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Symptoms of Equine Colic

Those who choose to have a pet should be well aware of the responsibilities in taking care of the animal. This is because a horse just like any other creature is prone to various diseases. This may be caused by parasites or from the food that is given and the only way to make it get better is to get proper treatment.

One problem that is not a laughing matter is equine colic. This is because a horse can die if treatment is not given. The symptoms of this disease are not that hard to notice and here are some of the things horse owners should watch out for.

1. If the horse feels restless or starts acting crazy, this could already be an indication. The person should stay a little longer to make an assessment since it is also possible that the animal was spooked by something.

2. Some horses will either stand or lie down and begin to kick its own belly. This is very similar to how humans hold on to one part of the body when it is in pain. The person should transfer the animal to a more open area so that it doesn’t cause further damage to the stable or to itself.

3. Sometimes, seeing a horse lying down on the ground is normal since this is how it sleeps. If there are no changes since the last time the horse was seen, this is another indicator that there is a problem.

4. A horse standing up in good posture does not mean there is nothing wrong. This is the reason that owners check its teeth and the other physical features because there may nothing wrong outside when it is really happening within.

The four symptoms just mentioned may happen one after the other or simultaneously. This really depends on the horse but when it happens, the owner should immediately call the vet for proper treatment.

While waiting, the person should stay with the horse and check it vitals. This means the heart rate and the body temperature. No food must be given at this time until a diagnosis has been done and a recommendation is given.

It is a good thing that there are drugs available, which can be used to treat equine colic. Some doctors even encourage the use of herbs that have to mixed first before it is given to the animal.

Is there one treatment to remedy a horse that has equine colic? The answer is no. This really depends on how serious the problem is and how well the animal will respond to the treatment.

A horse that suffers from Equine colic may live through that event. Unfortunately, this can happen again if some precautions are not yet taken.

Such steps include giving the horse multivitamins, allotting time to clean the stables, giving it a bath every so often and cleaning its teeth, a proper diet with no gaseous substances, water, regular exercise and rest.

A horse breeder or owner can read up on the symptoms of equine colic and other diseases to be well informed of the dangers. Being knowledgeable about it can save the life of the animal instead of hearing the doctor say that nothing can be done and the only thing to do will be to put it to sleep.

Colic in Horses

Colic is the leading medical cause of death in horses. Technically, colic refers to pain in a horse’s abdomen, although colic episodes typically reflect conditions of the colon. While colic can include a simple blockage, a spasm in the colon/gas buildup, or torsions in the digestive tract, the majority of colic episodes are idiopathic, or “of unknown origin.” In other words, we don’t know exactly what causes a horse to colic in most cases.

In reality, colic is often a direct result of diet, and is often preventable.


Some types of colic in horses include:

Idiopathic

No root cause determined. (Accounts for over 80% of all colics.)

Enteritis

Inflammation of the intestine, caused by many things, including infection, viruses, and bacteria.

Non-ideopathic

Cause is known.

Gas (spasmodic)

Excess fluid or gas, often caused by the over-fermentation of food in the hindgut, builds up in the digestive tract of a horse. The resulting pressure and possible inflammation along the gastrointestinal line causes discomfort for the horse.

 

colicky-horse

Intussusception

Most often caused by tapeworms and other parasites, this is also a very dangerous form of colic whereby the intestine effectively slides like a telescope within a portion of itself. The blood supply can also be cut off, creating a blockage.

Impaction

The result of an accumulation in a horse’s colon of sand, dirt, feed, or other indigestible material. This blockage makes if difficult or impossible for a horse to properly dispose of waste.

Gastric rupture

Relatively rare, a gastric rupture can occur when an impaction reaches the horse’s stomach or gas build-up causes the horse’s stomach to dilate.

Strangulation/torsion

One of the most lethal forms of equine colic. A twist in the colon or small intestine of a horse which may also cause the blood supply to be cut off, resulting in necrotic tissue.

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