Dealing with Colic in Your Horse

As the number one killer of horses, colic is a very serious issue for horse owners everywhere.? To maximize you horse?s chance of survival, know the symptoms and be prepared to take immediate action.? Common symptoms include refusing to eat, inability to defecate, nipping at their sides, and kicking at their abdomen with a hind leg.? Should your horse show any of these signs, be prepared to call your veterinarian immediately for advice.? Although the common practice is to walk a colicky horse, be cautious of not exhausting him.? If he?s not trying to roll, let him stand still.? However, walking can be beneficial for a horse that is trying to go down ? you will want to prevent him from rolling so that he does not twist his bowels.? Be cautious of a colicky horse who is rolling as he will likely thrash and will be in too much pain to be aware of the people around him.

Prevention is difficult because there is no one cause of colic.? Some factors that can increase a horse?s risk are changes to their diet, diets with a high concentration of grain, being stall bound, and recovering from other illnesses.? There are some things you can do to lessen your horse?s risk of having a bout with colic.? Keeping your horse?s feeding routine consistent, including the time of feedings and the type of food, will go a long way towards keeping your horse healthy.? If you do have to change your horse?s food, take your time and do it slowly.? Keep food locked away in case your horse gets loose ? horses will binge if they can get into a sack of grain.? Feed small amounts of grain and other carbohydrate rich feed, as these can cause a horse?s system to overload.? Since parasites have been known to cause colic in some horses, keep to a regular deworming schedule.


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