Cover Story

Warning! Colic Ahead!

Know what to be on the alert for to catch colic in its earliest stages.

by Deb M. Eldredge, DVM
Warning! Colic Ahead!   There are many things that can cause your horse abdominal pain, but the basic usage of the word "colic" for horses is a problem with the gastrointestinal tract. The most common types of colic are gas colic with pain and problems from distension of the bowel and stomach walls, obstructive colic (and this can include sand colic) with the passage of nutrients blocked, and colic with a twisted gut. All three types of colic can present with similar signs. What must be emphasized is if you suspect your horse has colic, you need to contact your veterinarian immediately, as it has a much better prognosis if caught early. We cannot stress enough that you also need to know your horse's "normal." His behavior, attitude and habits are just as important as the numbers from his physiologic values. If you arrive at the barn to feed your horse in the morning and the horse who is normally fussing to get his breakfast is standing quietly, something is likely amiss. Take the time to observe... Continue Reading

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