never did. Part of me died on the table that night with him. I will never be able to stop searching for pieces of him everywhere I look. It's so hard... Please hug your babies tonight and say a prayer for my sweet boy.