Some helpful information
Colic is a word that every horse owner dreads. Colic is not a disease but is a word used to describe signs that indicate pain in the abdomen in the horse. Unfortunately, most horses will suffer from Colic at some point and it is essential for you to know how to identify the symptoms and what to do next.
Although the majority of Colic cases resolve with minimal help, getting veterinary attention at the right moment can mean the difference between life and death for your horse.
Signs of mild Colic:
If the bout of Colic progresses, the symptoms your horse shows will worsen.
Signs of severe Colic:
There are many possible causes of Colic and often it is impossible to determine the exact cause. Surprisingly, the anatomy of the horse's digestive system (gut) is rather poorly designed for its job and therefore Colic is quite a common problem. It can be brought on by changes in management such as:
Certain physical conditions can predispose horses to Colic, for example, a heavy intestinal worm burden or teeth problems.
While some cases resolve with simple care and management by the owner, others require veterinary attention and possibly surgery. Unfortunately, a small number of horses with Colic do not recover. The success of surgical treatment is heavily dependent on the length of time between the first signs of Colic and veterinary intervention. Any unnecessary delay will greatly reduce the chances of recovery. It is therefore essential to recognise when veterinary attention is needed.
If in doubt, ‘Call the Vet!’
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