What to Do If Your Horse Colics

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Colic is the nightmare of every horse owner. This serious condition can progress quickly. If caught in time, some colicking horses can be saved, but only if their owners and veterinarians work fast to treat the colicking horse appropriately. Learn just what to do so that you can be prepared in case your horse should ever colic.

Remove Feed

If you discover that your horse is colicking, remove his feed immediately. Many horses who are colicking do not want to eat, but some will attempt to, and adding feed to the situation will only worsen the colic. Remove all hay and grain, and take your horse off of grass pasture if he is in his field. Also remove water until you speak with your veterinarian.

Keep Him From Rolling

Horses frequently try to roll to relieve the pain of colic. Unfortunately, rolling can be deadly when a horse is colicking; rolling can cause a horse to twist an intestine. A twisted intestine can only be relieved through surgery, and surgeries are not always successful. A twisted intestine, left untreated, will kill a horse.

If your horse is trying to roll, put his halter on and get him to his feet immediately. Have someone hold your horse and keep him standing while you call your vet.

Determine the Cause

If possible, try to determine the cause of the colic before you call the vet, as knowing the type of colic you are dealing with can help the vet to recommend appropriate treatment for your horse. Many times the cause of colic is not readily apparent, but if your horse has gotten into extra feed, that information will be important to your vet. If the colic appears to be a result of your horse having gotten into extra feed, make note of the quantity of feed missing and the type of feed and relay this information to your vet.

Call Your Vet

Call your vet immediately and let them know that your horse is colicking. If the colic appears to be a mild gas colic, your vet may be able to talk you through treating it yourself. Impaction colics require more aggressive treatment, and your veterinarian may need to treat your horse in person. Connect with your veterinarian as soon as possible to get instructions for further treatment and to get the vet out to your horse quickly.

Follow-Up Treatment

Your veterinarian will advise you on how to treat your horse and the signs to watch for. Your vet will likely advise you to take your horse’s vital signs and to hand-walk him. The vet may also tell you to give your horse pain medication, depending on the situation and what you have accessible.

Regardless of the treatment method your vet advises, always monitor your horse carefully and call your vet again if your horse’s symptoms do not improve. Colic is a frightening condition, but with fast and appropriate action many horses can improve without surgery. TOPHORSE–browse horses for sale or place an ad to sell horses

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