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Home » Taking Action: Treatment Options for Colic Symptoms in Horses

Taking Action: Treatment Options for Colic Symptoms in Horses

Pain in the abdomen, also known as colic, is a common symptom in horses. Horses can experience anything from moderate discomfort to excruciating agony, and in extreme cases, life-threatening colic. If you own horses, you must be familiar with the indications of colic so you can recognise them early and get them the help they need. Here we’ll go over the symptoms of horse colic and what treatments are available.

Can you tell me what colic is?

Abdominal pain is sometimes referred to as colic. Horses can experience colic due to a variety of issues, including gas, inflammation in the intestines, intestinal twisting or blockage, displacement, or strangulation. Horse colic symptoms can be transient or chronic, and they can be mild, moderate, or severe. While chronic colic is less severe yet continues over time, acute colic is typically quite painful and requires immediate medical attention.

Horses Often Show Signs of Colic

Recognising the signs of colic in horses at an early stage is crucial for getting them the care they need. When horses get colic, some of the most common signs are:

Decreased hunger

Having trouble defecating or finding little, firm faecal balls

Frequently stretching, pawing at the floor, and scanning their flank

Getting down and then back up again and over

Effortlessly kicking their abdomen or laying on their back

Raised pulse and respiration rates

Drooling and perspiration in excess

Frequent, little urination

Sadness or lack of energy

It’s important to remember that some horses may have colic symptoms but not exhibit any of the symptoms listed above. Consequently, it is your responsibility as a horse owner to keep a careful eye out for any signs of unusual behaviour.

Different Forms of Horse Colic

Horses can have a variety of colic symptoms, such as:

One of the most prevalent forms of colic, gas colic is typically brought on by an accumulation of gas in the intestines. Over time, this form of colic may go away without medical intervention.

When big bits of food get stuck in the digestive system, it’s called impaction colic, and it’s incredibly painful and uncomfortable.

Muscle spasms in the digestive tract are the underlying cause of spasmodic colic, a form of colic characterised by intense pain and suffering.

Irregular twisting of the intestines causes twisted intestine, a severe form of colic. When the intestinal blood flow is severed, it can cause excruciating discomfort and even death.

An intestinal or other digestive organ can become ensnared and cut off from blood flow in the event of a strangulating obstruction.

Help for Horses Suffering with Colitis

Horses suffering from colic require prompt medical attention. Emergency veterinary care must be provided without delay. When you notice any of the symptoms of colic in your horse, it is imperative that you contact your veterinarian without delay. The origin, intensity, and length of time a horse experiences colic all play a role in the best course of treatment. When it comes to equine colic, some treatment options include:

In order to alleviate your horse’s suffering, your veterinarian may prescribe medication.

Nutrition and hydration can be provided by the veterinarian through the intravenous administration of fluids that contain electrolytes and glucose.

To help relieve intestinal pressure and release trapped gas, a tube can be inserted from the horse’s nose to the stomach, a procedure known as nasogastric intubation.

Strict surgical procedures may be required to fix more serious issues, such as twisted intestine or strangulating obstruction.

Horse Colic Prevention

The good news is that equine colic is preventable with the right measures. Some ways to avoid this problem are:

To ensure a well-rounded diet for horses, it is best to gradually introduce new foods while keeping their current fibre, starch, and sugar content high.

It is important to ensure that horses always have access to clean water in order to avoid them from becoming dehydrated.

Getting lots of exercise: Babies who exercise regularly are less likely to experience colic and impaction.

Consistent deworming: Parasitic illnesses can cause colic, so it’s important to deworm periodically.

In summary,

Horses can experience mild to severe colic symptoms, and if not caught and treated in a timely manner, they can be fatal. You, as a horse owner, must be familiar with the symptoms of equine colic in order to know when to seek veterinary help. When dealing with colic symptoms horse, it’s important to consider the root reason, the intensity, and how long the discomfort lasts. Preventing colic in horses requires prompt action and preventative measures like feeding them a balanced diet and exercising them regularly.