How to Cure Horse Colic


Many horses die each year from colic. A horse is considered to have colic if it has any type of abdominal problem. This can range from a case of worms to a twisting of an intestine. Treatment for colic should be administered as soon as a horse is diagnosed. Many people make the mistake of looking upon colic as a single disease, but the symptoms we describe as colic occur in hundreds of different diseases. Most of these are easily treatable problems; some require expensive treatment or surgery to fix. Another common misconception is that serious (surgical) colic is what happens when a treatable colic goes on too long or a horse is allowed to roll.

If the signs are mild:

1. Take away all his feed, small amounts of water are OK.

2. The next step is to take his temperature; if he has a fever (above 101) call the vet.

3. Put a lead rope on him and walk; or lunge him at a trot for about 10 to 20 minutes or go for a trailer ride for 20 min. Many mild colic will improve with either of these treatments.

4. Then put him back in the stall and watch him. If you are unsure about his condition, offer a small handful of feed and see if he will eat it. A colicky horse as a rule will not chew and swallow feed, though he may play with it.

5. If he is over his bout of colic, continue to check him frequently for 4 to 5 hrs. to make sure the pain does not return. He should not be fed for 6 hours after his appetite returns completely. He should be allowed water free choice.

6. If he remains painful or you are unsure about his condition call the vet

If the horse does not respond to this treatment, however, the veterinarian will likely perform an exam himself, and then more powerful pain relievers may be prescribed. In addition to the foregoing, it will most likely be necessary to remove excess gas and fluid buildup from the horse’s stomach via a tube the vet will carefully introduce into the horse’s stomach through its nostril. This decompression is most often the appropriate and successful solution to more stubborn cases of colic. A rectal exam will confirm the presence of dried fecal matter, other blockages, or even an abnormal placement of the intestines. The veterinarian should be able to give you a detailed description of the colic’s causes and the treatment options, after the examination is over.

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Filed Under: Pets & Animals

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About the Author: Fred Goodson has a passion for pets and animals. He has 4 dogs and is planning to have another one. He is also a blogger who writes about pets and animals. Currently, he is living in New Jersey.

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